Climb Kackar Mountains Description
The Kaçkar Mountains are composed of several ranges lying in the north-east of Turkey, just south of the Black Sea. The many summits between 3000 and 4000m and the deep forested valleys cover a vast area some of which are inaccessible between November and April on account of deep snow.
The northern facing slopes are heavily forested up to about 2000m and are affected by the humid air from the north; they are misty with high rain and snowfall even in July. The southern facing Kackar are drier but still receive more precipitation than other areas in Turkey. Maximum precipitation here occurs between late April and mid-June.
The Kackar are one of the world’s most biodiverse regions and the flowers from spring through to late summer are stunning. Bears, ibex, wolves, mountain goats, deer, Persian red-squirrels, wild pigs amongst other animals inhabit the forested slopes and numerous birds, many on their migration routes, may be seen.
Both the 4 day and 7 day trips are fully mule and vehicle supported with all food provided and an English speaking guide. They are non-technical treks but there is a rocky section on Mt Kackar where you have to use your hands and some sections of boulders and scree to negotiate. Early in the year crampons may be useful.
Our 4 day trip ascends the highest summit, Mt Kackar 3937m, approaching it from the south. We run trips throughout the summer and our short trip running weekly from our Olgunlar base provides the best value for money. However this is for the well acclimatised and fit to be able to fully appreciate the area and climb.
Our 7 day trip explores some of the more remote valleys, mountains and lakes before an ascent of Mt Kackar so providing excellent acclimatisation for the mountain itself as well as for anyone wishing to make an ascent of Mount Ararat.
Climb Kackar Mountains Itinerary
4 Day Trek
- Day 1 – Arrive in Olgunlar, night at pensiyon, en-suite accommodation, on half board basis. (see ‘Prices’ section for information on arriving at Olgunlar village)
- Day 2 – Early morning start from Olgunlar village, 2100m, to trek up to Dilberduzu base camp following the rivers through a peaceful valley with high peaks on either side. Camp at Dilberduzu, 2850m. Ascent 800m, 4 hours. In the afternoon there will be time for an acclimatisation walk exploring the beautiful flower filled meadows around the Dilberduzu.
- Day 3 – Breakfast will be at 6am. We walk up to Denizgolu Lake 3200m. where we have a snack and rest. We then continue to Kackar Summit 3937m, sections of the ascent are over scree slopes where ski sticks are useful for balance. Early in the summer snow could cover these making the ascent a bit easier. After snacks on the summit we descend to Dilberduzu camp. Here we have some hot drinks, soup and relax before going down to Olgunlar village. Night in a pensiyon where we will have summit party and great meal. The ascent is approximately 1050m and takes about 5 hours. The total descent time to Olgunlar takes between 5 and 6 hours.
- Day 4 – Depart in the morning after breakfast.
7 Day Trek
- Day 1 – Arrival in Barhal. Overnight in a guest house.
- Day 2 – Drive to Amanisket, walk up to Karagol Lake in the Altiparmak summit range, lunch and relax by the lake. We now descend via Satibe to a meadow in the forests for our first wild campsite. 6 hours walking.
- Day 3 – After breakfast short vehicle transfer up the road to Pishenkaya from where our walk continues on paths to a remote mountain lake, then over a 3000m pass to our next wild valley campsite at Satilef.
- Day 4 – A long day to walk to Dibe Yayla and a camp above at Dupeduzu. This section involves some wild secluded areas rich in flowers and birdlife. This is another wild camp.
- Day 5 – A short day to walk crossing a ridge to Dilberduzu which will be our base camp for Mt Kackar. There are many bears in the area and if we are lucky we may see one on the way. Camp at Dilberduzu, 2850m. This is an organised camp.
- Day 6 – Breakfast will be at 6am. We walk up to Denizgolu Lake 3200m. where we have a snack and rest. We then continue to Kackar Summit 3937m, sections of the ascent are over scree slopes where ski sticks are useful for balance. Early in the summer snow could cover these making the ascent a bit easier. After snacks on the summit we descend to Dilberduzu camp. Here we have some hot drinks, soup and relax before going down to Olgunlar village. Night in a pensiyon. The ascent is approximately 2100m and takes about 5 hours. The total descent time to Olgunlar takes between 5 and 6 hours.
- Day 7 – Depart in the morning after breakfast.
Kackar Mountains Prices
€275 pp – Minimum group size 6 people for 4 day trip
FOR PRIVATE TRIPS PLEASE CONTACT US
Included in the cost:
- Two nights half board at a pensiyon
- Mountain Guide
- Cook and all meals on the trek
- Soft Drinks
- Final Party and Summit Certificates
- Mule Support*
* The cost of the mule support will be surcharged by euro 25 if there is only one person with their personal luggage for the mule. Tents are provided on a sharing basis, to have a private tent there is a euro 10 surcharge.
Not included in the cost:
- Transfers to and from the area*
- Personal Equipment
- Alcoholic Drinks
* Olgunlar(4 day trip) and Barhal (7 day trip) may be reached by public transport from Erzurum which in turn has excellent connections by rail and air with Istanbul and Ankara. The last bus from Erzurum leaves at 1pm and involves a change at Yusefeli. The journey takes about 4-5 hours by bus. To reach Olgunlar or Barhal in the morning from Erzurum a very early start by private transport is necessary. We can arrange private transfers on request from Erzurum or other locations in and around the Kackar
Further Information about Climb Kackar Mountains
RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT LIST:
You will only need to carry your daily personal requirements on trek; we recommend that this also includes your valuables. Your main luggage will be carried by the mules or horses. Some items not required for the trek can be left at the guest house in either Olgunlar or Barhal; the guide will inform you of where this can be left for the Ararat ascent.
The key to dressing on trek is to use the removable layer principle. There is no one way to dress when you are in trek, you should bring the kit you usually wear when hill walking at home and bear in mind that the weather can vary from very cold rain and wind to very hot burning sun. All trekking will require ankle support boots.
If you are coming with a companion, some of the list below can be shared between you.
Being suitably equipped is perhaps the most important ingredient contributing towards your safety, comfort and enjoyment of the trek. Reflect carefully as to what you will need. Taking too much gear just in case is not recommended, but neither is taking too little. If you have any hesitation, questions, or need advice, please ask.
See below for more details on the following items –
- Boots and crampons
- Thin thermal ( long sleeved) base layer
- Thick thermal t (long sleeved)/base layer
- Head torch
- Light walking trousers
- Spare batteries/bulb
- Warm trousers
- Small towel and toilet articles
- Pair of shorts
- Sun cream and lipsalve
- Thick sweater / fleece – mid layer
- Water purification tablets/liquid
- Thin sweater/ / fleece – mid layer
- Toilet paper/tissues/antiseptic wipes
- Hiking socks
- Writing material/notebook
- Warm hat
- Personal first-aid/sewing kit
- Water Bottle
- Swiss army knife
- Gloves: wind and waterproof
- Personal medication
- Good waterproof jacket and trousers
- Plastic bags
- Hiking poles,
- Battery chargers
- Small daysack.
- Kit/sports bag for the mules
- Sleeping bag, inner and mat
- Personal safety gear: sling, 2 carabiners,
Boots: This is an important item of your equipment on a trekking holiday. Discovering that a pair of boots is not suitable can ruin a holiday. Your boots should be made for mountain-walking and be able to have crampons fitted to them. should fit comfortably and be well broken in. It is important that there is enough room for your toes otherwise painful bruising can occur on descents.
Plastic boots are recommended for winter ascents of Ararat. They can be used for summer ascents if you wish to carry 2 sets of boots.
Crampons: Check they fit your boots well before you leave for the trip.
Socks: A selection of the most suitable socks will not only add immeasurably to your overall well-being on trek, but more essentially protect your feet with proper cushioning and padding.
Kit or Sports bag
This should be strong and waterproof for the mules to carry; large enough to hold all your items which you wish to be carried. Please keep this to a 90 litre size and 15kg weight
A comfortable day rucksack with waist belt.
Both a sun hat and a warm hat. Protect the back of your neck as well as your head.
Mountain weather is never predictable, be prepared for bad weather. A strong waterproofs and wind proof jacket and trousers are essential.
Sleeping bag, inner and mat.
The temperatures of the nights will vary according to the section of the itinerary. Good fleece liners and track suits give flexibility.
Food and Drink
It is highly unlikely that you will suffer from the stomach upsets but common-sense precautions should be taken. If in doubt about what to eat, ask your trek leader.
The standard treatment for a mild stomach upset is Imodium, or possibly Lomotil. Sachets of Diorlyte are an excellent aid to rehydration. Carry antiseptic wipes in your day pack. Consult your trek leader about water in hotels and pansiyons. Take a water sterilizer as an emergency measure.
Take a small amount of high energy snacks.
Personal First Aid Kit
Our treks carry a First Aid box. Even so we do recommend you bring a small supply of first aid items for personal use
Some nationalities such as France and Germany do not require a visa to enter Turkey.
For most other nationalities a tourist visa can be purchased prior to your trip. Visas for Tourist purposed can now be purchased in advance using the new Electronic Visa Applicatin system https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/The visa is usually for up to a 90-day stay but we will give extra information to clients if this does not apply to their nationality.
Ensure your passport is valid for at least 90 days from the expiration date if your anticipated visa period, or you may not be admitted. That means that if you are entitled to a 90-day visa, be sure your passport is valid for at least 180 days beyond the date you anticipate entering Turkey.
You should consult your GP for further advice who will give you the latest recommendations.
Trekking on Kackar
The attraction in these treks lies in getting away totally from civilized life, and a hard day’s exercise in remote and beautiful regions brings its own rewards – and a sense of achievement unknown to those taking more conventional holidays. They are demanding at times and it is obviously important that participants enter into the spirit of adventure that they yield. There will be times when it will be too hot/cold/dirty/dusty/primitive and perhaps uncomfortable. But these periods should be of short duration and conditions should be no worse than you would expect to find in remote mountain regions anywhere.
Climate on Kackar
Heavy rain can occur at any time in mountains so be prepared for this. Expect high temperatures in the valleys, towns and coast in summer.
There are many websites with climate and weather information