A route leads to the main, northern summit from the surroundings of picturesque Kari lake. It may include reaching also the southern summit. If being done in one day it requires a doubble-traverse of the inside of the crater.
The route is not difficult with the main obstacles in altitude, length (ca 9 km from the lake to the summit) and falling rocks in the afternoon.
The best solution is:
1) to take a bus or marshrutka
(a mini-bus) from Erevan to Ashtarak (25 km, less than 1 USD per person)
2) take a taxi or hire a local driver to bring you up to the Kari lake and Cosmic ray Field Station (6 USD per person one way)
It is good to arrange the return trnsportation (e.g. the same driver that takes you upward)at the same time as the nearest village with marshrutkas is ca 15-20 km from the lake.
to pay the whole money at once while arranging return transport so that it should appear at all
While taking a drive from Ashtarak to Kari Lake take firstly a road to Spitak/Vanadzor and turn right after Artashavan near the sculptures of Armenian alphabet and its creator, holy Mashtroc.
The route starts at about 3200 m asl at the camping site near Kari Lake (achieved by car from Ashtarak and Yerevan).
First stage includes reaching the pass between southern and western summits of Aragats (ca 3600 m asl). The pass can be reached in the following ways:
* directly- from the lake go nortwards and traverse the shoulder coming out from the southern peak on its western slopes
* via southern summit- from the base-camp take NNW direction and go upwards, soon a kind of path will be seen
It takes about 2-2,5 hours to reach W-S Pass from the lake, including summiting the southern peak.
From the pass descend to the crater taking the rib going straight downwards to the center of the caldera (take this route especially on your way back as there is no danger of avalanches there). Then (ca 3100 m asl) cross the stream/river and go upwards aiming at the pass between northern and eastern summits (ca 3700 m asl). It sholuld take up to another 2-2,5 hours.
From that pass there is only a ca 350-400 m of ascend towards the main peak- the slight path leads there. It takes ca an hour to do this.
The main summit has a metal cross on its highest point. To reach that place some equipment and rock climbing quallifications are required.
summer: hiking/trekking shoes, trekking sticks, sun-glasses
winter: crampons and ice-axe may be useful but not deadli necessary
camping is allowed everywhere however nearby Kari Lake people from meteostation charges 1000 AMD (ca 3 USD) per night per tent.
If you pay, feel free to leave your waste and litters as they say the money goes for cleaning the tent-pitch.
avaliable, no need to bring your own