Driving the paved road to Zigana Pass, snow covered five months a year
Zigana Dagi Geçidi is a high mountain pass situated at an elevation of 2,050m (6,725ft) above sea level, located in Gümüşhane Province, near Trabzon Province, in Turkey.
Historical Importance of Zigana Pass
The pass served as a crucial gateway on the historical Silk Road. Historically, traders and travelers had to navigate the Zigana Mountain Pass to reach Trabzon, the port that connected Eastern Anatolia and Iran to the west. The challenges of the Zigana Mountains inspired various songs and folk tales. The pass has been the site of numerous accidents, often caused by blizzards and avalanches. Highlighting its perilous nature, trading Greeks used the phrase "Si Zigana Ke Zison" (Try to survive in Zigana) to describe the challenges of traversing this mountainous region.
How long is the road to Zigana Pass?
Perched in the Pontic Mountains, the road to the summit is fully paved. It spans 25km (15.53 miles), starting and ending at the main D885 road. The pass takes its name from the nearby village of Zigana, which is known as a skiing destination.
Is Zigana Pass still in use?
Located in the northeastern part of Turkey, this area is characterized by its unpredictable and often harsh weather. The pass remains covered in snow for approximately five months a year. Due to these extreme conditions, the Zigana Tunnel was constructed in 1988 to bypass the pass. This tunnel, situated to the north of the pass, stands at an elevation of 1,795m (5,889ft) above sea level and is 1,702m (5,584ft) long. It facilitates the D885 road, which is part of the European Route 97.
Pic: Emre Erkan