Video: Exploring Alpine Trails on Turkey's Kaçkar Mountains in 'Homeland'

Apr 24, 2021
by Serkan Yalniz  


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.


Photography work from Homeland video project from Turkey 2021. Copyright Mudfolks.
Photography work from Homeland video project from Turkey 2021. Copyright Mudfolks.


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.


Photography work from Homeland video project from Turkey 2021. Copyright Mudfolks.
Photography work from Homeland video project from Turkey 2021. Copyright Mudfolks.


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.


Photography work from Homeland video project from Turkey 2021. Copyright Mudfolks
Photography work from Homeland video project from Turkey 2021. Copyright Mudfolks.

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.





18 Comments

  • 6 0
 Roman general Lucullus fought with Mithydrates king of Anatolia and Tigranes the Armenian king over there around 100b.c., maybe there are some ancient roman roads, like in the Alps? Great scenery, I would love to go there mtbiking once.
  • 4 0
 Θάλαττα, θάλαττα (The sea, the sea!). Yep, it's also right about the spot where Xenophon the Athenian led "the Ten Thousand" (10,000 Greek mercenaries hired by Cyrus a pretender to the throne of Persia) out from near certain death after a failed coup attempt. It's a story recorded in Xenophon's _Anabasis_, one of the great adventure stories of all time. It'd be cool to go ride there and check it out.
  • 3 0
 I’m sadly leaving Turkey tomorrow after living here for a couple of years. Not managing to get a trip in to ride the Kaçkar Mountains last summer was definitely my biggest regret Frown After seeing this though, I’ll definitely be back to ride the Kaçkars next year!
  • 5 2
 I'm currently living in Armenia and have been exploring the mountains pretty regularly. They are very similar to the ones in the is video, which makes sense as the two nations share a border. The biggest issue with biking out here, and I'd imagine the same with this region of Turkey, and likely why there is very little actual biking in the video and very little close up of actual "trail" views", is the clear lack of infrastructure. You are riding mostly doubletrack, rough jeep roads, farmers "trails", or completely off-piste. If you're really, really good, I mean top 2%, you could pick your way down many of the steep herding trails. But for those to really be an option, you need a big enduro bike, a lot of skill, especially trials skills as the paths are not at all conducive to any sort of flow, and know that you're working more tech than enduro bro speed. Not turn this into a political situation, but coincidentally yesterday was Armenian Genocide day. Not that the world really knows or cares all that much (Before I moved here I was in that boat as well), but in all reality, this edit would have been in better taste if it dropped a few days later. Just last year Turkey heavily aided an invasion conquest by Azerbaijan that turned into a 3 month war here. Under Erdogan, Turkey has turned into an aggressive nation with intentions that are nothing short of conquest of Armenia.
  • 2 0
 Ive summited Kaçkar Mountains twice once from Ayder side once from Rize side. First one I was 9 years old and second time 14.
It's a magical place and as I grew older I imagine all the incredible riding there is in the region.
I will look into this for the next couple of years.

Tebrikler!
  • 1 0
 Merhaba arkadas. Bence Turkiye bisiklet guiding cok kucuk. Bence avrupa insalar istiyor gitmek Goreme de dag bisiklet. I think there is real opportunity to have small staff in Goreme. Pickup European riders from airport, hotel shuttle, bike shuttle to best Goreme spots. Goreme is kickass tourism location, super old carved churches and underground tunnels etc. I think there is a real business opportunity here. You guys should consider. 2019 evim Istanbulda, ama British Columbia evim. Turk ailem var. Iyi sans.
  • 2 0
 There is already a company in Göreme doing guided mountain biking tours there. As great as Göreme/Cappadocia is in general though, I don’t think it’s all that great for a mountain biking holiday alone. Riding there is fun for a day or two, then the novelty quickly wears off. That’s not to say it’s not a world class tourist destination in general - it definitely is however, I think the real untapped opportunity to develop mountain bike tourism in Turkey is absolutely in the Kaçkar mountains.
  • 3 3
 sorry about my negative response but with that landscape along with an adequate bike and nice photo equipment it was a fail for me watching the support vehicle climb mountain dirt roads. The stopper for me was all the SLO-MO and worse there was no epic dirt spray to accompany said slo. I will spare my revue of the musical accompaniment.
  • 4 0
 Nice Landy commercial
  • 3 1
 lol ummm, where's the steep freeride lines? the entire video is of him driving the sweet defender.
  • 2 0
 Beautiful landscape, makes me want to visit. The video could use some more actual riding though.
  • 1 0
 The mountain seems amazing. The lack of actual riding footage disappoints though. Speaking as a pinkbike user though, for a general youtube audience it's great.
  • 2 0
 Even sans bike that place looks magnificent. Bravo
  • 2 0
 Incredible view, amazing edit. Well done!
  • 2 0
 Stunning landscapes!
  • 1 0
 This video needed way more of him riding instead of it being about tourism
  • 1 0
 Most of the video of him riding is in slo-mo, or maybe its just a slow bike?
  • 1 0
 gorgeous ❤️

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2021. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.010075
Mobile Version of Website