In Search of Snow, Pozantı, Turkey

Discussion in 'Trips Reports' started by WilliamC, Dec 22, 2018.

  1. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    Seven weeks without a camp and we were ready to brave a so-so weather forecast in our desperation to get out.
    Pozantı is on the main route north-south through the central Taurus Mountains. The historical Cilician Gate was near here. We got off the minibus when it stopped for a rest break here and headed for the pass north of Akdağ (White Mountain). The pass is on the left of the photo.
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    At the top of the pass we turned off on forest track, then left it to follow the line of a low ridge, with views back to the snow covered Bolkar Mountains.
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    It was a little early for stopping, but a nice spot with 360° views proved too tempting for us.
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    We awoke to snow flurries and I was kicked out to make coffee while we watched the sun appear over the Çukurova plain beyond Kızıldağ (Red Mountain).
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    A brief sunny spell gave us hope before the snow flurries recommenced as we cut a route cross country and down a steep, recently replanted slope to an old mine road in a deep river valley.
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    Mining roads took us on towards the Tryvanesque ridge which was our main objective for the day.
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    Our original intention had been to circumnavigate this ridge, but our early stop the afternoon before had left us low on time and we satisfied ourselves with a quick up and over.
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    This brought us out at the stepped valley that runs along the north side of Kızıldağ. This eastern end used to form a shallow lake in winter, but has recently been drained.
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    We now had a hurried walk back out along the mining road to where we planned to camp.
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    When it became clear that we weren't going to make it by dark, we started to look around for somewhere to camp and found a tiny flat spot next to a track through an area of reforestation.
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    The next morning we were back on the mining road, heading toward the fog and snow, stopping to fill up with water where a spring spilled out over the rocks.
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    We were following the trail of a motorcyclist, who must have passed through the evening before. He'd clearly struggled at many points. After an hour or so, we started to come out above the cloud, with glimpses down to Fındıklı, which at the time was our planned end point.
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    One of the things I like about walking in the snow is all the animal tracks; There's a lot that goes on around us while we sleep oblivious.
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    We turned off onto a disused forest track which took us down out of the snow.
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    About an hour above Fındıklı we decided that we hadn't had enough yrt and decided to extend the walk back down the valley on forest tracks to Pozantı, visible in the haze near the centre of the photo. The low cloud truncated the snow covered peaks of the Bolkar Mountains to the west.
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    On the way we passed several groups of men out collecting mushrooms. This particular batch was destined for the west of Turkey to be turned into medicine, but the same mushrooms are for sale in the local towns, in spite of the fact that they raise blood pressure significantly.
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    Mid-afternoon brought us out at a series of meadows up above Pozantı, and a tractor track led us back to where we had started.
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    cathyjc, Davy, tom and 8 others like this.
  2. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Wow :D
    Are you going to stay there once retired?
    What are you retiring from (it's be nosy day..). Feel free to tell me to **** off :p?
    Clare and WilliamC like this.
  3. Bopdude

    Bopdude Section Hiker

    A great write up with stunning pictures, as always, thanks for sharing :)
    WilliamC likes this.
  4. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    Thanks
    Retiring from teaching English. And yes, we're planning to stay here (depending on political developments). We have a small place in Kaş (to the west of Antalya in the southwest) which should be good for some winter walking (Lycian and Carian Way among others, with some b+b stays or bussing back to Kaş to cope with long winter nights) but bought a main home in Antakya this year as we realised we didn't want to leave the Aladağ and Bolkar for good, not to mention a few good friends and a very good cuisine, unique to the area (though sadly lacking in pies).
    And it's pure coincidence that Antakya and Antalya differ by just one letter - a similarity that often confuses the Turkish postal system.
    Davy, tom, el manana and 2 others like this.

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