In the rainy and lush landscapes of
northeastern Turkey, the Kaškar mountains form the northern section of the
Anatolian mountain chain. The Kaškar-Kavron summit, at an altitude of 3932
meters, is the highest point in the range. Extensive glacier and water erosion
have given these mountains their craggy, rugged look, and they are known for the
complexity and power of the streams and rivers which rush down to the lower
altitudes. In fact, this range is the third most important glacial region in
Turkey following the Agri (Ararat) and Cilo-Sat mountains. The geological and
mountaineering aspects of the Kaškars contribute to their importance in Turkey's
economy and tourism.
The region enjoys an almost subtropical climate of temperate yet rainy weather
with an average temperature of 14 C. The lowest temperature, 7 C., fall in the
month of January while August sees the hottest days reaching a maximum recorded
temperature of 22.6 C.
The Kaškars rise in between the shores of the Black Sea to the north and the
River Coruh valley to the south. On the northern flank, a good variety of
vegetation flourishes in the rainy climate. Up to 500 meters above sea level,
tea plantations and citrus orchards cover the hillsides. Chestnut, hornbeam,
beech and other large-leafed trees forest the slopes to 750 meters. Between
750-1500 meters of elevation, pines mix in with the large leafed trees forest
the slopes to 750 meters. Between 750-1500 meters of elevation, pines mix in
with the large leafed trees until gradually they remain the only species of tree
from 1500-2000 meters. Alpine meadows and other grassy vegetation covers the
ground above 2100 meters. On the southern faces of the Kaškars, which receive
strong sunshine and less precipitation, the agriculture is based on the
cultivation of fruits and vines. As on the north side in the higher elevations,
meadows of wild flowers and grass blanket the slopes up to 2300 meters.
Trips and Climbs
The Altiparmak, Kavron, Varsamba mountains are the principal peaks of
the Kaškars. Both the north and south faces of the Altiparmak and Kavron can be
scaled but Varsamba should only be attempted from the north face. It is
imperative to use a local guide when climbing the Kaškars.
[ Home ] [ Up ]