It was awesome to get a little sun after the alpine season.
Why Turkey? Climbing is an excuse for me to see the world. And Turkey was high on the list of epic rich cultures that I wanted to experience. I just needed an invite.
Basically my job is to say yes to any thing we can dream up. So when Majka Burhardt asked if I wanted to join in on a spring sport climbing trip, I said of course.
What that meant was book a flight and show up. Majka is one of those partners has huge vision and makes the plan and I am the back up, I make sure she is supported in whatever hair brain idea she has. And this time we wanted to get out of our ice climbing boots, loose the pointy things and get in shape for the spring rock climbing season.
Turkey was the place to go. We (4 girls) arrived in Geyikbayiri to find the first blossoms of spring. Super juicy oranges and lots of cats. The limestone tufas were perfect for us, not to hard not too soft. good verity. some hot days some rain.
I got fitter! We all did. We met some fun folks from all over Europe who were appalled by our 17 hr flights, and bragged that it was only 4 from the UK. And an all girls trip made for some super fun rest days.
The Turkish baths called Hamam were a big hit with our crew. And the days we felt like we were camping, this was the best possible way to get clean! They lay you down on 90 degree marble, splash you with hot water and scrub you within an inch of your life with a loofa mitten. Then they have a pillow case full of bubbles that somehow envelops you like a cloud and they massage the soap in to your abraded skin. It’s the perfect remedy for steep climbing in dank fog gilled caves.
We sent our projects and headed for a day in Istanbul to absorb some East meets West culture and check out the Grand Bazaar. And I love sport climbing and all, but these temples were mind blowing. We went to the Ayasofya and my heart started beating fast like I was on top of Fitz roy or something. It was such a powerful scale. And huge tonnage of rock. the marble was butterflied and aligned like zebra stripes, and there were millions of golden mosaic tiles on the ceiling. I was so inspired by the magnitude, just like I am in the mountains. Pretty magical to feel that in the middle of a wild and crazy city.