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Ararat

Mount Ararat (Turkish: Ağrı Dağı; Armenian: Մասիս, Արարատ; Masis, Ararat, Kurdish: Çiyayê Agirî; Persian: کوه آرارات Kuh-e Ararat) is a snow-capped, dormant volcanic cone in Turkey. It has two peaks: Greater Ararat (the tallest peak in Turkey, and the entire Armenian plateau with an elevation of 5,137 m/16,854 ft) and Lesser Ararat (with an elevation of 3,896 m/12,782 ft).
The Ararat massif is about 40 km (25 mi) in diameter.[5] The Iran-Turkey boundary skirts east of Lesser Ararat, the lower peak of the Ararat massif. It was in this area that by the Tehran Convention of 1932 a border change was made in Turkey's favor, permitting her to occupy the eastern flank of the massif.[6]
Mount Ararat in Judeo-Christian tradition is associated with the "Mountains of Ararat" where according to the book of Genesis, Noah's ark came to rest. It also plays a significant role in Armenian nationalism and irredentism.


• Ararat - The Bible says that Noah's ark landed on the mountains of Ararat. This does not refer to any specific mountain or peak, but rather a mountain range within the region of Ararat, which was the name of an ancient proto-Armenian kingdom also known as Urartu.Nonetheless, one particular tradition identifies the mountain as Mount Masis, the highest peak in the Armenian Highland, which is therefore called Mount Ararat.(As opposed to the Armenian and European tradition, Semitic tradition identifies the mountain as Judi Dagh located in Turkey near Cizre. According to the medieval Armenian historian Moses of Khoren in his History of Armenia, the plain of Ayrarat (directly north of the mountain) got its name after King Ara the Handsome(the great grandson of Amasya). Here the Assyrian Queen Semiramis is said to have lingered for a few days after the death of Ara.According to Thomson, the mountain is now called Ararat (Armenian: Արարատ) by confusion with Ayrarat, the name of the province.


• Masis (Armenian: Մասիս) - is the Armenian name for the peak of Ararat, the plural Masikʿ (Armenian: Մասիք) may refer to both peaks.[9] The History of Armenia derives the name from a king Amasya, the great-grandson of the Armenian patriarch Hayk, who is said to have called the mountain Masis after his own name.
Mount Ararat is located in the Eastern Anatolia Region of Turkey between Doğubayazıt and Iğdır, near the border with Iran and Armenia, between the Aras and Murat Rivers. Its summit is located some 16 km (10 mi) west of the Iranian and 32 km (20 mi) south of the Armenian border. The Nakhchivan exclave of Azerbaijan is also in close proximity to the mountain. The Ararat plain runs along its northwest to western side.
Ararat is a stratovolcano, formed of lava flows and pyroclastic ejecta, with no volcanic crater. Above the height of 4,200 m (13,780 ft), the mountain mostly consists of igneous rocks covered by an ice cap.
A smaller 3,896 m (12,782 ft) cone, Little Ararat, rises from the same base, southeast of the main peak. The lava plateau stretches out between the two pinnacles. The bases of these two mountains is approximately 1,000 km2 (386 sq mi).


It is not known when the last eruption of Ararat occurred; there are no historic or recent observations of large-scale activity recorded. It seems that Ararat was active in the 3rd millennium BC; under the pyroclastic flows, artifacts from the early Bronze Age and remains of human bodies have been found.
However, it is known that Ararat was shaken by a large earthquake in July 1840, the effects of which were largest in the neighborhood of the Ahora Gorge (a northeast trending chasm that drops 1,825 metres (5,988 ft) from the top of the mountain). An unstable part of the northern slope collapsed and a chapel, a monastery, and a village were covered by rubble. According to some sources, Ararat erupted then as well, albeit under the ground water level.

First recorded ascent in modern times

Dr. Friedrich Parrot, with the help of Khachatur Abovian, was the first explorer in modern times to reach the summit of Mount Ararat, subsequent to the onset of Russian rule in 1829.Abovian and Parrot crossed the Aras River and headed to the Armenian village of Agori situated on the northern slope of Ararat 4,000 feet above sea level. Following the advice of Harutiun Alamdarian of Tbilisi, they set up a base camp at the Monastery of Saint Jacob some 2,400 feet higher, at an elevation of 6,375 feet. Abovian was one of the last travelers to visit Agori and the monastery before a disastrous earthquake completely buried both in May 1840. Their first attempt to climb the mountain, using the northeastern slope, failed as a result of lack of warm clothing.

Six days later, on the advice of Stepan Khojiants, the village chief of Agori, the ascent was attempted from the northwestern side. After reaching an elevation of 16,028 feet they turned back because they did not reach the summit before sundown. They reached the summit on their third attempt at 3:15 p.m. on October 9, 1829. Abovian dug a hole in the ice and erected a wooden cross facing north. Abovian also picked up a chunk of ice from the summit and carried it down with him in a bottle, considering the water holy. On November 8, Parrot and Abovian climbed up Lesser Ararat. Impressed with Abovian's thirst for knowledge, Parrot arranged for a Russian state scholarship for Abovian to study at the University of Dorpat in 1830.

Climbing routes

The climb is long, but there is a fairly easy route from the south in late summer for climbers who are familiar with the use of axe and crampons. Snow covers the last 400 m (¼ mile) year-round. There are two possible campsites on the mountain, and the glacier begins around 4,800 m (15,750 ft).

Climbing permits and guides

The Turkish government requires a climbing permit and use of a certified Turkish guide. Arrangements can take two months to complete.

 

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