Ever wondered what it was like to hike Mt Nemrut during winter, with everything covered in snow? Well, here’s our snowy experience on the most arduous and challenging hike to the summit of Mt Nemrut to see the famous statues that guarded the royal tomb back in the 1st century BC!
We hiked to the summit of Mt Nemrut during end March and technically, there’s not supposed to be so much snow during this time of the year! We honestly expected it to be a sunny and beautiful hike! But lo and behold, the entire place was covered with snow up to 2 metres or more! It was INSANE. Look at the amount of snow in the photos below! At certain parts, the snow was even up to our hips!
So we stayed at Karadut Pension which was the second accommodation option closest to Mt Nemrut already. You will first have to walk on a relatively flat road of about 6km to Cesme Pension where the upslope begins to Mt Nemrut. Thankfully, we managed to hitch a ride from a pickup truck that was heading to Cesme Pension, so that shaved off quite a couple of kilometres off our hike!
After awhile, you can’t even see the road anymore. The snow was so thick that it reached up to the railing’s height! The signage and buildings were all almost covered in snow too! We met a Australian couple and a Brazilian guy separately who both gave up on hiking to the summit and were turning back. They said that there was just too much snow and it was impossible to hike to the summit. But well, we love challenges and we both knew that we won’t turn back till we’ve reached our limits. And so we continued on….not easy man…
Tip: ALWAYS remember to protect your eyes by wearing shades with UV protection when hiking on snow! I didn’t and ended up with both eyeballs being burnt, suffered from snow glare 🙁 It was torturous! My eyes couldn’t open at all for the next 2 days and I simply slept for 2 whole days straight! Waking up only for meals and also to use the bathroom. Lesson learnt the hard way for me.
It was definitely an arduous journey to the summit of Nemrut. I heard that during summer it’s much easier, but during winter, it’s really no joke, especially the last 1km, so near yet so far!
But look! We made it! 🙂 It took us a total of 6 hours to reach the summit. We heard that during summer it only takes around 3-4 hours. We almost cried for joy when we spotted part of the statues that were guarding the tomb! The adrenaline in us shot up and we walked over as quickly as we could. Seeing the impressive statues in person was an definitely an incredible experience.
Fun fact: See the summit where the statues were guarding? It’s actually a 50m artificial hill made out of crushed rock, an order by the pre-Roman King to have it above his tomb. Due to earthquakes, the 2m high heads of the statues have toppled and have since been placed in front of the statues.
As we were making our way down, we bumped into a group of 4 Thai guys who attempted to climb to the summit of Nemrut but gave up eventually. They were resting and about to head back down when we met them. They had a driver with a van waiting for them at the bottom and lucky us, we managed to hitch a ride back to our hotel. It was much easier walking downslope and also because by then, the tractor had already cleared the way for us. Unlike when we were making our way up to the summit. we needed to pave our own path! Check out the immense amount of snow at the road sides! It was crazy!
So well, we would say that hiking to Mt Nemrut during winter really isn’t for everybody. You need to have a certain level of physical fitness as well as mental strength! Luckily for us, we had quite a fair bit of experience hiking in snow before and hence this wasn’t something new for us. It was of course very easy to just give up and head back down, but well, we’re glad that we manage to persevere on! Definitely worth the effort 🙂
Where we stayed
70TL (US$26.30) for a double bed room
With breakfast, wifi (reception area only, very weak in the room), private shower
Reasonably priced considering the proximity to Nemrut
Good location, 2nd nearest accommodation to Nemrut
Excellent dinner (cooked by the mom) – additional 15TL per person
Very cold! Choose the right room, our first night was super cold despite the heater and multiple layers of blanket
Wifi connection in the room very weak
The shower water was only tepid and the water strengtjn form
How to get here from Siverek
We took a minibus to Kahta (left at 5pm), and alighted at Narince at around 6.30pm
Our bus driver called the owner of Karadut Pension for us. The owner was waiting for us when we alighted. Cost extra 10TL per person for the ride to the pension.