Climbing in Geyikbayiri, Turkey
We asked Siri to tell us about starting a climbing camp in Turkey and what she loves about the area.
Q: When did it all start?
The first contact with Turkey came in 2002. We were invited to a wedding from a good friend from Munich of Turkish heritage. We decided to stay some more days in Turkey and took our climbing gear with us and as a precaution the Hilti too. Tobi found the Turkish webpage of the region developer Öztürk. After 2 recovery days, we packed up and moved from the coast into the mountains, and saw then for the first time the marvellous rock faces of Geyikbayiri. After some days of climbing and bolting the idea and wish to eventually stay here grew pretty quickly within us.
In the summer of 2003 founded the Jo.Si.To. GmbH. After placing ourselves in this foreign culture and dealing and struggling with diverse bureaucratic situations, we are happy to life and climb here in this magic climbing area Geyikbayiri.
Q:The rock, types of climbing and best time of the year to climb?
At the moment around 850 routes exist of various difficulties and grades from UIAA 4 to 10+/11-, (French 4 to 8c), main difficulties are between UIAA 7 to 9 (French 6b to 7c). The routes are bolted with the best materials and have short distances between the bolts. By far more than half of the routes have been bolted with support and sponsoring from the JoSiTo camp.
Further climbing areas situated directly at the sea, such as Akyalar, Olympos, Öküzini, Citdibi, together another 400 routes.
Citdibi is a new crag (“mini Ceuse”) that typifies a crag with long stalactites and is mainly overhanging (6c to 9a). At the moment at the Çitdibi rocks are 72 routes in the grades 6c to 9a.
The climbing season is from beginning of September until the end of May. There can be rainy days between December and January, but most of the time in winter you can climb topless. However, even on very wet or very hot days you will always find sectors with the right orientation giving you good conditions for climbing.
The climbing is on perfect limestone rock, with many features such as slabs and faces with small crimps to bomber overhanging tufas and roofs. The majority of the routes are single pitch.
Q:What about the type of climbing?
Amazing sport climbing and some trad climbing routes at the big mountain sivre dag, bouldering in Bafa Gülp and deep-water soloing all within a few hours’ drive of.
Q:What is special about this area?
Beautiful scenery, amazing weather and fantastic routes all add up to make an ideal sun-rock venue. The climbing at the main spot of Geyikbayiri is extremely accessible – falling within a 3km square area. That means if you’re staying on the campsites you can park the car and forget about driving – with less than 15 minutes walk to any sector. There are enough routes in this one area to keep you occupied for a good few weeks.
Q:What crags/sections are your favorites – and why?
For me is the best sector “Turkish Standard”, its situated directly behind our house, I can go with my coffee to the crag, I can look to my kids, playing on the terrace and the routes are beautiful. But also the sector “Sarkit” the main area is fantastic: long and amazing routes with a perfect view…
Q:What things are there to see or do on rest-days?
– Go swimming at the beaches in Konyaalti or Akyalar.
– Take a bath in one of the Hamams in Antalya.This traditional Turkish baths have been used for thousands of years. Its perfect for a rest day if you want to relax and after a hard climbing day J
– Go hiking: at the JoSiTo camp is the official start of the long distance hiking trail “LYCIAN WAY” (509 km) , 25-day way-marked footpath around the coast of Lycia in southern Turkey, from Fethiye to Antalya.
– Go mountain biking: The mountains rise directly from sea level to a height of almost 3000 metres, offering you biking routes through various vegetation and climatic regions. There are few asphalt roads in the mountains thus allowing you an indefinite number of tours and trails of various difficulties.
– Go Skiing: Between the middle of January and the end of May the mountains over 1500m are taken over by winter weather with snow often over several metres. Occasionally in April and May you can on the same day go skiing and swimming.
– Go Sightseeing: There are many archaeological excursions available in the surrounding areas: Trebenna, Kappadokien, Termessos..
– Go Shopping: The local market in Akdamlar is a really typical, nice happening on every sunday. A colourful and bustling experience for foods, animals, textiles and goods. You have to try a traditional Turkish pancake called Gözleme
– Relax on your hammock and see the other climbers ”working” 😉
“Turkey is a little more off the radar, Geyikbayiri is off the hook. There’s beaches for rest days, deep-water soloing, a bunch of different climbing areas. It’s a pretty nice vacation spot.” Alex Honnold falled in love with Geyikbayiri 2012
“It’s a part of the Turkish culture to treat guests with great hospitality,”
Find Siri at the Climb BnB marketplace
Pictures and information about climbing in Geyikbayiri, Antalya: