Climbing in Geyikbayiri, Turkey
Posted on May 7, 2013
Geyikbayiri, in southern Turkey (near Antalya) offers some really rad sport climbing. Set among green hills with a backdrop of forbidding rock-summited mountains there are long bands of grey limestone cliffs featuring tufas, pocketed roofs and stripes of red rock splashed across the grey. The rock is really solid, with sharp evil little crimps that are not going to break off on you (although they might break you). There is no chossy rubbish to concern yourself with either.
The crags are an easy holiday-walk distance from any of the main campsites (as in, get out of your tent, walk 30 metres, you’re at the crag). The downside of the convenient location is that it’s pretty hard to call up the will power to get away from your closest crags. If you’re staying at Josito that means Trebenna, Turkish Standard and the imaginatively named Right Cave. On the other hand, when those crags are packed (Trebenna is the only really close crag in the shade all day) other really quite nearby crags (like Gizmo) will be fairly quiet (if not empty, except for you) and offer a good range of grades and the same high standard of climbing and a variety of grades. Beware the ‘lets take a different way down’ descent from the crag: horrid.
At the higher end of the grades there is a fair bit to choose from. Freedom is a Battle (8a+), Greek Gift (7b) and Rodeo on Black (7b+) are recommended by the Ginger. I had nothing to do with it so don’t blame me if they are awful. I personally quite liked watching people climb Anaconda (7c). It starts with a stiff and tricky (6c+) over some awful-no-obvious-holds-yucky-bouldery stuff and the climber then magics his or her way up the long extremely snake-like tufa to the head of the snake. Lots of falls seem to be taken at this point as the climber desperately grabs for a crappy little crimp to the far right of the snake’s head. Assuming that the climber holds the crimp he or she then scrabbles (I am sure there is more to it, but it looks like desperate scrambling to me) up to a rad looking jug and his or her feet then cut loose. The climber then swings to the right like a monkey (that is the best bit for the person watching). The monkey/climber then achieves some invisible but apparently decent footholds and then further scrabble (difficult to see from the ground) takes place before the anchor is reached. It all looks quite impossible. Lots of lovely muscle bulging to enjoy.
At the lower end of the grades it is a sandbagging fiesta and everything is shit and too hard (ok, perhaps the grading is all quite reasonable and it’s just that I sucked at everything I tried). Be prepared for an ego bashing. I can recommend Alex Kohler Memorial (5c+) (it has a sick rock-over move) and Oh la la (5c+) (although that is a bullsh*t grade, it is way harder) as well as Big Wallhalla (6a) (do not accept beta from stronger climbers, their way is stupid; traverse through the tricky lower bit and stem your way to success through the crux). Kinetic Koncert (4) is a very well protected and ego-boosting lead climb.
The surrounds of the climbing area are quite lovely and you can enjoy a dip in the freezing creek or laze about under a tree all day if you wish. There is a pleasing lack of horrid biting bugs and other nasties. There is however quite a bit of stinging nettle – long trousers are recomended for walking anywhere.
In short, Geikbayiri is pretty awesome for a climbing holiday. For Kiwis or Australians coming all the way over to visit Kalymnos, you’d be silly not to visit here as well.