Thursday, July 16, 2015

Emler Mountain, Aladag Mountains, Turkey

Emler Mtn via Yalak Deresi Canyon
July 10, 2015

Emler Mountain is the third highest summit in the Aladag mountains, a dramatic and high relief range within the Taurus Range of southern and central Turkey. There is little information available online about climbing routes in the Aladag but not because there is a lack of opportunity. This mountain range has an endless amount of alpine climbing, scrambling, hiking, and skiing potential. See CamptoCamp for more info.

I originally planned on climbing Demirkazik, the highest mountain in the range, but I was persuaded by a local friend to hike up Emler so I could enjoy better views of the surrounding high peaks. Bašar, the owner of Oz Safak Pansion in Camardi, is a very helpful resource and has a great location with excellent views of the mountains.

The trailhead at the mouth of Yalak Deresi Canyon can be accessed with a 4x4 vehicle. Bašar took me up in his truck and dropped me off at 7 am. The trail goes straight up Yalak Deresi canyon, which dissects the range and ultimately ends at a saddle between Kizilkaya Peak and Emler. I followed the trail over steep and fairly loose scree on a faint trail until the I reached the saddle. From the saddle, I turned north and made my way to the summit. I climbed about 5,000 ft and 4 miles in 2.5 hours to reach the top. I stayed on the summit for an hour watching the wispy clouds move around and over the nearby peaks. It was a great morning to be in the mountains.

Image from Google Earth - white line represents the route to Emler Peak via Yalak Deresi
I quickly made my way down and reached the trailhead in 1.5 hours after leaving the summit. Lucky for me, I hitched a ride back to town and saved myself some extra effort. I spent the afternoon very content eating fresh cherries and napping at Bašar's place.
Hanging out on Bašar's porch 
Aladag Mountains
Looking down Yalak Deresi Canyon
Following the discreet trail up the scree slope
Looking down the canyon
Clouds shrouding Kizilkaya Peak
Looking to the southwest from the summit of Emler 
View of Kizilkaya Peak (left) from Emler summit in the Aladag Mountains