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Photographer's Note

This photograph was taken in Mount Ilgaz on the road between Cankiri and Kastomonu


"Ilgaz, you great mountain in Anatolia. Your misty peak reaches up to the sky..." It was in that popular children's song that we first heard of Ilgaz, and would try to envisage a towering, snow covered mountain. The magnificent Ilgaz of our imagination sent a thrill through us as we sang, and the mountain would call to us in turn. Would the reality be a disappointment after so many years of living with that picture painted by a child's imagination? Indeed no. The first time Ilgaz comes into sight with its snowy summit wreathed in clouds, the impression of extraordinary height is greatly enhanced.

Ilgaz is an unspoilt delight in every season. You can get your first taste of winter walking across its unblemished snowy slopes, smell the first flower which opens in spring, find shade from the blazing sun beneath its pine trees, and savour the brilliant colours of autumn. Mount Ilgaz is 165 km north of Ankara and 400 km east of Istanbul, not far to discover nature at its most perfect and untouched, where those escaping the stresses of city life can ski, walk and just admire the scenery.

Mount Ilgaz is now a national park and subject to strict conservation regulations. Set on the boundary between Turkey's dry central plateau and the wet Black Sea region, this sprawling mountain is thickly forested with black pine and Scots pine trees. When the clouds which appear from nowhere to wrap themselves around the mountain's heights disperse you can catch a momentary glimpse of the twin peaks of Ilgaz, known as Buyuk Hlacet (2587 m) and Kucuk Hlacet (2548 m). Instead of remaining as merely an observer of this disappearing act and nature's untiring movement, try joining in yourself. The Ilgaz skiing season lasts from 1 December to 30 March. There are three natural ski slopes, where not a single tree has been felled. As well as the main 1000 metre run there are two other superb runs of 750 metres and 1500 metres respectively, all served by a 1000 metre ski lift and 750 metre baby lift. The powder snow here provides excellent skiing material, which combined with a fairly long winter sports season is rapidly taking Ilgaz out of the realm of imagination and onto the holiday map.
(THY Skylife Magazine Februray 1997)

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Additional Photos by Salim Fikirkoca (sufi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1705 W: 165 N: 1512] (9588)
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