SOUTHERN ROUTE

The Southern route is the easiest and by far the most popular one; therefore we will describe it in detail.

 

The 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 Turkey by 1000 meters.  The climb becomes very steep very fast, and most mountaineers are quickly affected by mountain sickness.

 

AKUT (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.

 

It 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.

 

Your first aim after leaving Dogubayazit is the village of Eli . 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 village of Eli 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 village of Eli .  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 as such.

 

From 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.

 

The 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.

 

The descent is almost as hard as the ascent; toes and knees suffer. The route is the same in reverse.

 

Sample daily schedule (the most popular):

 

Day 1

Arrive at Van Airport and transfer to Dogubayazit.  It takes two hours.  Overnight at the Sim-Er hotel.

 

Day 2

Transfer 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.

 

Day 3:

Climb to camp site at 4200m.  It takes 3 hours.  Rest to acclimate. Return to camp site 3200 m.

 

Day 4:

Transfer to camp site at 4200 m by mule. Rest to acclimate.

 

Day 5:

Start to climb at day break to peak at 5137m.  It takes 5 to 6 hours. Return to camp at 3200 m and rest.

 

Day 6:

Transfer by mule to site at 2200 m.  It takes 6 hours.  Transfer to hotel by truck.  It takes 2 hours.  Visit Noah’s Arc. Overnight at the hotel.

 

Day 7:

Transfer to Van. Visit the Akmadar Island , and carpet shops, take a city tour. Overnight at the hotel.

 

Day 8:

Transfer to the airport.

 

 

OTHER ROUTES

You 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.

The eastern route, which is relatively popular, starts at the valley of Aras 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 Rock Church   After that comes a long glacial slope, to the left there is a path of loose rocks, which will take you to the peak.

 

The Northwestern route starts at a small village between Igdir and Dogubayazit and follows the route to Lake Kup . 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.     

 

The 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 ridges.

 

SMALL ARARAT  

Small 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.



ORGANIZE SECURITY PHOTOS VISIT GENERAL
 
 

Southern route is the easiest ,
The climb becomes very steep very fast,
Sign posts at every 100 meters,
Peak in three days,
The road is not drivable after Eli Village,
Camp 3200 m is one of the rare places where you can find greenery and water,
a 3 hour walk on a steep and rocky path will take you to camp 4200,
Walk between camp 4200 and 4950m where the glacier starts is very steep and rocky,
The climb from camp 4200 to the main peak takes about 5-6 hours,
E
astern route, which is relatively popular, starts at the valley of Aras and continues through Serdarbulak,
orthwestern route starts at a small village between Igdir and Dogubayazit and follows the route to Lake Kup ,
Northern route starts at Igdir; it is a difficult, technical climb on a glacial route to the right (east) of an impressively empty valley,
Small Ararat dagi is not climbed often.  The route starts at a high plateau named Serdarbulak.