Palandöken new destination for mountain skiing
The Palandöken Mountain and Ski Center in the eastern province of Erzurum, which hosts thousands of local and foreign tourists in winter months and is now fully covered in snow, began hosting various sports events recently.
People who come to the region, particularly for mountain skiing climb to the summit of Palandöken, receive supervision from Turkish Mountaineering Federation (TDF) Mountain Skiing coaches Mustafa Tekin and Yıldırım Beyazıt Öztürk.
Participants enjoy skiing on the 3,200 meter-high Ejder Hill, the summit of Palandöken.
Speaking to journalists, Tekin said the popularity of mountain skiing, which brings together advanced skiing techniques with the knowledge and experience of winter mountaineering, was increasing each passing day.
Tekin said mountain skiing is done after climbing the slopes that no one uses, without needing any mechanical facility, snowmobile or helicopter.
“Mountain skiing is a sub-branch of the TDF and a discipline of the International Mountain Ski Federation [ISMF]. This sport, which has been organized for many years mainly in Europe and all over the world, has a 10-year history in terms of racing in our country. In recent years in Turkey, more athletes started making the mountain skiing and it is rapidly becoming an Olympic branch,” Tekin said.
He said mountain skiing is an important touristic organization and performance hobby, except for athletes and contestants.
“Tourists who come to our country to ski freely find our mountains and snow quality satisfactory. Our region has a very rich position for mountain skiing. Kaçkar Mountains, Ağrı Mountain, the mountains around Lake Van, the mountains of Munzur and the beautiful mountains around Erzurum are the preferred trails for ski lovers,” he said.
Speaking about the importance of this sport for Erzurum, Tekin said: “Erzurum is a city where the mountain skiing branch is carried out actively and as a hobby. It is quite common to see someone skiing every weekend in Palandöken during the winter months. Erzurum city center is very close to the mountains, making transportation very easy to the ski center.”