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Ala Dag Turkey

Ala Dag Turkey ski mountaineering expedition, April 2008

Expedition team: Declan Phelan, Brad Williamson, Jim Roberts, Erika Pilkington, Michael Cocker, Richard Cowper, Shirin Kiral and leader Rob Collister 

Richard Cowper has set off with half a dozen expedition members for the Ala Dag massif in the centre of Turkey's famed and wild Taurus mountains. Sometimes called the Crimson Mountains because of their colour at sunset, the Ala Dag, just east of Adana, is often compared to the Italian Dolomites and is the toughest area in Turkey for mountaineering.

For ski-mountaineering it is very much exploratory territory. Summits go up to 3,700metres and many have yet to be ascended on ski. In winter it is a wild area inhabited by wolves and the occasional bear and all skiing has to be done from tents, on foot and with skins attached to the bottom of the skis.

Richard Cowper is a member of the several-week long Eagle Ski Club expedition, starting on April 5, 2008 and led by Rob Collister, one of Britain's leading ski mountaineers. Report to follow in late April.