Kaçkar Mountains hold a very special place in the northeast of Anatolia, with the unique geography and mostly untouched nature. It was always on the bucket list to discover the mountains that embrace my homeland. While the global pandemic is keeping us away from social interactions, it was the right time to head up to the trails and see what those mountains were about to offer.
The idea behind this journey was just to have fun exploring new riding lines, without going hard and taking any risks. The mountains are standing far away from the city and the only way to access these remote places, and maintain to stay there, can only be done with a capable car. In this case, our Land Rover Defender was a great companion to travel across the mountain range. In order to drive to the spots we choose for riding locations, it was probably the only way of doing it. Apart from the riding time we got, spending some time driving behind the wheel also brought joy to the trip, and I also need to mention the beautiful nights spent camping under the starry skies.
The Kaçkars rise above the Black Sea and reach out to almost 4000 meters of altitude. With many different mountain peaks and valleys, ice lakes and plateaus, the variety of different riding scenarios is limitless. Many of the spots we found did not include any sign of singletrack, but yet they offered amazing short downhill sections with incredible views. The sense of riding into the clouds and laying the first ever tire marks never gets less exciting. Seconds after pointing the bike wherever you want to go, you start to care less about everything else.
These mountains are still far from being conquered, even after spending many days exploring the mountain sights, there are still a lot more spots to be visited. As we approach the beginning of the summer, the blanket of snow will melt away and I can get back to my homeland mountains again.