Sunday, 14 August 2011

Suphan Dagi (4087m/13189ft) – 26 July

Breakfast at 02:30 with a pre-dawn start for the long walk up Turkey’s third highest mountain.

 

20110726-Turkey-2031First light with Lake Van in the distance (1)

20110726-Turkey-2035First light with Lake Van in the distance (2)

The group is now at its biggest as we have been joined by Wayne from Denver and Bob, who celebrated his 75th birthday earlier in the week and his 70th on Mount Ararat, is with us for the last time. As daylight creeps over the horizon it slowly reveals to the mountain and flocks of sheep and goats appear as if from nowhere.

 

20110726-Turkey-2039Flock of sheep and goats

20110726-Turkey-2041Shepherd, or more correctly, the shepherd’s lad

20110726-Turkey-2044Shepherd’s lad and Shepherd

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We didn’t even rate as an inconvenience as the flock swept around us like an unstoppable tide and, I think for the first time, there were no dogs either leading or trailing the flock. Another flock followed another grassy shoulder up and around the lower reaches of Suphan Dagi as the early warm and very welcome sunlight washed over us.

 

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20110726-Turkey-2061Last wondering look down at us before going over the shoulder

20110726-Turkey-2070Back down to the plain where we started

20110726-Turkey-2071Back down to the plain where we started with Lake Van in the distance

20110726-Turkey-2073First look at where the summits are – on the right

20110726-Turkey-2080Another breakfast needed

20110726-Turkey-2082Just about to leave the last of the grass behind

20110726-Turkey-2087Another breakfast required – it was a long day!

20110726-Turkey-2090Looking back down as we start the final pull to the summits

20110726-Turkey-2091Not altogether stable boulder field leading to the top

20110726-Turkey-2094Over the first summit and going to the second, not quite the highest summit

 

There are four high points on the rocky plateau of which the lowest is the official summit (which we didn’t visit), two others are listed on different websites as the highest (visited both, just to be sure) and the fourth which is clearly the highest (if you have a hand level – which, of course, we did). The fourth also has a summit register, unlike the official highest summit – I don’t know either!

 

20110726-Turkey-2095Leaving one of the “not the highest” summits

20110726-Turkey-2097Summit plateau (1)

20110726-Turkey-2099Summit plateau (2)

20110726-Turkey-2103Approaching the highest summit with one of the false summits behind

20110726-Turkey-2107Summit photo

20110726-Turkey-2110Looking at the start of the final descent

20110726-Turkey-2116Dried water course in late afternoon sun

20110726-Turkey-2117Thistle

20110726-Turkey-2119Thistle with Hummingbird Hawk Moth

20110726-Turkey-2120Last ridge with Lake Van in the distance

20110726-Turkey-2123At last, the mini-bus, from the last ridge (tiny white square at the upper left)

20110726-Turkey-2125Another local

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