After a surprisingly warm, still, windless night at 3100 metres, with the only noise coming from the two Daves, someone who tried to trample our tent at 6am, and someone who tried to enter it half an hour later, the sun hit the tent before 7am and had warmed things nicely by the time we got up.
We are on the route to the toilet, and judging by all the clumping feet we were about the last to rise, on yet another 'blue sky day'.
Ann and Breda decided to have a day off, so of the six who decided not to climb Mount Emler yesterday, only four - the two Daves, Joanna and Lil - returned up the path to the col and on to the summit today. Turan went with them and they enjoyed a good day out, completing the there and back route in about six hours.
That was 'Day 7 - Climb Emler Peak' according to the KE itinerary.
The rest of us, having climbed that peak yesterday, could enjoy an 'optional' additional walk. Our horseman, Bekir, knew the way, so he led us up to the unnamed peak that we can see from near the campsite. Elif assumed her usual position at the rear. Her trousers are looking even more battered than Tessa's shorts (which takes some doing). We had an amusing incident with the shepherds a couple of days ago when one of them said to Turan (in Turkish) "You can leave her behind" - pointing to Elif. Elif is a mountain guide in her own right and acknowledged the compliment in Turkish, to the embarrassment of the shepherd, who then addressed her as 'sister'.
The more or less pathless route led across scree and a few minor rock bands before reaching a ridge that led to the summit. Far below us was a glacial moraine with a few patches of ice revealing the residue of the glacier within the bounds of the moraine. Carey lagged behind, then zoomed on ahead, returning down under his own steam. The youth preferred his own company today.
From the views (today's picture is of the camp site early this morning) you would perhaps conject that there is very little life in this barren area. But there is life. The rock crevices and even their shaley surfaces are full of life. Today Sue photographed a number of Alpine plants, and a large flock of snow finches entertained us with their acrobatics near the summit.
It was a great spot. We dallied there for about an hour then headed down a quick descent route. A superb scree run, joyfully led by Bekir. Everyone managed fine as we descended, quite sportingly at times, as there were intervening rock bands and narrow skittery paths to negotiate.
A sting in the tail took us over an unexpected knoll, then down steep rock, past the horses to the camp site. It had been a great circular route, taking from 9.15am to 2.45pm. We could see the other four descending with Turan and some back up transport (one of our horses is unwell), about half an hour behind us. They joined us for tea with Mahmut, our jolly chef, who unfortunately has a tedious case of heartburn.
The rest of the sunny afternoon was spent relaxing, though Carey, Sue, Alan and Elif braved the icy waters of the nearby lake.
Others used various means of cleaning themselves, from a rudimentary drippy cold shower to baby wipes. The clever people (Roy and Susan) had left a bucket of cold water to warm in the sunshine. It works!
Today some threatening clouds appeared and we even had some brief periods of shade! Cloud hung over part of tomorrow's route, but by dusk it had become fluffy and disparate. Hopefully the weather will hold.
Despite Mahmut's heartburn he prepared another tasty dinner for us - soup, couscous with stew and salad, melon, beer, tea, etc, after which the cool of the evening drove us back to our sleeping bags, following a lengthy game of Uno.
NB Whilst I think these postings from Turkey are transmitting, albeit there was no signal at the 'top camp' so several days will be posted at the same time, no comments are getting through to us here, so if anyone has made a comment we probably won't see it until we get home.
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