Dağdibi-Dağdibi, Foot-of-the-Mountain to Foot-of-the-Mountain, Turkey, April 2018

Discussion in 'Trips Reports' started by WilliamC, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    I had thought we’d covered pretty much everything in the area on the southwest side of the Aladağ, but hunting around on Google Earth I thought I could make out alternative routes in and out via Dağdibi (trans: Foot-of-the-Mountain).
    A pleasant walk in across open land on a dirt road leading up to some cultivated fields at the base of rocky slopes.
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    The track left us below a steep, scree-covered slope crisscrossed by game trails. I couldn’t see a cler route on Google Earth but a clear path led into and out of this area. We lost the clear path where it crossed a gully and picked our own way through the trees and up the slope. Near the top we came across the clear upper path; I suspect we’d missed a better route somewhere.
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    We were now on the rolling slopes that stretch out below the south wall of the Aladağ. These are like the local equivalent of moors, but dry and covered by thorn bushes, one of the few plants to survive the depredations of the hordes of goats that graze here. It can appear very barren and eroded, yet there is a beauty in the subtle, muted colours and ores give colour to the rocks, as well as causing the area to be crossed by rough mining roads. We stopped for a break at the start of one, with views back towards Karanfil Dağ and forwards towards the Aladağ.
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    We camped on a grassy knoll high above a couple of shepherds’ camps. In a few weeks there will be many camps in this area. We set up with the back of the tent to the night’s expected downhill wind and with views forward to Karanfil Dağ.
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    It was a comfortable spot, but strong gusts of wind blowing into the side of the tent and the distant barking of the shepherds’ dogs set free to spend the night marauding across the hillsides meant we slept fitfully.
    With a long way to cover and the need to make the last transport out in mid-afternoon, we were up early and off at first light.
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    First we descended the old mining track. This is still used by tractors but very rough in parts.
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    We left the track for a goat trail above Tekir Çimeni. Our route onwards can be seen running up diagonally right from the centre of the photo, below the snowfields and hidden by a low rocky ridge.
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    We had a short break for Bozena to harvest some sorrel.
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    Across the river, we picked up the narrow goat path that follows what used to be a major mule route.
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    The mule route winds its way up the defile towards the right of the photo below. It’s a beautiful path, often cleared through fields of large boulders, but today we turned off for a herders’ trail that runs (we hoped) up a gully closer to the mountain.
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    There were fine views back up the valley.
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    The first few hundred metres of ascent were up steep, shallow scree.
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    After crossing a ridge of shattered rock the incline lessened but we ran into our first snow patches at a worryingly low altitude.
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    There are a occasional shepherd camps where the gully widens and we were pretty sure we could find paths linking them.
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    Our main worry was that we might be stopped by the snow patches, which were becoming larger and more common.
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    But we made it through to the top of the pass, where we had our last view back to the Aladağ, and joined a rough track bulldozed a couple of years ago to a large shepherd camp in the middle of an open grassy area.
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    A clear animal trail led onwards, looking towards the distant Bolkar range.
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    Although it wasn’t visible all the way in Google Earth and it descended a very steep defile, we were pretty sure we’d be able to follow it all the way.
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    And we did, though it came out at a different area of the rolling slopes running down to the valley floor than we’d expected. A tractor track led us down and back to Dağdibi.
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    [ulrl=https://flic.kr/p/267xBRE][​IMG]
  2. fluffkitten

    fluffkitten Thru Hiker

    Lovely, again. :)
    WilliamC likes this.
  3. Bopdude

    Bopdude Ultralighter

    Stunning, your pictures of your travels always leave me in awe :)
    WilliamC likes this.
  4. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    I love your pictures but it always distresses me to see the overgrazing and lack of natural mature climax vegetation in some places :(. "Tradgedy of the Commons" ??
    Not that here in Scotland we can claim the moral high ground :oops: - just there is a growing awarness of the issues and a few landowners are starting to change things.
    Mole and WilliamC like this.
  5. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    The north of the country, which is predominantly cattle grazing, is much better. Goats are like locusts - hiking the Phrygian Way, it was noticeable when you passed south into goat land. In the Kaçkar you can tell immediately from the vegetation whether you're in a cattle raising valley or a goat raising valley.
    The good news is that the state of the environment is starting to make it's way up the list of people's concerns. The bad news is a government need for money, leading to an increase in felling and mining, and an endless cycle of elections which leads to road building and ideas such as this. :(
    Mole likes this.
  6. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    The sight of a trail that doesn't involve trudging through bog for hours on end in ground level cloud is very appealing right now :thumbsup:
    Great pics!
    WilliamC likes this.
  7. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    **** - utter lunacy :eeker::mad::cry:.
  8. Max

    Max Ultralighter

    Another top TR.
    You should think about writing a guide book with your knowledge.
    WilliamC likes this.
  9. Diddi

    Diddi Section Hiker

    Brilliant as usual.
    WilliamC likes this.
  10. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    Thanks. After we retire from hiking ;)

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