Eznevit Plateau, Ala Daglar
Key information: Eznevit Plateau, Ala Daglar
- Rough trekking up to the high grasslands of the Eznevit Plateau, with grand views to be had.
- ANYONE GOT ANY GOOD PHOTOS? WE WOULD BE DELIGHTED TO POST THEM!
- Walkopedia rating83
- Natural interest15
- Human interest4
- Negative points0
- Total rating83
- Length: 14km
- Day walk
- Maximum Altitude: 2,550m approx.
- Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
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Walkopedia would like to thank David Briese for access to his account of trekking in the Ala Daglar mountains; the full account and many wonderful pictures can be found on his website, www.gang-gang.net/nomad/turkey/turkey07 We love it!
Emli to Sokulupinar via the Eznevit Plateau
After another cool night in Emli Valley, we awoke to a cloudless blue sky. By the time the sun reached our tent at 7.30 am, it had already warmed up and, after packing up our gear, we were ready to set off. Today, we would leave Emli and walk over the range to Sokullupinar campsite on the western flank of the Ala Daglar, while our gear was transported via the valley to be waiting for us when we got there.
Once ready, we set off with Mehmet up the gravel road that headed deeper into the Emli Valley. After rounding the first slight bend we were surrounded by the mountains. Thus commenced a rolling panorama of alpine scenery, the cypress and fir-clad valley sloping up on either side of the road, slowly changing into barren scree that butted up to the immense rock walls of the ranges that enclosed it.
On the road, we gained height while barely noticing it, but as the valley curved around, the road ended and we switched to a footpath that continued the upward trend though the conifers, lime-tipped with fresh new growth. Ahead lay the head of the valley backed by the magnificent Guzeller peaks.
We were trying to work out the route out of the valley, when we left the forest behind to enter an area of rocky scree. Here, Mehmet took a short cut across the scree to find a faint track heading back up the valley wall in the opposite direction - it was the start of a long and steady ascent, angling across the loose scree with its sparse covering of low grasses and herbs. As we climbed, the views opened up down Emli Valley, while further peaks beyond it began to show their tops.
Our aim was a gap in the rock walls that brought us up on to the grassy pastures of Eznevit Plateau. On the edge of the plateau, we stopped to take in the magnificent sweeping panorama of the peaks lining the far side of the Emli Valley, Guzeller, Istanbul Tepe and Kaldi - breathtaking!. We finally turned way to climb gently through the pastures, deviating slightly to go around the back of a flock of grazing sheep and avoid upsetting their guardian dogs. A bit more climbing and we reached the high point of our walk at 2500m, a good place for lunch beneath the colourful rock face of Karasay Mountain. From its base, the western flank of the Ala Daglar swept down to the plain beyond in a barren expanse of gravelly orange-tan scree.
After lunch, we put on our fleeces - the wind that had been our friend on the ascent had become our enemy on this high exposed slope. With a cold wind in our face and the sun on our backs we headed northward to traverse this long section of scree, almost bare, with a scattering of low flowering herbs and grasses. To our right the mountains filed past, while to our left we could look way out over the plain and beyond to more distant snow-capped peaks.
Finally, we reached a dry ravine cutting into the broad mountain flank and descended quickly down it on a loose stony path. The path joined a gravel road and this brought us to the upper camp of Sokullupinar set beneath the masive rock pyramid of Demirkazik Peak. It was a somewhat more spartan place to spend the nights than Emli, but with friendly staff - a plate of biscuits, Turkish delight and a hot coffee were ready and waiting for our arrival.
The campsite itself was busy - Mehmet joined his father and other workmen, busy levelling out tent platforms and stitching together a cover for a new dining tent. In the corner, a large number of small tents were waiting to be erected. This scene was being repeated further down the valley at other campsites, so clearly a large influx of walkers and climbers was about to arrive. We were glad to be that bit ahead of the crowd.
However, we were not totally alone. That evening, we met a few more trekkers - Martin from Germany, who was mapping the routes of the Ala Daglar for his Masters degree in cartography, and three Turkish trekkers who had just completed a 13 hour ascent and descent of 3723m Embler Peak. It was good to socialise a bit in the dining tent, high above the twinkling lights of the villages on the plains below, and learn more about these mountains and the climb up Embler - in two days we hoped to be doing it ourselves.
You can find an interactive map of David Briese's Eznevit Plateau Trek on the EveryTrail website.
Please visit our Taurus Mountains page for detailed practical information.
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