Erciyes, with an elevation of 3916 meters, is a volcanic mountain whose summit is always covered with snow and fog, and has become synonymous with the city of Kayseri. This lava-spewing mountain, responsible for the 'fairy-chimney' rock formations in nearby Cappadocia, impressed the Meek people living at its base so much that their coins bear an impression of the mountain with lava boiling out of the top. The first person to successfully make the summit was W. J. Hamilton in 1837, and the first Turk was Miralay Cemil Cahit Bey in 1924.
Besides being a popular spot for mountain climbers, it is also one of Turkey's best winter-sport resorts. From the top of the mountain, if the weather is clear, there is a stunning view of an area stretching from Cappadocia to the Taurus Mountains.
Location: In South of the Central Anatolian city of Kayseri.
The Best Time for Summer Climbs: Between May and October.
Characteristics: An inactive volcano, it is the highest peak in Central Anatolia. On the northern slope there is a 700m mountain glacier, and on the eastern slope at an elevation of 2100-2900 meters, is the Tekir plateau which is a winter sports centre. The hike from the ski-lift to the campsite at Cobaninine takes about 2½ - 3 hours in winter. The climb from Cobaninine to Mola tasi, at the head of Seytan Creek, takes an hour, and climbing on cross-country skis is popular. From here, it takes about 2-3 hours to reach the summit of the smaller peak. In the winter months, there is a danger of avalanches in Seytan's Creek and in the spring (May and June), it is necessary to wear a helmet because of the falling rocks.
Transport and Accommodation: Kayseri can be reached from Istanbul and Ankara by road, train and plane. There is a heated 100-bed mountain resort on the Tekir plateau, with telephone connection, and also a new 100-room hotel. Kayseri has a wide selection of hotels and restaurants.
Climbing Equipment: Crampon, rope, pick, helmet, a variety of safety gear (like an ice-auger, and hammer) and camping equipment.
Climbing from the Tekir plateau: This is the safest ascent. The mountain resort, which can be reached via Hisarcik, is 25km from Kayseri. From the resort, the ascent and descent can be completed in about 8-10 hours. Climbing up the north-west face is a little more difficult but a very enjoyable climb. From Kayseri go to Hacilar and then Sutdonduran plateau (2850 m.) via Akinyurdu. Camp can be set up here.