Monday, February 22, 2010

Ilgaz Ski Resort

I'm slowly expanding the radius of my weekend skiing getaways, resort by resort. Ankara has a couple ski resorts within 3 hours driving time, another within 4, and another within five hours. They also have a teeny-weeny ski hill right outside the city, which we need to check out for off-piste potential. But first it needs to snow more at lower elevations.

Two weekends ago, we visited Ilgaz. It's 3 hours due north of Ankara, just south of the Kure Mountains, and due east of UNESCO World Heritage site, Safranbolu. The terrain is beautiful, less high desert and more Black Sea pine forest topography. The lift tickets were only 20 TL (15 USD) compared to the 90TL tickets at Kartalkaya, and so the cheap fare attracted a different crowd: pedestrians. There were more people standing in the lift line to ride up to the restaurant at the top of the hill than there were skiiers. And, unfortunately, the run is really short, so we'd stand in line for 25 minutes and ski down in a minute and a half. However, we scoped out some nice off-piste potential (an untouched term for Turks resulting in lots of untouched powder). And, of course, it's ALWAYS fun to get out and play in the snow, long lift lines or not.

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