Yabani (The Savage)
This magnificent natural line in the Olive Groves-Karain Sector of Çakıt climbing area in Adana is no ordinary 8b+ to me..
When I first came to Çakıt years ago, my first remark to Suleyman Vardal, kind of a mentor to me, was ‘Man, it’s huge!’.. the first route was established with great fear and motivation, and with the outstanding motivation of Adana Team, the routes developed with machine-like hard work became sectors and these efforts created a new climbing area.. Yabani revealed itself on one of these days of hard work..
This route Caglar Bildircin established on a magnificent natural line added value to Karain Sector; and to Çakıt.. During my attempts years ago, I believed the part up to the crux could be done with work but it would take time.. The crux? Forget about it.. too hard..
When new attempts and a vision developed as years passed got me to do the lower part, I was totally pleased.. like I had completed the route, although it was just the lower part until the crux that I had climbed.. till there, the grade is about 8a... But then the crux.. started trying again, though without much hope.. a long break and I get away from the route.. on vacation..
During vacation in Geyikbayırı and climbing areas abroad I tamed my body. Inbetween trips I come and try the route but the wet rock, snakes, bats and birds are major put offs.. The rock is wet almost all through the climbing season.. Only after the summer months, through September, October and November the rock dries up.. November is ideal for climbing but it might rain.. And it’s too hot for climbing during noon through September and October.. the only opportunity is quick attempts in the afternoon.. Waiting for the wet holds on the crux to dry up after rain means pretty much the same thing as waiting for next year.. Rain following very promising attempts, accidents and the fact that birds nested in the cracks on the route are among the prey of snakes.. Wildlife.. A hissing sound from the hold- and my eyes came across the fangs of Sahmeran* during a climb.. As I failed to get the snake off the hold, attempts got postponed to the following year.. I mean, it’s a freakin’ snake man..
I returned with a fitter body but the burning of muscles and tears coming from bigger biceps is the same old.. No way up the route.. but this time I have a new line of moves for the crux.. with this, the impossible difficulty let through a beam of hope for me.. Man, for the first time I believed I could get the crux done.. I dosed up my devoted attempts.. Now I could definitely make it to the crux each time.. And the only obstacle left was climbing the crux..
The route got me into a life to be learnt in the wild.. I threw myself into nature, climbed different routes in different areas, wandered like a dervish-goat.. Flew with the birds.. Learned to hunt snakes and befriended bats.. Let my hair and beard grow, mingled into the wilderness.. All my efforts were in preparation for the route.. I had become ‘Savage’.. and I returned..
It was time to reflect what I had learnt through the other climb in the wild onto this one.. When I returned after a long time away there was again bird nests and bats on the route.. needed struggle.. This time I won this bare handed battle and briefly took reign over the line from the animal-kingdom.. For the first time in my life, the route was dry and clean.. I was super excited and knew I could climb it.. The magnificent feeling that I always have was with me again.. That day would be this day.. On a sunny day in Adana the wind swept my face and the weather was perfect for friction, with my old friend Caglar Bildircin on belay, as I got through the last move of the crux, for a moment I shifted dimensions and saw myself in a totally different world.. looked through all my attempts in the last five years and was reborn.. was reborn into the world and did that last hard move.. Through the rest of the route I ran my way to success.. and the following outcry ‘GOD!’.. I shivered and shrieked.. with me, all wild things and Adana Team screamed..
I was now a true ‘Savage’.. November 20 2011..
Only a small group of people saw this spectacular moment of climbing that day and those who shared this energy became special people.. Now when you stand across the route and look, you would still feel this energy and understand what I mean better..
Yabani (The Savage)... 8b+… First ascent...
The post-climb party started with whiskey in the mini glasses I brought in from China. The new word for ‘cheers’ I picked up in China: GAMBE!!! It means cheers in a single shot. Because I and Peyami (Nazik) are from Adana, we had the rest of our Gambe’s in larger glasses.. The Adana Team dropped in and Gambe’s were all around the house.. I remember yelling Gambe all night.. Wanted to take a 15 minute nap after two bottles of whiskey’d been drank. Asked Çağlar (Çaylı) to wake me up in 15 minutes, but they had him sleeping next to me in 10 minutes, so early next morning I woke up to a house full of empty bottles only.. I wish I could say the party for this significant climb for the Adana climbers’ circle was awesome, but after drinking a superb bottle of whiskey I slept through the party and missed everything, so I won’t be able to give details.. I had the load off my back and the Savage within me was now unstoppable..
I thank Adana Team for their patience, efforts, support and motivation.. For better, together..
*Semi-Human semi-snake creature from Middle Eastern folk tales. Several versions of its tale exist, the common theme is mankind’s betrayal and the following curse. Rule over serpents is attributed to it.
Video of Yabani;
Trailer of Yabani 8b+;