Sunday, February 15, 2009

Skiing at Kartalkaya

Well, it's no Montana, but there is snow and there are ski hills not far from Ankara. The last two Sundays, I hopped on a local ski tour bus to Kartalkaya, or Eagle Rock, ski resort. The first time, I ventured out by myself; the second, I managed to convince some friends to come along.

The bus picked us up at 5:45am under a bridge (sketchy, yes, but bus stops are in the weirdest places here, and always unmarked), and took us on a snow-free 2 1/2 hour ride to a small resort west of the city. Once we started climbing in elevation, we hit snow, and the bus had to stop to put on chains.
The runs were quite mellow, but it was still fun to get out. The resort is in the high steppe, like Ankara, and so it was bizarre to ski on a tree-less mountain, and not because we were above treeline. All was white. I had good weather and fresh tracks the time I went by myself, but the second time, we ended up picking one of those days where if you lived at the base of the ski hill, you would have woken up, looked at the weather and then gone back to bed. But since we had reserved bus seats in advance, we ended up skiing in sleeting, cold, foggy, windy conditions, not a great combo of weather phenomena. All were troopers, however, and fun was still had. Unfortunately, we didn't get great pictures of the actual skiing, but here we are messing around in the cafe, in between runs, our clothing monopolizing the heating vents.

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