Kestel Canyon 2nd branch (east) discovery report
Date: 16-23 July 2017
Attendants: Erdal Bayraktar (leader)
Fedai Erkocaoglu (technical team)
Semih Atçı (technical team)
İsmail Kılınç (technical team)
Tuğçe Elif Topcuoğlu
Logistics: Celal Demirkıran
Individual technical gear:
- Full body neoprene suit,
- waterproof canyoneering backpack,
- safety harness,
- life jacket,
- abseiling safety equipments,
- expresses, sling (runner),
Common technical gear:
- 70 m
- 25 m static climbing rope,
- left and right
- 15 m sling, spools
- 10 m cord
- 3 sets of bolting equipment and drivers
- 40 pieces of 8 and 3 cm boltscrews
- 57 bolts
entrance from the old bridge at Kestel Kozlar Plateu Söğütözü region, following the water flow till the conjunction of two branches, following the flow until 1.5 before the hydro electric generator. 30 minutes of slogging in the woods, ascending. Approximately 11 km of canyoneering.
7 nights ( 1 night extra because of unwilling circumstances). An accident happened at the 5th day of the occasion, 3 hours of carrying an injured participant till the junction of two branches. accident report is published seperately.
No rain and rare clouding. (weather forecast should be checked with the stations Karaman, Mut, Gülnar,Silifke, Erdemli and Ermenek) Participants should get day to day reports during the activity from logistics team to avoid any unpleasant surprises through sudden rainfalls.
Mostly non dangerous level of waterflow, waterfall abseilings, syphons, muddy ground and unclear water, logs and woodchips in muddy river. most of the over-water rocks are muddy or covered with moldy weeds.
Descending: From altitude 1427 m to 300 m. 11 km lenght.
Before the activity: Gathering at Karaman, last preparations, 2 hours of travel to the starting point mentioned above.
Descending (abseiling) statistics: 1×80 m 1×30 m 30×10-30m 50xless then 10 m
statistics on daily base: 0+1+5+7+8+5+4
Natural anchoring statistics on daily base: 1+8+5+6+7+8+6
Safe divings from 1 to 2 m are not reported.
DAY TO DAY REPORT
4.30 pm-7 pm,
1.8 km lenght, descending from 1427 m to 1360 m.
1 natural anchor abseiling of 6m and 2 assisted abseiling of 2 to 3 meters.
Path is not advanced and suitable for emergency exits on many spots. Camping ground is on the right hand side of the river just below the huge boulders carried by flood. It is also a safe spot for emergency exit in case of a flood. Rock fall is a little chance there. Turkcell GSM was the only option for communication by the time of the activity. Locals also have acces to that camping from various routes.
3.5km route. descending from 1360 m to 1040 m.
8 natural anchor abseilings, 15 m longest, 1 safe diving of 4 m, 3 slides.
Right after leaving the camp site, both sidewalls spread out so the locals can access with flocks. After the opening until the wooden bridge, called the Gavur Gecidi, high walls on both sides with almost no chance of emergency getaway. There is a slight high platoue to survive in case of sudden flood. the wooden bridge can be a suitable campsite and emergency exit. On both sides of the bridge, the old path escalated with artificial walls gives a chance to reach the close by villages. Communication with gsm operator Turkcell is possible. Rock falling chance could be ignored on the camping ground.
Route 700m descalating from 1040 to 880 m.
10 abseilings, 5 with bolt, 5 with natural anchor. 1x80m 1×28 m, 1×26 m rest about 10m.
Right after the wooden bridge, until the grand waterfall abseiling, the canyon is vertically challenging with no emergency exit points.
A pulley system should be build in order to get the rope back after the grand abseiling, either at the top or down. It is extremely hard to get the rope back with 3 or 4 people, so more paticipation is recommended. Water is at ankle level at the bottom of the waterfall. 2 bolts are used on the right wall.
At least a 90 mt rope in one piece is required wit an additional 80 m, one or multiple pieces added together.
Dividing the abseiling into multiple stations and bolting is not recommended due to muddy wall structure. The sandy area at the coast of the lake or the top of the boulder on the east can be used as a comfortable camping ground. A backpack for the rope might be a good equipment for the leading abseiler. Turkcell Gsm is operable on the camp. Left and right walls are avaliable for emergency exit but not reccomended since 5-6 degrees of dangerous angle requires high climbing skills.
450 m route, descending from880 to780 m.
7 bolted, 6 natural stations, diverging from 10 to 20 m
After leaving the camp, right beyond the boulder on the right ,access accomplished back to the canyon with 2 natural station abseilings. This area is a narrow passage with one or two exit points and continious abseilings. Narrow path is challenging with s or z shaped passages and 2 serious syphons.A few stations were bolted under severe waterfall pressure on the left wall. The great crack on the left hand wall can be used as an escape point where the narrow passage finally expands. Right after the same expanding area, passing through a huge boulder and the pool with natural station, the 4th camping area is reachable which looks like an amphitheatre. The woods at the top of the path on the left of the camp is avaliable for Turkcell communication. 50 m past the camp, the canyon turns west 90 degrees. Thispartof the canyon, after the 80 m waterfall, is rough and challenging.
800m path, descending from 780 to 620m.
8 bolted and 7 natural stations diverging from 2 to22m. 3 assisted abseilings and 2 slides.
The first abseiling is on the left, right after the 90 degree turn with natural station and reaches a fig tree. Short after this point, a big opening on the left can be used as an emergency exit. The rest of the passage has long abseilings with a fresh water source and diagonal ascending exit points on the left.
Passing the water source, there is a long abseiling followed by short dangerous abseilings with a small syphon belt and 2 syphons. The last part of this passage contains 5 bolted abseilings between 2 to 5 meters and intersects with the first branch of the canyon. The wide open corridor on your right is the first branch descending till Dagpazarı region. Even Turkcell Gsm offers limited service at this point.
Descalating from 620 to 420m 1.3km route.
5 bolted, 8natural station abseilings in 3and 20 m range.
This part of the canyon is narrow, with no emergency getaways and 2 easily recognisable syphons. Camping ground is the bouldercrack on the right. There are no exit routes through the bouldercrack. At the oppsite coast of the camp site, another crack lets you to climb about 40 mt to get a weak gsm signal with Turkcell. This crack can be considered as an exit point with a 2 hour climbing to village Yıldız. Preferably, completing the canyon route is much easier at this point than climbing so it is not highly recommended.
Route: 2km, descalating from 420 to 300m
4 boted, 6natural stations ,abseiling between the range 3 and 15 m.
This is the point where the canyon walls open wide. The route is not followed till the hydroelectric generator, the activity iscompleted with a short trekking in the woods to the village Yıldız
***Syphons located: 3 after the grand waterfall,3after the intersectionof the branches
***The syphon locations may vary depending on the water level and any other deviants
***Almost half of the bolts fall under extreme water impact , new multi spot safety stations are recommended to built during each activity.
*** In order to pull the rope down after the grand waterfall, either a pulley system or at least 5 people are required . Spare equipment presence is a must.
***Chamber of national parks and local security forces must be informed before the activity. The canyon is in a wild life protection zone.
***According tothe long duration and lack of variable emergency exits, daily weather report should be obtainedfrom the logistics team.
***Entering the canyon with not less then 5 people is highly recommended.
Tugce Elif Topcuoglu