Southern route is the easiest and by far the most popular one; therefore we
will describe it in detail.
Southern route of Ararat starts in Dogubayazit.
It is rated 1 (easiest in the snow), but the difficulty is in
acclimatization and the changeable weather conditions.
Ararat, at an elevation of 5165 meters, is the highest mountain in
by 1000 meters. The climb becomes
very steep very fast, and most mountaineers are quickly affected by mountain
(search and rescue unit) erected sign posts at every 100 meters. These signs,
which denote the altitude, irritate some of the purist climbers, but are
helpful in showing the correct way up the mountain.
Unfortunately, some of the signs have been damaged; it is not advisable
to depend on them entirely for the climb to the peak.
is possible to complete the climb to the peak in three days.
Groups take 4-5 days generally. If
you are not used to high elevations and have the time, it is advisable to get
acclimated before the climb.
first aim after leaving Dogubayazit is the
. Eli is 2 hours by truck. From Dogubayazit, take the road to the Iranian
border for 6 km, turn left and go for 12 km.
This will take you to the
at an elevation of 2200m. The road is not drivable after Eli, but a path with
a slight initial grade will take you to the camp at 3200 m. This walk takes
about 4 hours, and the grade becomes steep only for the last hour. One can
rent mules at the
. Camp 3200 m is one of the rare
places where you can find greenery and water.
It is generally crowded and dirty. Since there are no toilet
facilities, almost all the crevices (spaces) beneath the rocks have been used
camp 3200, a 3 hour walk on a steep and rocky path will take you to camp 4200.
(Notice that the small 400 m elevation difference between Eli and camp 3200 is
traversed in 4 hours, and the 1000 m difference and between camps 3200 and
4200 takes and equal amount of time.) Take
the path to the right beyond camp 3200m, and when you arrive at a river bed,
continue on the path without taking any turns.
This route will take you directly up to camp 42000.
If needed, you will find a few additional places to pitch your tent at
elevations of 4100 and 4300m.
day of the climb to the peak, you should start with the first lights of dawn.
The walk between camp 4200 and 4950m where the glacier starts is very
steep and rocky. You put on your
crampons at 4900 m. The last bit
of the climb is relatively easy with a gentle grade. The first peak you will
encounter when you enter the glacier is called Inonu peak.
The main peak is to your left. You
reach the main peak after you pass Inonu peak, enter the cone (crater) and
walk a short distance on the flat and then up a slight incline. The climb from
camp 4200 to the main peak takes about 5-6 hours.
descent is almost as hard as the ascent; toes and knees suffer. The route is
the same in reverse.
daily schedule (the most popular):
at Van Airport and transfer to Dogubayazit.
It takes two hours. Overnight
at the Sim-Er hotel.
to Eli village 2200m.by truck. This trip takes 2 hours. Then continue by mule
to the 3200 camp site. If you want you can rent a mule for yourself also. The
climb takes 4s four hours. It is
an easy slope. Make camp.
to camp site at 4200m. It takes 3
hours. Rest to acclimate. Return
to camp site 3200 m.
to camp site at 4200 m by mule. Rest to acclimate.
to climb at day break to peak at 5137m. It
takes 5 to 6 hours. Return to camp at 3200 m and rest.
by mule to site at 2200 m. It
takes 6 hours. Transfer to hotel
by truck. It takes 2 hours.
Visit Noahs Arc. Overnight at the hotel.
to Van. Visit the
, and carpet shops, take a city tour. Overnight at the hotel.
to the airport.
may want to use the alternate routes to the Southern route, namely the Eastern
and Western routes. Beware that
they are not used often; it is difficult to find guides and mules.
There are no roads to drive on these alternate routes.
What roads there are to the valleys and the plateaus at the lower
skirts of the mountain have been poorly kept up because of infrequent use.
eastern route, which is relatively popular, starts at the
on the northern side. It
continues through Serdarbulak through a deep pit (Mine Shaft) to the pass
between the Small and Grand Ararat mountains. The route then follows a
terraced slope and reaches a rock formation known as the
After that comes a long glacial
slope, to the left there is a path of loose rocks, which will take you to the
Northwestern route starts at a small village between Igdir and Dogubayazit and
follows the route to
. This lake is usually used as a camp ground. You leave the vast flat ground
around the lake, take a steep glacial and rocky road to first peak Inonu and
then to the main peak.
Northern route starts at Igdir; it is a difficult, technical climb on a
glacial route to the right (east) of an impressively empty valley. The weather
on the Northern route offers even more difficult conditions than on the
Southern route. During the spring
and summer months, the melted snow carries literally rivers of ice blocks and
rocks into the valleys. Therefore
it is strongly advised that you do not enter the valleys but keep to the
Ararat dagi is not climbed often. The
route starts at a high plateau named Serdarbulak; you should drive as high up
the mountain as you can. There are thick forests of oak at the skirts of the
mountain, which make walking very difficult.
The maximum elevation is 3896 m, and all slopes up to the top are of
approximately the same grade. Up to 3000 m you will encounter frequent clumps
of dwarfed trees. It is possible to climb up and down the mountain in 1 day.
The best, most impressive part of the climb is the view of the majestic
Grand Ararat dagi that accompanies you constantly.