Mt.Erciyes is one of the best mountaineering and winter sports centers in Turkey. This dormant volcano rises south of the city of Kayseri. The first known succesful climb was performed by WJ Hamilton on 1837. On the other hand there are some historic writings and symbols on the rocks at the summit. There are two caves around summit tower and one of them was expanded by human work. Agreed truth is monks in historic times are visited this summit several times. It's climate influenced by classical steppe geography of central Anatolia. Erciyes is exposed to every kind of atmospheric movement and winter brings very heavy snowfall on it.
East and northwest faces are mostly used for climb the mountain. Northwest face is guite remote with a permanent small glacier. On this face Sutdonduran Plateu is the right camping place.
Nearest major airport is Kayseri International Airport. As a result of close distance of Cappadocia you can find several charter flights from Europe to Kayseri in summer. Other times you can reach Kayseri via Istanbul and Ankara by domestic flights. From the city center of Kayseri it takes about half an hour by car. There are also bus services to the mountain and it is very easy to find them in several points in the city. Road is clear in all seasons but tyre chains can be so important for traction control in winter.
There is a popular ski center on the northeast side of the mountain. And most of the climbs performed on the routes from this side. The highest lift line goes up to 2700 m. which is very close Cobanini camping ground. It takes about 20 minutes from lift station and about 2 hours from hotels area.
Cobaini is a perfect camping place for East Ridge, Evil's Gully, Angel's Road and other alternative routes from this side. Water can be found in all seasons here.
There are hotels and huts in the area. Some important telephone numbers are below.
Tel: +90.352.342 20 31
Fax: +90.352.342 20 32
Tel: +90.352.342 20 86-87-88
Tel: +90.352.342 20 53
Fax: +90.352.342 20 56
Tel: +90.352.342 21 28
Fax: +90.352.342 21 38
DEDEMAN SKI RESORT
Tel: +90.352.342 21 16
Fax: +90.352.342 21 17
Toll Free Info and Reservation (Valid in Turkey)
0800 211 44 44
There is a gendarme station in the hotels area and leaving a record before climb is important. Gendarme can be much more strict about this rule in winter because even in summer too many foreign hikers needed help on the mountain. Gendarme is very well equipped for search and rescue. They can reach to the camping place in minutes both in winter and summer.
When To Climb
From late spring to early autumn is best climbing period. You must consider a big risk of avalanche on every route in winter.
In every season falling rocks is a big danger at most of the routes.
There are two summits on the mountain. West summit is slightly higher than east one. But west summit has a rock pinnacle on it with some 17 meters. The rock is very loose on this tower it is not recommended for unexperienced people. There are pitons in the crack, no need to camming devices. Altough it is III+,-IV UIAA and possible without a rope I strongly recommend a rope on this section. Because the rock is extremely loose, there is a huge space below the belay ledge and descending from tower is not fun without a rope.