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For many people, reaching 5000m above sea level seems too unreal and unattainable. There are many, many mountains above 5000m that can be climbed by any physically fit person, even without special mountaineering training.
Easy 4000m+ mountain climbs, such as Aragats, Ararat, Mont Blanc, etc., allow you to test your body’s resistance at high altitudes. And mountain ascents on “real” mountaineering routes require special mountaineering training and experience. In this case, the height of the mountain is not as important as the technical complexity of the climbing route.
As an example, we can compare Kazbegi (5054m) and Ararat (5165m) from the 5000m+ mountains of the Caucasus region. Ararat surpasses Kazbegi in height, while Kazbek surpasses Ararat in technical complexity. Mount Kazbek is rich in glaciers, which, during the year, depending on weather changes, move or change their shape, causing cracks of different width and depth on the glacier. It is these glaciers that make the ascent of Mount Kazbek so difficult.
As we have already mentioned, the ascent of Mount Ararat is considered a light, uncomplicated mountaineering ascent. But, let’s not rush to conclusions, because the same easy mountain ascent can change into a difficult alpinist mountain ascent in winter or under the influence of bad weather conditions. It should also be taken into account that the word light, in this case, refers to the concept of “light” in the area of high mountain ascents. Therefore, you should treat each high mountain ascent with great responsibility and have sufficient experience for the given ascent.
Showing a correct and competent approach, we consider it necessary to emphasize that hiking experience is highly desirable for the ascent of Mount Ararat. A physically healthy and strong-willed person, accompanied by an experienced mountain guide, can reach the top of Mount Ararat. Here it is important to understand what your goal is. just to reach the top of Ararat and raise the flag, or to have enough experience and be “proud” of your journey that has led you to the top of Mount Ararat?
In order to competently prepare for the ascent of Mount Ararat, it is desirable to start doing it at least a few months before the ascent. Hiking, lower and easier mountain climbs, camping, gym, swimming, running, etc. The organism should be inclined to overcome the physical load at every necessary moment and be ready for trials. It is necessary to participate in at least 1 hike per week, the predominant one of which should preferably be the mountain climbs.
A healthy diet is also very important during the preparation period for climbing Mount Ararat. Remember that what you feed your body will be one of the most important keys to its health. Eat healthy, use a lot of proteins, fruit, vegetables, green. Remove carbonated drinks, fatty food from the routine. Give up harmful habits. Ensure internal and external healthy harmony of your body and organism.
The key to a successful mountain climb is proper acclimatization. In high mountain terrain, mountain sickness (hypoxia) is a common thing, which, in other words, is oxygen starvation. The latter is manifested by headaches, nausea, dizziness, in the worst case even swelling of the lungs, brain and death. In order to avoid accidents, it is necessary to go through a certain phase of acclimatization.
Acclimatization is the habituation of the organism to a new, unfamiliar environment and situations. Depending on the altitude, not only the oxygen in the air is diluted, but also the influence of the sun’s ultraviolet rays intensifies. The body needs to harden and prepare for all these side effects.
Before the ascent of Mount Ararat, our company organizes an acclimatization climb to the highest northern peak of Mount Aragats (4090m). Participants climb up to 4090m and, as a rule, they also understand how ready they are for a 5000m+ mountain climb. Some are very easy to adapt, some are difficult, adaptation is directly related to the individual abilities of the organism.
The right choice of gear and gear is very important, especially for high mountain climbs. In the highlands, the weather changes its mood unpredictably. from heat to cold, from sun to rain, from rain to snow and sun again. Therefore, you should be prepared for any weather conditions on the mountain.
Taking into account our many years of experience in the field of mountaineering, below we will present a list of gear and equipment necessary for the ascent of Mount Ararat, which will surely be very useful for those who have decided to reach the peak.
⇒Professional mountaineering outerwear
⇒Professional mountaineering boots
⇒Extra warm clothes
⇒2 backpacks (60-70 L and 20-35 L)
⇒Sleeping bag (-5 -10 °C)
⇒2 pairs of gloves (heated fleece gloves and windproof gloves)
⇒Winter and summer hats
⇒Medical kit (first-aid kit)
The ascent of Mount Ararat starts from the town of Dogybayazit. Early in the morning we go to the slopes of Mount Ararat, up to 2200m. From here the “real” and steady steps to the top begin.
The hike starts from the height of 2200m. Here you can take your small backpacks (25-30L), water and your lunch box and start walking. Heavy backpacks are carried by horses. We walk up to the first base camp at an altitude of 3200m.
The length of the hike is about 7-8 km, the duration is 4-5 hours.
Here we rest, spend a pleasant and memorable camping evening and night in the base camp.
The second day begins early in the morning. After breakfast, we start walking to the 2nd camp at an altitude of 4200m. The length of the route is 6-7 km. We do acclimatization at a new height. During the acclimatization, if necessary, you can go back down to the first camp, spend the night there, and climb back to the second camp the next morning. Follow your guide’s advice and your body’s cues during the acclimatization.
Overnight in a camp at an altitude of 4200m.
The decisive and desired day begins at night (at 2:00) towards the snow-white peak of Mount Ararat. Before the ascent to the summit, double-check the necessary gear and equipment in your backpack and on you. Follow all the prompts and instructions of your guide for the successful “5165”.
You will start walking at a slow and steady pace. The duration of the route to the top is usually 5-7 hours. You will reach the top, get your dose of excitement, joy, pride, love and euphoric feelings, take a photo and start your descent back to the 2nd camp at 4200m. After rest and lunch you will start walking to the first camp at 3200m.
Overnight will be in the first camp.
After breakfast in the morning, you will start walking to the height of 2200m, from where you took your first steps on Mount Ararat.
You will move to the town of Dogubayazit and this is where the actual ascent of Mount Ararat will come to the end.
We wish you successful ascents, unforgettable feelings and vigilance in every situation that you will encounter during high mountain ascents.
The article was compiled based on observations and materials collected by the ArmLand club.