Turkey

Ascent to Ercyies Dagi

Ascent to the highest mountain in Central Turkey

Petr Liška
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Ascent to Ercyies Dagi
Inserted: 25.02.2019
© gigaplaces.com
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Ercyies Dagi volcano (3,917 m above sea level) is the highest mountain in Central Turkey. It is a real dominant, because there is no other similarly high peak in its vicinity for tens of kilometers. It thus belongs to the ultra-prominent peaks. However, due to this, bad weather attracts both the magnet and strong storms are very common here. The classic ascent to this peak begins at the ski resort at about 2,200 meters above sea level.

Ercyies from a distance

You drive along the Anatolian plateau at an altitude of about 1,400 meters above sea level and from a distance you can see your destination – the mighty Ercyies, which exceeds you by two and a half kilometers

Ercyies from a distance
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Volcano from the mountain road

We are going from the south, so our starting point is the town of Develi (1,250 m above sea level). The road is covered with quality asphalt, because it is for the local shortcut to the big city of Kayseri. After about 20 kilometers drive from Develi we are in the ski resort (2,200 m above sea level)

Volcano from the mountain road
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

View back to the ski resort

The ski resort is basically built in a small pass. There is plenty of parking space and the ascent from the bottom is very easy on the rocky slope next to the cable car

View back to the ski resort
Author: Pavel Köstinger © gigaplaces.com

Ascent under the cable car

We're here in the late afternoon and it's getting cold and it's getting cold. The surrounding landscape is deserted and gloomy, only on the horizon are pieces of the main volcanic ridge peeking out

Ascent under the cable car
Author: Pavel Köstinger © gigaplaces.com

Plato under the main ridge

After passing the final ski lift, after a while you will reach a relatively „flat“ plateau at an altitude of about 2,800 meters above sea level. An ideal place to set up a tent and wait for the morning. There is even a prepared plot surrounded by a small tomorrow. The night is hard here if you forget to bring a sleeping bag

Plato under the main ridge
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Sunrise under the volcano

The sunrise looks quite promising even though the peak is still under a cloud

Sunrise under the volcano
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Ascent to the ridge

We choose the recommended ascent path along the long southern ridge. Thanks to the clouds below us, the view is quite interesting, which is not the rule for dominant volcanoes

Ascent to the ridge
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

View of the camp from the ridge

It is good to see our campsite from the ridge. An vacated hut at the end of the cable car, then a lift turntable and finally our tent on a patch. In good weather, everything is absolutely obvious, but when the fog falls, then look for it among those small volcanic ridges.

View of the camp from the ridge
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Road along the ridge

The surrounding rock is cracked, there are steep rubble slopes on both sides and there are dozens of strange volcanic rocks. It's the end of September, so it's quite cold at these heights

Road along the ridge
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

The most beautiful part of the output

The most beautiful part of the ascent was for me at an altitude of about 3,300 meters above sea level. Beautiful views of the ridge, down to the „pregnant woman“ and two distinctive pre-peaks. Probably the most photogenic places from the whole tour

The most beautiful part of the output
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

View of the top of the volcano Ercyies Dagi

Finally we reach the pre-peak, about 3,630 meters above sea level. The weather is bad, but eventually the main peak is revealed. It shows the end of a comfortable trail in the form of several tens of meters high rocks. Even the top itself is a high rock of cracked material

View of the top of the volcano Ercyies Dagi
Author: Pavel Köstinger © gigaplaces.com

Just below the top

The sun is rising from the clouds for the last time today and we are enjoying the deserved views. In retrospect, not even the pre-peak looks completely bad

Just below the top
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Look down

The ski center from here looks quite deep and far away. On the plain you can see a jeep road and another basecamp, so with traffic it can be quite accelerated. On the other hand, with this variant, you have to climb the rubble corridor and you have no views from the ridge

Look down
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Under the top rock

We are at the heart of the whole ascent under a high rock at an altitude of about 3,700 meters above sea level, so 200 meters below the main peak.

Under the top rock
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Finish

Before we decide whether to try to climb the rock or to bypass it from the right and climb to the top with that steep rubble trough, the azure becomes total milk and in the distance it starts to thunder. So we give it up relatively close to the goal. We return back along the ridge, although we originally wanted to speed up the descent through the trough, but we really can't see a step. We pitch a tent during a storm and run into that vacated hut. Iron is pouring in everywhere and water is flowing, so it's also not an ideal safe from lightning. When the worst subsides, we go down as close as possible to the columns from the cable car so that it eventually shatters into them instead of us, but I don't even know if it was a good tactic at all.

Finish
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com
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