Walk the main street of Aparan (1850 m/6070 ft) - the road leading to Yerevan -towards the south (direction Yerevan).
Turn off to the right a bit after crossing a bridge (there are various streets that lead to the mountain base, this is just a suggestion), following a street that goes to a antenna station.
Here the climb starts.
Climb up towards the W-SW, towards the shoulder that comes down from the foresummit that is visible from Aparan.
Once you are on the shoulder, continue towards the SW, traversing with little elevation gain, just many tiring up and downs.
You will then gain a high-point, from where the summits of Mt. Aragats are visible.
From here you have to descent and re-ascent two more gorges, to gain a plateau.
From the plateau continue towards the W, aiming towards the saddle between the East and North Summit. From the saddle the final part of the climb starts - a steep slope of scree, that can be a bit tricky when covered by a thin layer of snow and/or ice.
If the snow is hard enough, you might want to opt for the more direct route (see routes photos
). This route I recommend for the ski descent, too.
There are various ways to do this variant. Use common sense when making your way to the peak.
This is a very long climb, involving 2200m (7200ft) of vertical, not counting the many up and downs.
Since this option is mostly for people who want to avoid the accomodation problem in Aparan, climbing 2 days is inevitable, since you won´t be able to start climbing early enough.
Camp where you think it makes sense. However, I recommend making it to the plateau below the main peak the first day.
Stiff trekking boots, trekking poles for support on the scree slope and during the descend. I also recommend light crampons in case snow fields are encountered near the summit. There is not much space up there to navigate around, and a slip up there can be fatal.
The sun can be very intense in Armenia, and even more so in the mountains. Bring suncrean with a high factor (30+), sun hat, sun glases, etc.. In the other hand, the mountain is very exposed, and bad weather can roll in quickly.
Act accordingly - bring raingear, fleece, warm clothing. If caught in bad weather near the summit, it´s a long way home!
Recommended: GPS - take a few waypoints on the way up, in case bad weather comes and sight is reduced. A volcanic plateau like Aragats it can be become very hard to navigate once visibility is reduced.
The same as in summer (the sun can be unforgiving in spring, too!). Additionally: Glacier glases, Touring skis, light crampons, one piolet
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