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New rivers discovered around Antalya
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Author:  scheuer [ 13 Mar 2013, 11:32 ]
Post subject:  New rivers discovered around Antalya

Visiting Turkey and its rivers for many years it is hard to overlook the side effects of the massive economic growth. To make it short, new hydro power projects mushrooming everywhere, the enormous long list of first class rivers is getting shorter fast and steadily. On a rainy day I might grab my dam photos and show you the ugly side of green energy. Today it is time for some good news!
It took nine years and many visits in Antalya area to paddle three really great rivers not far from the airport. One of them I could paddle in 2006 but in general those sections are not described and rather hard to find so who knows how many paddlers have done these rivers. Follow up the thread and get inspired for some new boating in the Western Taurus.

Author:  scheuer [ 13 Mar 2013, 11:40 ]
Post subject:  Gebiz Dere – just one hour from Antalya airport

The first new river described here was our biggest surprise during our 3-months-winter stay, because it is less than an hour away from Antalya airport. And more than that there should be enough water the whole winter till May. As I couldn't find a clear name (the upper part is called Pinargözü Cayi) I call the main section Gebiz Dere, inspired by the small farming town Gebiz which is the main settlement in the area. We could paddle the most easy accessible around the village Haciosmanlar. In low water the first kilometres are an easy II+ gravel section in beautiful landscape, later more and more difficult rapids emerge.

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The first hundred metres after the start. January 2nd with perfect sunshine and low water level. | Photo: Scheuer

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General character of the easy first six kilometres. | Photo: Scheuer

In the center section near the village high above the river enters a short gorge which several cataracts up to class 4-5 in medium water. This part is not easy accessible, but at least in low water everything can be portaged. The last 5 km or so are easy again in fantastic scenery, huge boulder slaloms and some pushy rapids to keep you awake. As I did this section in a solo run, unfortunately there exist no photos of this most interesting part. In February 2013 the run has been done in high water level and the critics were not too bad: One of the best rivers in the Western Taurus. And more than that. There is another 15 km waiting for the first descent including a short but deep box canyon. Also a big left hand trib is possibly to run, adding another 6 km before the normal put-in.

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A tree spicing up! in higher water you can paddle around that one easily. | Photo: Salome Fritz

Author:  scheuer [ 22 Mar 2013, 03:01 ]
Post subject:  Ibisler Dere – clear blue creeking towards Köprülü Kanyon

Sometimes you must wander far to reach the end of the rainbow! To get to this remote river gem you have drive long winding mountain roads, all way up the Köprü Çayı valley. From the rafting put-in at the Oluk Köprü minor roads lead up the valley for endless seeming 70 km. Count two hours to reach the put-in of the Ibişler Dere. As we could not figure out a name for the stream we call it according to the main village Ibişler. Some kilometres after the tiny farming town Kesmeköy you reach the Ibişler watershed and slowly the stream bed fills with clear water. For the easy part you can put-in as soon the water is enough. Two sidestreams from the right join shortly after a new-built hydro powerplant. The first one descends through a gorge, you can reach an upper put-in by car where the dam with the diversion should be located. I don't know if there is a path in the gorge, but this little nice gorge project looks worth to scout and might hide some nice (or nasty) surprises.
Anyway, till May or June you might find enough water to put your boats in the water after the HEP. The next kilometres are easy, two small weirs are runnable after scouting (be aware of sharp rocks and metal stakes), an Alabalik place on the left might prove well for dinner. The river is hardly harder than a class 3, but never boring. Beginners find lots of eddies to play, and there a quite some surfing waves.

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Sunshine and green trees make the Ibisler Dere a pleasant spring time run. The easy part is perfect for intermediates. (May 2012) | Photo: Scheuer

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Some drops in the easy part build up nice class 3 stoppers. (May 2012) | Foto: Salome Fritz

Slowly the valley gets steeper. The bridge to the village Ibişler is a good finish point for class 3 paddlers. After here the current is considerably faster and there are several drops and cataracts class 4-5. Generally you can scout all of them from the road. Take care in that, trust your memory and you can run all the huge drops by heart. When the main road crosses to the right you approach the hardest and most dangerous rapid. A steep slope/cliff on the left prohibits any safety from that side. After a furious entry half of the water gets lost in ugly slots and undercut in the left and center, the sharp bend to the right is mandatory. Pull hard to the right, you don't wanna end in the rock chaos. Carrying around is easy on the right.

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The hardest rapid with the mandatory line to the right. (February 2013) | Photo: Ferdinand Wolff (http://www.paddelschergen.de)

Having managed that the last few hundred metrers offer no big surprises.
At the confluence one can carry up to the road or continue on the Köprü Çayı to the next bridge some 2 km below. The Köprü is adding 100 to 200 % of the water, so you easily might find yourself in a 60 cubes big water wave splash. The first 500 m are perfect to get used to the big waves.

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Easy water right after the confluence, in front the snow mountains of the Köprülü Kanyon. (February 2013) | Photo: Ferdinand Wolff (http://www.paddelschergen.de)

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Some drops require precise lines to avoid the »sucker eddies« at the bottom. (February 2012) | Photo: Ferdinand Wolff (http://www.paddelschergen.de)

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Tight route finding between nasty rocks and huge holes. (February 2012) | Photo: Ferdinand Wolff (http://www.paddelschergen.de)

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Yeah, babe, that's big water. (February 2012) | Photo: Ferdinand Wolff (http://www.paddelschergen.de)

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The exit of this long rapid can be taken right or left. | Photo: Ferdinand Wolff (http://www.paddelschergen.de)

If your team is strong the whole run down to the bridge should be feasible at least in low water. In any level before of huge siphs, enormous holes and big big water. Before it is getting to much you can climb up the right slope 15 min to the Kasımlar road.
The conclusion? Two rivers, two kinds of whitewater kayaking, a great day!

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