Demirkazik (iron-stake) stands as the highest peak of the Central Taurus.
Seen from the Ecemis valley near Çamardi in the sub-province of Nigde, the peak seems to burst from the ground. The limestone Aladaglar range, rising along the famous Ecemis fault line, is a favorite among mountaineers and rock-climbers. Limestone, easily eroded, usually has a pitted surface ideal for climbing, and the most rugged sections of the Aladaglar are full of climbing routes. The most popular starting points for such excursions are the village of Çukurbag, or nearby Demirkazik village where there is a modern mountain hostel.
The 700m north wall of Demirkazik - legendary among mountaineers -
was first attempted as a winter climb in February of 2001
. A safety station was established on the precar- iously steep snow barrier at the beginning of the route to Demirkazik's north face. Then group leader Ertugrul began the climb, but was forced from time to time to return to the safety point to gather extra equipment from Kürsat. Because of extremely difficult winter conditions, Ertugrul gave up hope of free climbing for the length of the first rope (40m); he tried to gain altitude by technical climbing. Despite his occasional descents for additional equipment, Ertugrul established almost 40 intermediate safety points to reach the first snow barrier at 30m.
On the first day of the climb the team reached the first
snow barrier on the north wall of Demirkazik.
Day one: Ertugrul Melikoglu established a second safety station on the snow barrier securing the end of the climbing rope. Day two: Mehmet Gülbiz, Ertugrul and Kürsat reached the snow barrier using the foundations laid the previous day. Evaluating the situation regarding climbing higher the team decided that reaching the intermediate points while making the necessary sideways movements would be too dangerous with the available equipment. To avoid the all too lethal possibility of being stranded at the end of a rope on the face, a long fixed rope line was crucial...
The team camped in a cold zone as the north face
does not catch the sun during winter months.
Camp was set up at the base of the wall leaving a safe distance in case of rock fall, also stabilized with ice picks, skiing batons instead of tent pegs and surrounded by a snow wall it in order to protect the tent from blizzards and storms. Double layer tents ensure that the temperature inside the tent does not fall below 5 degrees Celsius even though outside is below minus 20 C.
IN DANGER OF AVALANCHE
The team attempted to reach Demirkazik ridge on the sun starved north face of Demirkazik by side climbing... On these slopes which see little or no sun, snow melts, freezes and hardens or settles, and mountaineers must proceeds with great caution. The danger of avalanche on these great steep slopes add to the difficulty, as mountaineers have to steer well clear of the spaces between the slopes.