A Picnic on Mt. Ararat

If you like mountaineering books, I recommend No Picnic on Mt. Kenya about two Italian mountaineers who were prisoners of war during World War 2 at the base of Mt. Kenya.  They saved some of the their daily rations, made crampons out of kitchen utensils, and eventually escaped the prison in the middle of the night not to get away but to attempt a climb up Mt. Kenya.  After their climb they even sneaked back into the prison at night the same way they had escaped!

Our walk up Mt. Ararat a few weeks ago was nothing like this.  Cuma, our guide from Doğubayazıt, explained what an easy walk we’d have on Ağrı Dağı (Ararat).  “It’ll be like a picnic,” he said smiling.  He was right.

Cuma by bryandkeith on flickr

Four of us came from Antalya and met up with a larger group (of 12?) from Ankara and a lone climber from İstanbul, Gökhan.  Cuma had led groups like this literally hundreds of times before and made the logistics look easy.  At the same time he was enthusiastic, smiling, and seemed to genuinely love his job.

Me, Aslı, Gül, İpek -- our group from Antalya by bryandkeith on flickr

Logistics of horses up to 4200m by bryandkeith on flickr

We had a couple dolmuş from Doğubayazıt take us to the trailhead and then started walking around 2200m.  Horses took our gear to camp at 3200m and on to the high camp at 4200m the following day!  Hahaha, we didn’t have to carry anything, didn’t have to cook, just a bit of walking, and we were on the summit (5100m) less than 48 hours after leaving the hotel in Doğubayazıt.

The ratty hotel where many Ararat climbers stay by bryandkeith on flickr

3200m camp by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN9972 by bryandkeith on flickr

The food was good, the people friendly, and the weather stellar.

DSCN9863 by bryandkeith on flickr

Rest stop at the yayla by bryandkeith on flickr

Blowing air into the sheep.  I'm not sure why they need to do this. by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN9938 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN9950 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN0007 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN9986 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN0005 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN0030 by bryandkeith on flickr

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One Response to A Picnic on Mt. Ararat

  1. Kevin says:

    Great photos! No signs of Noah’s ark?

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