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Eugenio Pinotti climbing King Kong of Kemaliye, at the new crag Bridge Cave.
Photo by Maurizio Oviglia
Maurizio Oviglia on Just in case, at the new crag Bridge Cave.
Photo by Eugenio Pinotti
The winner of the climbing competition.
Photo by Eugenio Pinotti
Taksi Driver
Photo by Maurizio Oviglia

Kemaliye International Outdoor Sport Festival by Maurizio Oviglia

10.07.2013 by Maurizio Oviglia

The 35th International Outdoor Sport Festival took place from 28 June to 2 July in the small village of Kemaliye in Central-Eastern Turkey, on the banks of the beautiful limestone canyon formed by the river Euphrates.

The festival originally came to life as a base jumping competition but over the years it has grown to include a host of other sports such as rock climbing, mountain biking, running and kayaking. Kemaliye's surroundings, very reminiscent of the Verdon Gorge in France, are ideal for these sports and it comes as no surprise therefore that Turkey's most important outdoor festival can count on numerous sponsors. This means that international guests can be invited, including more than 20 base jumpers from all 5 continents.

As to the actual climbing, in the past the organisers asked Palut Dogan, one of Turkey's most important new routers and rock climbers, to explore the area's potential. The possibilities are obviously immense since the canyon is more than 25 km long with rock faces up to 400 metres high. Dogan began by bolting two crags above the village and establishing a couple of multi-pitch sports climb, plus some more trad routes, one of which was also forged by Mauro Florit from Italy a few years ago.

Last year I was invited to take part in the festival and I gave a hand in further developing the area. Together with Recep Ince we put up the first "plaisir" routes at Kemaliye: two routes graded 6a/6b, 5 - 6 pitches high, fully bolted and easily accessible from the road which travels along the entire lefthand side of the canyon.

The 2013 event was postponed by a week so as to enable students to take part. Unfortunately this date, at the end of June, turned out to be less than ideal weatherwise as temperatures soared to 40°C during the day and fell to around 20°C at night. Too hot for climbers therefore, who were forced to climb early in the morning or at night, but nevertheless still OK for base jumpers... especially during the free fall! Having said that, along with Eugenio Pinotti I managed to make the first ascent of a new 140m route on the Eastern side of the canyon, while the rest of the time was spent creating a new crag. At present there are only three routes but prior to this Kemaliye had certainly lacked a difficult, overhanging limestone crag!

It's obvious that the development of Kemaliye has only just begun, at least as far as climbing is concerned, and the most beautiful and important rock faces are all still unclimbed. To breach this excellent grey limestone one needs to return in spring and autumn and bear in mind that the climbing takes place at an altitude which varies from 1000m to 1500m.

The beauty of the characteristic Kemaliye village and its wooden houses is quite simply breathtaking. Just as the colour of the great river Euphrates, the cradle of civilisation.



Kemaliye 2013 – Basejumping Competition – Results
1 Douggs (Australia)
2 Lawrence Jones (Australia)
3 Fritz Schuhmann (South Africa)
4 Cengiz Koçak (Turkey)
5 Marco Schultz (Holland)
6 JP de Kam (Holland)
7 Brett Kistler (USA)
8 Dmitry Rukhlenko (Russia)
8 Annette O’Neil (USA)
10 Ronald Overdijk (Holland)
11 Hubert Schober (Austria)
12 Maria McFly Steinmayr (Austria)
13 Yaşam Doğu (Turkey)
13 Matthias Wilhelm (Germany)
14 Sebastian Alvarez (Chile)
15 Petros Lappas (Greece)
16 Vasilios Theodorou (Greece)
16 Nektarios Dourdas (Greece)
17 Tobias Pradel (Germany)

Climbing competition
Büyük Erkekler (1993 ve üzeri) Seniors Male
1. Berkan Aksu 176 İstanbul Gençlik ve Spor K.
2. Emrah Sözbir 170 Elazığ Gençlik ve Spor Kul.
3. Övgün Yıldırım 135 Dag–Doğa Aktiviteleri Grb K

Büyük Bayanlar (1993 ve üzeri) Seniors Female
1. Buket Akça 100 Uludak
2. Ayla Doğan 76 Zeytin Dağcılık Doğa Sporları
3. Fikriye Altın 40 Zirve Dağcılık ve Doğa Sp. Ku.

Genç Erkekler ( 1994-1995 Doğumlular ) Juniors Male
1. Alper Hüseyin Hazar 108 Sakarya Üniv. Spor Kul.
2. Burak Dülgeroğlu 102 TED İstanbul Koleji Sp. K.
3. Sinan Çakmak 60 OMDAK

Küçük Erkekler ( 1996, 1997, 1998,1999 Doğumlular) Beginners Male
1. Oğuz Kaan Beğeç 188 Doğa Aktiviteleri Grb K. D.
2. Turhan Özer 122 Doğa Aktiviteleri Grb K. D.
3. Çağdaş Açıcı 45 OMDAK

Küçük Bayanlar (1996, 1997, 1998,1999 Doğumlular) Beginners Female
1. Tansu Tanuralp 25 OMDAK
1. Şeyma Dede 25 OMDAK
1. Duhanur Gündal 25 Samsun Kayak Spor Ku.
2. Ayşegül Ünlü 10 OMDAK
2. Deniz Lena Demirbağ 10 OMDAK
2. Sedanur Köksal 10 OMDAK

Mountain bike results
U-23 (Seniors Men)
1. Emre Yılmaz - Istanbul Genclik Spor Kulübü
2. Caner Topcu - Antalya Ferdi
3. Yalcın Pak - Hacettpe Üniv. Spor Kulübü

Elit Erkek (Elit Men)
1. Kamil Akalp - Sakarya Iniv. Spor Kulübü
2. Akif Bozkurt - Hacettepe Üniv. Spor Kulübü
3. Musa Kadıoglu - Kocaeli Genclik Spor

Elit Bayan (Elit Women)
1. Gözde Yeli - Hacettepe Üniv. Spor Kulübü
2. Aslı Koçak - Hacettepe Üniv. Spor Kulübü
3. Elif Tapan - Hacettepe Üniv. Spor Kulübü

Master (Masters)
1. Barış Topcu - Delta Bisiklet
2. Ibrahim Kadıoglu - Ferdi
3. Ali Yılmaz - Hacettepe Üniv. Spor Kulübü

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