Turkey's highest mountain Ararat, has a legendary status due to its geologic location and the fact that it is believed to have been the final resting place of Noah’s Ark. This peak, mentioned in the Bible, has several names in different languages, the main ones being Ararat, Kuh - i Nuh and Cebel ul Haristir.
Prof. Frederick Von Parat successfully reached its summit, which Marco Polo said no-one would ever climb, on 9 October 1829. The former president of the Mountaineering Federation, Dr. Bozkurt Ergor on 21 February 1970 made the second ascent. Thousands of visitors came in 1980, and ten years later climbing was banded but this was lifted in 1998 when the Mountaineering Federation gave permission to a group of climbers.
Height: 5165 m.
Location: Eastern Anatolia, near the border with Iran and Georgia, between the Aras and Murat Rivers.
Best Time for Climbing: July to September. Winter climbing is very difficult but extremely rewarding.
Characteristics: Mount Ararat (5165m) is the highest peak in Turkey and Europe. It is a volcanic mountain made up of basalt, which changes to andesite lava around 4000 m. At the summit there is a glacier, and on the eastern slope is the Serdarbulak ridge, with Kucuk (Little) Ararat at 3896m. The height of Mount Ararat, along with its glaciers, geological formations, people, and mountain meadows covered snow has an alluring, almost magical appearance.
Transportation and Accommodations: The Trabzon-Erzurum-Tehran International Highway winds around the foothills of Mt. Ararat and leads to Iran. There are regular air, rail and bus connections between Ankara and Erzurum. Dogubeyazit is the closest city to the mountain, easily accessible from Mt. Ararat and Erzurum. There are a number of restaurants and lodging places in the city and the surrounding area.
Climbing Equipments: Crampons, rope (11mm), an ice pick and safety gear such as an ice-auger and climbing tape.
Summer Ascents: Sleeping bags made for temperatures of -5, -10 ºC, anorak, wind jacket, other camping gear and important supplies.
In order to climb Mount Ararat and/or Little Ararat, permission is required and it is mandatory that climbers begin their journey from the following points.
* Ascents of Mt. Ararat can only be attempted on the portion of the face that is within the district boundaries Dogubeyazit, and must follow the Dogubeyazit - Topcatan village - Eli Ciftligi route.
* Ascents up Little Ararat may only be made along the northwest face. The easiest route in terms of communication and accessibility, and the most commonly followed one, is the southern route.
* Climbers staying at Dogubeyazit can make their final preparations for climbing here and continue by car to the village of Eli. After getting water here, the first campsite, which is at 2800 m, takes 7-8 hours to reach. On the second day, after a 4-6 hour climb, one can expect to reach the next campsite at around 4200 m. It is obligatory for climbers to be equipped with crampons, rope and ice-picks. It takes about 8-10 hours to reach the peak and to return to the first campsite at 2800 m.