BD athlete Sam Elias reports on climbing trip to Turkey
Black Diamond athlete and tech rep Sam Elias recently returned from a whirlwind Europe tour that included climbing in Turkey for a month with a crew of climbers, filmers and photographers that included fellow BD athletes Renan Ozturk and Yuji Hirayama. Below is his report with some photos and videos.
I spent the month of April in Turkey. We were there on an expedition sponsored by The North Face to explore the area, and share our story. I was joined by Emily Harrington, Daniel Woods, Renan Ozturk, Jimmy Chin, and Boone Speed. All of whom are from the USA. Eneko Pou came from the Basque Country of Spain, James Pearson joined us from the UK, and finally, Yuji Hirayama traveled from his home in Japan. Each person brought something different and special. Every single one of them is incredibly talented and inspiring, as climbers of course, but more importantly and simply, as people.
We were sent there with a purpose. Primarily, it was to investigate the climbing and the culture, and to share our experience with the world. A big aspect of our visit was to ascend some of the hardest routes in the country, and to try and establish some of our own. The month was characterized by slow and steady living, and a lot of climbing. We basically remained stationary at the climber’s camp of Jo.Si.To near the town of Geyikbayiri in the southwestern part of the country. It is about 40 minutes due west of Antalya, which is one of the biggest cities in the country, and the city into which we all flew. We were always aware of our reasons for being there; we had our goals, and took it seriously. I personally, climbed and/or bolted 25 of my 30 days there. All of the best quality, developed sport climbing in the country exists within about an hour of here, and there is so much just within walking distance of the Jo.Si.To camp. After awaking from jetlagged slumber on our very first morning, and seeing all of the rock and the cliffs surrounding us, my colleagues and I were motivated to take advantage of it. All in all, we did many of the very hardest routes, including Yuji doing the second ascent of the hardest route in the country. Emily did many first female ascents. We opened three new sport routes, two of them I bolted and did the first ascent. We might have done a couple other FA’s on the day that we went deep-water soloing. We produced eight beautifully inspiring short videos and numerous stunning photos, courtesy of Renan, Jimmy, and Boone. We made many friends both with traveling climbers as well as the locals, and we left them with around 100 bolts to establish new routes, and 100 quickdraws to permanently equip the most popular routes, as well as two ropes, and a bunch of other gear.
Here are the links to each video:
FREE RANGE TURKEY_dispatch #1: http://vimeo.com/10648652
FREE RANGE TURKEY_dispatch #2: http://vimeo.com/10742810
FREE RANGE TURKEY_dispatch #3: http://vimeo.com/10838172
FREE RANGE TURKEY_dispatch #4: http://vimeo.com/10990165
FREE RANGE TURKEY_dispatch #5: http://vimeo.com/11118164
FREE RANGE TURKEY_dispatch #6: http://vimeo.com/11211330
FREE RANGE TURKEY_dispatch #7: http://vimeo.com/11457185
FREE RANGE TURKEY_dispatch #8: http://vimeo.com/11649391
Immediately after the slow, steady, and stationary month of climbing in Turkey, I spent six fast-paced weeks touring around central Europe. It was a completely different style of travel and life. We were constantly moving and we saw and did so much that I am only coming to understand it now, having been home for a couple weeks decompressing and reflecting back on it. Check back with the BD Journal soon for the recount of this part of the trip, Part 2: Euro Road Trip.