Ascent of Mount Ararat -5165 m
Price From $748 per guest (group of seven or more)
Ararat is the highest point of the Armenian highlands. This snow-capped dormant volcanic cone is located in the province of Igdir, 16 km west of Iran and on the border with Armenia. Unfortunately, the centuries-old Armenian symbol of holiness Ararat, passed under the protectorate of Turkey in 1921 at the whim and collusion of the Soviet authorities.
A smaller cone of 3,896 m (12,782 ft), Little Ararat, rises from the same base, southeast of the main peak. A lava plateau extends between the two peaks. The last activity on the mountain was a major earthquake in July 1840, centered around the Akori Gorge, a north-east facing chasm that falls 1,825 meters (6,000 feet) from the top of the mountain.
The traditional Armenian name for Ararat is Masis ( Մասիս). According to historians, it goes back to the name of the sacred mountain of Akkadian mythology Mašu - “twin”, which characterizes the two peaks of the mountain. Such an explanation correlates with the etymology of the name of the country Erkuaḫi (from the armenian erku - “two”), which was located in the region of Mount Ararat and was part of the ancient Armenian community Etiuni during the Urartu period.
Names: In many languages, except Kurdish and Turkish, the mountain is referred to as Ararat. In Armenian mythology, this mountain has always been the home of the gods of the Armenian sacred pantheon. But later, in Abrahamic religions, Ararat is the place where Noah moored the ark after the great flood. The Turks call it Agri Dagi (Mountain of Pain) and the Kurds call it ciyaye Agiri (Mountain of Fire), probably due to its volcanic activity.
The first ascent to the Great Ararat was made on September 27, 1829 by Johann Friedrich Parrott, a professor at the University of Dorpat, accompanied by the following group: Khachatur Abovyan, an interpreter and guide, two soldiers - Alexei Zdorovenko and Matvey Chalpanov, as well as two peasants from the village of Akori - Hovhannes Ayvazyan and Murad Poghosyan
The mythology and mysteries of Ararat:
Mount Ararat has been the subject of attempts to find Noah’s ark for many years.In ancient times, climbing was considered a deed against God. Researchers have not stopped trying to find one of the most mysterious relics.
One of the first who undertook a search for Noah’s Ark was James of Nisby, who lived back in the 4th century. According to the 5th century Armenian historian Phaustos Byuzand (Byzantine), Jacob asked God to show him Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat. When he “was already near the summit, he fell into a deep sleep, and in a dream an angel appeared to him and said: “Jacob, God has heard your prayers and fulfilled your request: what is at your feet is part of the ark. Take it and do not try to go higher, it pleases God.” Jacob woke up and saw at 4,350 meters, a piece of wood with traces of resin that could be evidence of Noah’s ark. He took it and set off with his companions on the return journey. This piece of wood to this day is kept in the Etchmiadzin Cathedral and a piece of Noah’s ark was given to Catherine II in 1768 as a sign of friendship between the two nations.
In the 1950s, the Frenchman De Navarre claimed to have found a piece of wood from the ark, but subsequent scientific dating showed it to be too recent.
Another famous ark finder on Mount Ararat was astronaut James Irwin, who set foot on the moon in 1971.
The story of Noah’s ark on Mount Ararat is an important foundation for the Christian world as well as for Judaism and even Islam.
Another mountain behind:
Ararat (5135m) is “one of the must-see peaks” in the climbers' piggy bank. It is considered to be the perfect starting point for getting acquainted with the High Mountains, as no technical knowledge is required for the ascent. Only willpower and confidence that you can and want to reach the summit.
For a long time, the Bible Mountain was closed. Then there were wars and exorbitant prices… But now we are glad to invite you to Ararat! It’s safe and not expensive!
A beautiful route, instructors with high altitude experience in the mountains.
There is no reason for refusing! You’ll be proud to tell about such a vacation and remember it with kindness.
Day 1 - Transfer to the foot of Mount Ararat
We will meet at the appointed place, check our gear and equipment, and the beginning of our interesting journey awaits us.
We leave Yerevan in the direction of Gyumri. After getting through the formalities at the Bavra checkpoint on the border, we enter Georgia. Then we will cross one more checkpoint on the border with Turkey. Along the way the group will be given the opportunity to stop for lunch at any place they wish. Our final destination for today’s trip is the town of Dogubayazet. If the group is interested, we can make a stop in the city of a thousand and one churches, Ani for a tour.
We settle into the hotel, take a little walk. In the evening - dinner, during which the guide will answer tourists' questions and tell about the travel plan. Dinner will be an opportunity for all participants to get acquainted. Overnight at the hotel in Bayazet.
Day 2 - Beginning of the ascent to an altitude of 3200
In the morning, after breakfast the minibus will take us to the slopes of Mount Ararat to the starting point of the ascent, the village of Eli, at an altitude of 2200 meters. The road from the town to the start point takes about 1 hour. Half of the road is covered with gravel. Here we take our light backpacks and start the hike to the camp at an altitude of 3200 m. Large backpacks, camping gear and luggage will be taken to the camp on horses. The length and the duration of today’s route is about 6-7 km and will take 4-5 hours of hiking. Lunch boxes and water will be provided in the camp, and in the camp you’ll have dinner with hot dishes and tea, carefully cooked by the cook. Overnight stay in tents at the camp at 3200 m.
The passage is difficult and necessary to tone up your body. The guides are cheerful people and tell a lot of funny stories. So we will not be bored :)
👣 The hike of 6 km. ⏳ The duration is 5 hours. ↑ The altitude is 1000 m.
Day 3 - Crossing to Assault Camp
In the morning we will warm up a little bit before breakfast, our muscles which are clogged up from the first day of the crossing. After a nice breakfast we will start the second day’s hike to the camp at 4200 m. We again take water, lunchboxes and other necessary things in our small backpacks. The heavy stuff will be carried to the camp on horses.
The route will be steeper and more tiring.We ascend to the assault camp, have a snack, communicate with tourists who have already been to the summit. Arrival at the camp in the afternoon. In the assault camp we make a bivouac and begin to prepare equipment. After an early dinner, the instructor will tell you about the safety rules, will check if you have packed everything in your backpacks and, if necessary, will give you cats and will teach you how to use them. We go to bed very early.
The length and duration of the route on the second day will be about 5-6 km and up to 5-7 hours.
👣 5 km. ⏳ 7 h. ↑/↓ 950m.
Day 4 - Assault Day
We wake up at midnight, get dressed, have a light breakfast, turn on our flashlights and go out on the trail. On the way we meet the sunrise and see the shadow of the volcano to the horizon.
Most of the luggage will stay in the camp, we take with us only small backpacks for necessary supplies: water, snack, cats, cameras, batteries, etc. The route will be even steeper and more tiring! Closer to the summit you will have to walk in snow, wearing crampons, the snow is often frozen and slippery. For safety reasons you should never deviate from the route.
The hummocks are replaced by huge stones, and towards the end there is a glacier. We would reach our goal in 5-6 hours. According to the latest measurements the height of Ararat Peak is 5137m, while earlier it was 5,165m. We will stay 30-40 minutes on top of Ararat. The pictures, the euphoria of the summit and the glitter in the paws. The endless expanses of the Armenian highland will open up before us. On a clear day we have a good view even of Yerevan! It seems as if we are on the roof of the world.
We go down to our tents, have lunch, pack up and start descending to Camp 1. The crossing will be difficult, on steep slopes with a significant drop in elevation, so be prepared for this. At the camp the mountain sickness will subside a little bit and we can celebrate, drink Ararat cognac for the summit, have a rest, have dinner and sleep. Overnight in camp -1.
Day 5 - Descent to Dogubayazet
We go down to the village of Eli and the transport takes us back to civilization. Warm showers, hotel, restaurant…) We will go on a tour to the ancient fortress of Bayazet and see the palace of Ishak Pasha. In the evening we will feast, taste local delicacies, share impressions, exchange contacts and photos. And full of new impressions we will go to the world of dreams.
👣 6 km ↓ 1150m
Day 6 - Reserve day in case of bad weather
Due to the fact that the weather in the mountains is always unexpected, we will have one extra day in reserve for unforeseen circumstances. However, if nothing else, we will enjoy extra excursions on this day.
We will go in the direction of Lake Van. Van is almost no different than the sea: huge in size, crystal clear and salty. Swimming there is a pleasure! We will visit Akhtamar Island, where there is the oldest Armenian shrine, Holy Cross Cathedral. We will also rent a boat for an interesting excursion on the waters of the lake. On the shores of the lake, we are still living in ancient times, mainly Armenians. We will buy delicious fresh fish from them, and they will cook it on the spot. In a word, today we’ll have a rest as much as possible:).
Day 7 - Going home
After breakfast, we drove towards our home town. From Bayazet we drive towards Igdir and the town of Tuzluja/Kohb. On the way we will stop near the Arax River, then reach Kars. If the group wishes, we can take a walk along Kars or Ani. From there we head for the Turkish-Georgian border. We will enter Georgia and then go through Javakhk region to the Georgian-Armenian border. When we arrive in Yerevan, we bring with us some of the highlights of our lives…
Alas, it is time to say goodbye. At this crossroads of life our roads will part. But years and miles will not destroy our friendship formed in the mountains. We will always remember our adventure and the company that shared it with us.
Until we meet again in the mountains!!!
Transportation according to the program
Accommodation and camping equipment rental (tents)
Meals on the mountain
Drinks on the mountain
Horses for carrying the luggage
Meals outside the mountain
Transfer from the airport