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© 1999 Raffi Kojian, All Rights Reserved
There are four summits, North
(the highest, 4090m), West (4080m), South (3879m) and East (3916m) forming the
rim of a volcanic crater. Between South and East summits the crater wall
is broken, and a stream flows down to the village of Aragats. A sharp
ridge descends south from the South summit. Between the other summits are
high saddles with sweeping views.
Even on a clear August day,
clouds usually gather in the crater by about 10:00 a.m. Therefore, it is
preferable to start walking as early as possible (e.g. 5:00 a.m.) to increase
both the safety of the final ascent and the odds of a spectacular view.
Weather is unpredictable and often dramatic, with snow possible at any time.
Multiple layers (e.g., fleece and Gore-tex) are indispensable, as are sturdy
boots, sunscreen, lip balm, a hat, and plenty of water.
The South summit, lowest and
nearest of the four, can be reached in under two hours from the lake.
Easiest route is to ascend the mountain meadows generally NNW, aiming for the NW
corner of the summit. After an hour, on the shoulder you will pick up a
decaying jeep track that ascends in easy switchbacks to the broad, relatively
flat double summit. Faster perhaps, but more strenuous, is to scramble up
the ridge half way to the summit and follow it north to the highest point.
The North summit takes about
four hours from the lake. There are two main routes. First is to cut
north from below the NW corner of the South summit, sliding down scree to the SW
saddle, then descend into the crater aiming for the eastern base of the North
summit, from which one scrambles up a series of scree slopes to a path along the
crater rim. Though involving (perhaps) less climbing, this route confronts
a large icefield that makes the SW saddle difficult to traverse. One can
also climb the ridge extending S from the S summit, then descend from the SE
saddle. From the rocky, exposed false summit, a trail continues to the
true summit (with a metal tripod), less difficult than it looks but not for
[Text Source: Rediscover Armenia Guide]
|Copyright © 1999 Raffi Kojian n_w$$h|