The Cappadocia region in Turkey is very special, and orienteering among the special Cappadocia rock features will be extraordinary. All that is needed is an orienteering map – the work towards getting this remarkable terrain mapped has been started.
According to Czech mapper Aleš Hejna, who has recently been in Turkey evaluating the terrain and its suitability for orienteering, the terrain can best be described as a “stony forest”. The stone features are sandstones, not unlike what you find in many interesting areas in Hejna’s home country. However, the sand stone features in Cappadocia are often even more eye-catching than the Czech variants, due to them being located in non-forested areas and the more yellow color.
The relief consists of a high plateau over 1000 meter in altitude, that is pierced by volcanic peaks. In this area, there are a lot of interesting sandstone formations, which are actually volcanic deposits. Many of the sandstone formations create labyrinths, rock cities and passages – making the terrain very suitable and interesting for orienteering. The volcanic deposits are soft rocks that the people of the villages at the heart of the Cappadocia Region carved out to form houses, churches and monasteries. According to Hejna’s reports, this most detailed terrain around the villages can be mapped as a sprint map – giving some challenging orienteering.
- Turkish runners are also waiting with impatience to run this area the next years, Turkish elite runner Alen Gavar and one of the organizers of Turkey’s biggest orienteering competition Istanbul 5 Days explains, when asked about Cappadocia. - I hope a map will be ready at the end of this year. There are also a lot of other interesting terrains in Turkey still waiting to get mapped. In the meantime, you can find several other Turkish maps in Omaps.worldofo.com – one of the most famous ones being the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
Why should you run on this map before you die?
It is a bit early to choose this map as a candidate for 101 Orienteering Maps you should run on before you die - as there is still no map there. But when there is a map, this will definitely be a candidate – and we will surely want to be among the first travelling there to try out the terrain. This area is interesting because the sandstone formations will give interesting orienteering in an area which gives a lot of spectacular views. The terrain looks like it is a mix of the Czech Sandstone terrain with the openness of a mountain plateau. The Cappadocia region is also on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
|Points of interest:||Webpage of Aleš Hejna (Olle’s maps), Hejna’s report about Cappadocia terrain, UNESCO entry for Cappadocia, Orienteering maps from Turkey|
In addition to finding the best areas which are already mapped, the 101 Orienteering Maps project will also try to identify the great areas which have not been mapped yet – and the Cappadoica region seems to be one worth waiting for. Maybe a good reception from the orienteering community will help some map projects towards realization?
There are many areas around the world which would be perfect for orienteering – but which are not mapped (yet). Have you got some good examples? Please add a comment below and tell us about your dream terrain! We are also interested in more information about terrain containing sandstone areas. The areas in Czech Republic and in part of Germany are famous. Australia is another country which can offer interesting Sandstone orienteering. Do you know about others?
Thanks to Aleš Hejna for providing pictures and information for this article!