Mount Karagol: Winter Adventure in Giresun

karagol giresun

Mount Karagol: Winter Adventure in Giresun

Greetings from Mount Karagöl in Giresun. This region is invaluable for winter mountaineering, yet it has remained relatively unknown and unexplored due to its pristine nature and lack of recognition. The history of this climb dates back to February 2, 2023, when we, Mete Durmuş, Levent Sevinç, Özcan Turan, attempted the first winter ascent from Giresun. However, due to severe weather conditions, we had to cancel the climb. Now, on January 24, 2024, we returned to attempt the first winter ascent of the South-East face of Karagöl Mountain, once again with the same group of people.

January 24, 2024:
Karagöl Mountain is located in the Aksu Village area, belonging to Dereli District, 90 km away from Giresun. We departed from Giresun at 07:00. Upon reaching Dereli District, we stopped for some shopping and breakfast before heading towards Aksu Village. The icy and snowy roads made it somewhat challenging to reach Aksu Village, and we even had to use a tractor for part of the journey, thanks to the assistance of the village headman. We arrived at Aksu Village at 10:00, where we were warmly welcomed by the village imam, who offered us tea as usual. After having our tea and making final preparations, we set out at 11:20.

Upon quickly entering the mosque and emptying our bags, Levent and I started preparing the meal. It was already evident that the night would be cold, with temperatures dropping to around -14 or -18 degrees Celsius. After quickly preparing and eating our meal, I began boiling hot water in thermoses. We melted snow to meet our need for plenty of water and then settled in for the night. We woke up intermittently throughout the night, and upon hearing the sound of the storm, we realized the situation was not favorable. As we discussed the timing for the summit ascent, we went back to sleep.

January 25, 2024:
We woke up at 06:00, and the wind was still blowing strongly. Mete and Özcan suggested canceling the summit climb due to the cold of the night having affected them. Without responding, I went back to sleep. At 07:30, I heard Levent’s voice, saying, ‘Cemre, let’s give the summit a try.’ His words prompted me to quickly get up and start preparing. After having a quick snack, we set out for the summit at 08:15.

The wind had blown away the loose snow overnight, leaving us to walk on a hard layer of snow. We continued our journey towards the ridge line at a slow pace and without stopping, reaching it at 10:10. After a short break for hot tea and a light snack, we quickly proceeded towards the summit. We reached the summit at exactly 12:00. After taking the customary photographs and having some snacks, we left the summit at 12:10 and quickly descended to the mosque area. We arrived at the camp area at 14:00, where Mete welcomed us with hot coffee. After drinking our coffees, we packed up our bags and descended to Aksu Village, reaching it at 16:30.

Just as we were about to head back to Giresun, the motor oil filter of our car burst due to the cold, causing all the oil to drain out of the engine. We had to call for a tow truck, which marked the end of our expedition.

Our initial point is the mosque in the festival area, which will serve as our campsite. This point is located at approximately 2600 meters above sea level. There wasn’t as much snow as we had hoped, but there were some areas where we sank knee-deep due to snow accumulation by the wind. When we reached the first settlement, we found a house with its door open, where we quickly entered to have something warm to drink and snack on before continuing our journey. We arrived at our campsite, the mosque, at 17:20.”



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