Climbing in Turkey– I’m bruised, scraped, and sore… but tan!

I have returned to Norway from a two week climbing adventure in Geyikbayiri Turkey– bringing with me sore arms, tons of bruises, and a nice new tan.

Landing in Antalya

Ask any one of us what we thought of the trip and you’ll receive the same answer: “It was great.” Great weather, great friends, great camp, and most importantly: GREAT CLIMBING. We stayed in Jo.Si.To Climbing Camp which is just a walk away nearly 500 climbing routes of all different difficulties. The camp was full of climbing passion and positive energy– I felt privileged to stay just a tent’s distance away from great climbers from all around the world.

I learned a lot about climbing on this trip– something new from Martin, Lars Martin, or Erland each day. I also learned from experience, or should I say “trial and error.” This “trial and error” way of learning had a bigger, well, impression on me. The first thing I learned: Turkey is full of prickly plants and rough rocks. After doing a full assessment, I’ve counted two scraped forearms, two banged-up knees, three scratched knuckles, and countless pricks in my fingers. Luckily, my snake-bite count is zero.

Safety First! Our focus on belaying and securing other climbers was just as prominent as our focus on climbing itself. In fact, sometimes belaying proved to be just as tiring as climbing.

The climbing varied depending on where we spent the day, but one thing is for sure: it was a lot different than climbing in Norway. The rock formations are beautiful and unique. There is some geographical reason for this, I just don’t know it– Stratton, fill in the blanks here. Anyway, the biggest difference is that the rocks in Turkey are dry and warm.  With the sun almost always at our backs, we tanned, and for some, burned.

Since Norwegians can never soak up enough sun, (and I don’t blame them,) we spent our resting day at Olympus, a historical ruins site by the beach. If walking past the ruins in order to get to the beach counts as learning some history, we all had a history lesson that day.

My answer to the question “Whatcha doing?” is almost always “Just hangin’.” In Turkey, we redefined “Just hangin’.”

We made lots of good meals for dinner, and they almost always consisted of chicken and rice. Some of the more adventurous cooking groups, (or just the clueless ones,) opted for the chicken-hearts. They were special looking. There was a lot of bread eaten, naturally. “A lot” might even be an understatement. Regardless, when it came to food we had to be careful and keep it away from the camp dogs. That was sometimes a struggle.

When we were not climbing, belaying, or hangin’, we just had a good time.

Overall, this trip receives 4.8 Grace Faces from me. And for you normal people out there that don’t know what that means– This trip was nearly perfect.

If you haven’t seen enough, check out other people’s photos here!

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