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 The 2001 Ararat Peace Climb

Ararat from the North

These pictures from this distance are rare [an understatement] !!!

Dear Friends,

Our original plan of moving up from BC to C1 in a single day and attempt the summit the next day was too ambitious. We felt the altitude and decided to go slower.

We had wanted to place the BC higher but it was very evident that we will need a miracle to find water. The mountain is extremely dry at this time of the year. We had no choice but to rely on the military support to bring water from the TV station which is about half hour drive down the slope. Without the military permission, we would not be able to come to the north side of the mountain. Without the military logistic support, it would be so much harder to climb it. 

From the BC, the entire mountain is in view. One can see from the rolling grass hills to the rocky slopes and then the tongues of glaciers. Our route, the North East ridge, runs directly from the top to the hills nearby BC. The peak does look a bit like K2 from this side with a pyramid crown. 

It was incredibly hot climbing from BC. Everyone was dehydrated. Absence of water points along the way added to the problem. We decided to have donkeys bring up water from BC. But in the afternoon, an AKUT member who has been to this area before finally located a little stream with trickling water. What a relief. That's our ABC at 2700meters.

The Minister of Sports together with some Turkish Mountaineering Federation members also arrived from BC. Believe it or not, a media team followed too. A lady journalist walked up the moraine in her high heels ! 

This side of the mountain is wild and beautiful. There were some shepherds with their herds high up on the slopes. We saw some foxes while driving to BC. Blazing purple and yellow wild flowers dotted the slopes as high as 3800 meters. 

From ABC, we climbed up to the high point of the previous day, collected our equipment cache and moved up. To our surprise, at 3850 meters, there was running water fed by the glacier higher up and a flat ground for 6-7 tents easily. Perfect campsite. 

The next day, on the 27th July, we started at 5.30am. There were loose rocks all over. Some sections were like gun barrels ! Rocks as big as a backpack were often dislodged and came shooting down the snow gully. Only one member had a helmet. All of us are very lucky to go up and down safely this time. 

We were on rocks most of the way until the snow cap on the summit plateau. It is a large undulating plateau. After about 300m, we walked past the lower east summit and there it was 400m further, the main summit. Nasuh was waiting for us. 

It was fantastic to have all 7 Everest guys on the summit at the same time. I feel very privileged and honored to be able to stand on the summit of a holy and legendary mountain. God has been kind. I am grateful. Cheers. Swee Chiow 

To support this vision of peace, please make a donation, via SHIVA charity. You can make a credit card donation by clicking HERE.

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