Mount Ararat

Mount Ararat, the highest mountain in Turkey, is a dormant volcano; two peaks have been formed from the now quieted lava flow, Greater Ararat and Lesser Ararat, both covered with snow. The double peak resides in eastern Turkey, near the borders of Armenia and Iran, about 1400 km away from Istanbul, which lies on the extreme western end of the country.

History & Biblical Significance

History & Biblical Significance
History & Biblical Significance

Previously, Mount Ararat was part of Armenia until the occurrence of the Armenian Genocide, at which time, Turkey captured that particular section of the country. Armenian mythology regards Mount Ararat as the home of the gods. Today, Armenians revere the mountains as a symbol of national heritage, and it remains the national emblem of the Republic of Armenia, featured on the coat of arms. According to Biblical references, Noah’s Ark finally came to rest on the “mountains of Ararat” after the Great Flood. Other literary references indicate the mountains of Armenia as the final location of the ark, and several make mention of the vessel being preserved for many years following. Sir Walter Raleigh dedicated several chapters in his composition, History of the World, to a discussion of the mountain range’s extend and the ark’s location. Excavations have taken place throughout the surrounding regions of Mount Ararat, and archaeologists still search for any remnants left from the ancient vessel. Many expeditions have led to many more claims of discovery; however, tangible proof of the ark remains uncovered.

Climbing Mt Ararat Trekkings

Climbing Mt Ararat Trekkings
Climbing Mt Ararat Trekkings

In 1829, Dr. Friedrich Parrot and Khachatur Abovian reached the peak of Ararat, succeeding on their third attempt. Subsequent excursions have brought many to the summit of Mount Ararat in the years following the first successful triumph over the highest peak. Today, the Turkish government requires a climbing permit and a certified Turkish guide for anyone with aspirations of reaching the top of Ararat. Though the southern summertime route is considered an easy run for experienced climbers, it is still quite a long and even arduous journey, with two possible campsites along the way.

Mount Ararat Skiing

Similar to hiking and trekking, skiing on Mount Ararat requires a guide. There are many tours and winter excursions offered through several companies, from four to eleven days. Skiing season on Ararat runs for a few short months, March through mid-May, and is a test of adrenaline and endurance. The best month for skiing and snow trekking is April.

Mount Ararat Facts

Mount Ararat Facts
Mount Ararat Facts

Residing in the Igdir Provence of Turkey, Mount Ararat rises to an elevation of 5, 137 meters (16, 854 feet). Technically classified as a stratovolcano, Ararat has no volcanic crater. The last known eruption of the volcano is yet unknown; however, artifacts and human remains have been discovered beneath pyroclastic flows that indicate activity in the Bronze Age, dating back to the 3rd millennium BC. Additionally, 1840 saw an earthquake that shook the mountain, causing some unstable conditions and a destruction of a village and monastery that remain covered by the rubble of a collapsed slope.

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