Tour data:
Country: Armenia
Mountain range: Aragats

Date: 8th of May 2011
Ascent duration: 3hrs
Descent duration: 1hrs 30mins
Lowest altitude: 2080m
Highest altitude: 3050m

Snow conditions: below 2450m no snow, above partly wet snow

Weather: dense fog, light snowfall, thunderstorm, heavy rain
from village Byurakan to Chrebjet Karakatar (3258m)

After few days in southern Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh i had a day for climb at Aragats, highest mountain in Armenia.
Early in the morning i took a local bus from Yerevan to town Ashtarak, which lays 25 kilometres to the north. After a short haggle with local taxi drivers, one of them agrees to drive me up for 6500 Drams and during the drive he offers me a home made 60 % vodka. I got dropped at 2100m, at the beginning of a mountain road leading to Lake Kari. Bit of a snow was laying around and it was significantly colder, than down in Yerevan. The weather was pretty bad, dark clouds were covering the sky and it was raining a bit. Moreover above 2500m all was covered in a dense fog.

on the way to the mountain

taxi driver, who drove me up to 2100m

view towards south from 2300m

The road was fully cleaned off from snow up to 2600 meters, where a snow plough was fighting with yet almost 3 meters thick layer of snow and making the road passable up to Lake Kari (3190m), where a cosmic ray observatory stands. Because of the bad weather (it started to snow meanwhile) and time constraints i had to turn it around at 2900m, where the ridge Chrebjet Karatakar begins.

during the climb up

above 2800m - cleaning the road to Lake Kari

during the descent (the driver of the snow plough took the photo :-)

The descent on snowshoes was quick to 2600 meters, where i finally got out from the dense fog and could enjoy some view towards the south and west. Further i continued on foot and as a storm was coming, pace of my descent increased.

view from 2550m to the south

view from the same height to the west

near Byurakan village (1520m)

In the end, the storm luckily didn't hit me, but the way down to Byurakan was neverending and while I was still on the way, it started to rain heavily. In Byurakan i was more than lucky, since one of the only two daily buses was passing around, so i jumped in and in an hour i was dropped in downtown of Yerevan.

and an evening view from Yerevan to Ararat (5165m)
homepage  |   back  |   top