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“Runaway” Bolting On Yeniçeriler Route
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Belay station with bolts. Photo: Engin Osmanağaoğlu and Rauf Pınarbaşı, 2012

Bolts. Photo: Engin Osmanağaoğlu and Rauf Pınarbaşı, 2012

Bolts. Photo: Engin Osmanağaoğlu and Rauf Pınarbaşı, 2012

Olcay Caf, climbing on the second pitch (crux) of "Yeniçeriler" in trad style during the first ascent. Photo: Doğan Palut, 2004

Doğan Palut on the slabs of "Yeniçeriler" just before the summit. Photo: Olcay Caf, 2004

Güçlü Özen, climbing on "Yeniçeriler" in trad style (first repeat of the route). Photo: Uğur Eylem Alkan, 2010

On August 23, 2012, Turkish climbers Engin Osmanağaoğlu and Rauf Pınarbaşı started their day with the goal of climbing the multi-pitch “Yeniçeriler (The Janissaries)” route on the west face of Mount Yeniçeri in the Aksampınarı Valley of Aladağ Mountain Range (Niğde, Turkey), but they had a surprise: the route which had its first ascent in trad style was bolted!

Yeniçeriler (The Janissaries) was first climbed by Turkish climbers Doğan Palut and Olcay Caf in 2004. The team climbed completely in traditional style and the first repeat was in 2010 which was also done with traditional protection. The line starts with an obvious dihedral for two pitches, and then follows gullies and slabs typical of Aladağ climbing style until the summit. According to the Engin and Rauf duo; couple of bolts were placed at the belay stations for first two pitches; and there were about 20 bolts on the rest of the climb, both on belays and on the route.

We do not know who put the bolts and when they put them; nevertheless, the general consensus among the local climbers is that they were a foreign team. This disrespectful approach of bolting in the mountains is completely against both the UIAA Mountain Ethics Declaration and Tyrol Declaration.

As TAKOZ Team we strongly disapprove the behaviour no matter who did it or why.

You may get further information about the route from Takoz - Issue 23 and from this article on our website.

Some key articles from Tyrol Declaration:

Article 4 – Visiting Foreign Countries
As guests in foreign cultures, we should always conduct ourselves politely and with restraint towards the people there – our hosts. We will respect holy mountains and other sacred places while seeking to benefit and assist local economy and people. Understanding of foreign cultures is part of a complete climbing experience.
2. Strictly adhere to any climbing regulations implemented by your host country.
3. It is advisable to read up on the history, society, political structure, art and religion of the country visited before embarking on the trip to enhance our understanding of its people and their environment. In case of political uncertainty, seek official advice.

Article 8 – Style
The quality of the experience and how we solve a problem is more important than whether we solve it. We strive to leave no trace.
1. We aim to preserve the original character of all climbs, most especially those with historical significance. This means that climbers should not increase fixed protection on existing routes. The exception is when there is a local consensus – including agreement from the first ascensionists – to change the level of fixed protection by placing new gear or removing existing gear.
2. We respect the diversity of regional traditions and will not try to impose our point of view upon other climbing cultures – nor will we accept their ways imposed upon ours.
3. Rock and mountains are a limited resource for adventure that must be shared by climbers with many interests and over many generations to come. We realize that future generations will need to find their own NEW adventures within this limited resource. We try to develop crags or mountains in a way that doesn’t steal opportunity from the future.
4. Within a region where bolts are accepted, it is desirable to keep routes, sections of cliffs, or entire cliffs free of bolts in order to preserve a refuge for adventure and to show respect for diverse climbing interests.

Article 9 – First Ascents
The first ascent of a route or a mountain is a creative act. It should be done in at least as good a style as the traditions of the region and show responsibility toward the local climbing community and the needs of future climbers.
1. First ascents should be environmentally sound and compatible with local regulations, the wishes of landowners, and the spiritual values of the local population.
2. We will not deface the rock by chopping or adding holds.
3. In alpine regions, first ascents should be done exclusively on lead (no prefixing from above).
4. After giving full respect to local traditions, it is up to the first ascentionist to determine the level of fixed protection on their route (taking into account the suggestions in Article 8).
5. In areas designated as wilderness or natural reserves by land managers or the local access committee, bolts should be limited to an absolute minimum to preserve access.
6. Drilling holes and placing fixed gear during the first ascent of aid climbs should be kept to a bare minimum (bolts should be avoided even on belay anchors unless absolutely necessary).
7. Adventure routes should be left as natural as possible, relying on removable protection whenever it is available and using bolts only when necessary and always subject to local traditions.
8. The independent character of adjacent routes must not be compromised.

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