Parmakkaya

Go back to Turkey
Go back to Aladaglar.

Turned out that Recep has some connections with those park rangers and we were able to have the gate opened for us (eventually…) the following morning. This last bit of road was very rough and so once again we exploited our trusty Opel Astra’s robust off-road capabilities. The approach hike to the base of Parmakkaya took about 2.5 hours but the alpine beauty of the high country made it fairly painless. The spire itself is quite a sight: a steep and slender, ~200 meter tall (depending on the aspect) finger sitting at the head of a valley. With the exception of its original, Classic Route, all other lines start at French 7a or above. In fact, the thing is so steep that it was hard to discern where a 5.10ish route might actually go. We finally found it on the backside of the spire though it was still pretty intimidating looking. The line is four pitches long. The first one is a warmup and a foreshadowing of things to come. For a historic route, you’d expect a lot more fixed pins and other assorted hardware. The second pitch was also relatively light on fixed pins and it was hard to discern where to go; not to mention, the limestone can be hard to read: what is solid vs. what will come down on you and your partner directly below. The rock is also not well cracked and so it was a lively lead – not too hard but memorable for us. The third pitch follows a very exposed and overhanging spine of the spire. It’s the technical crux but not the mental one as the route is obvious and well festooned with fixed gear (and even offers up a decent crack for pro). The fourth pitch is trivial and puts you below the summit fin which you and your partner take turns traversing a cheval style. The descent is only two, double rope raps but has a reputation (per guidebook) for snaring the lines. We made it down without any hiccups. I should mention that we did not see a soul since passing the national park gate in the morning. A very good climb! We were back in the car in the late afternoon.

Photos

Go to Cappadocia.
Go back to Turkey.