2001 Ararat Peace Climb
Headstones, Mount Ararat North Side
was no sign, road or even visible path to this site
where the members of the 2001 Ararat Peace Climb
expedition came across the remnants of an ancient
settlement. The setting is among volcanic rocks
and high grasses around 6500 feet on the north flank
of Ararat. It would have been happenstance for
us to find this site on our own. The military
was aware of its location and generously escorted us
to the site one morning while we were waiting for a
transport to arrive. The military commander was
told that these headstones were probably more than
1,000 years old perhaps more than 1,500 years old.
An expedition formed of Everest Summiters,
of different languages, races and religions joined in a climb for peace. The journey
them to the legendary, Holy mountain of Mt. Ararat in
an attempt to climb the mountain via the north side
rarely seen by foreigners. The expedition was a
symbolic gesture to show the world how people of
different nations, races and religions can strive together for peace.
July of 2001, 7 Everest Summiters: David
Keaton, Marcelo Arbelaez, Tunc
Gonzales Rubio, Ricardo
Swee Chiow, and Nasuh
Mahruki headed to the North side of Ararat not
knowing what to expect. They went like climbers
decades ago, not knowing the route, not having any
close up pictures of where to climb, not knowing the
dangers ahead of them. The "7" went not to
any mountain, but to the legendary Holy mountain
where many believe life began a second time after the
climbers climbed the mountain in alpine style, reaching the Summit together. It was not an
easy climb. Tunc almost lost his life when he had to
jump over a large boulder with lethal intent. The
climb would not have been possible without the Turkish
government approval and the Turkish military
cannot mention Mt Ararat without thinking and
mentioning the Ark. The Ark is believed to be located on the North
side of Ararat in an "inaccessible gorge."
World is not at Peace...
the events of September 11th, 2001 have shown, even
those who are most comfortable, the world is not at
Peace. The area on the North side of Ararat is a
military zone. The Turkish military has
a large present in the area along with the PKK and the
Turkish people. A PKK supply dump was found while our
climbers were on the mountain. Our climbers were
surrounded at night by the Turkish military. This area
is a very dangerous area in the world. No individual should attempt to go to the North side of Ararat.
For those that tell you they have been to the North
Side of Ararat, ask for close up pictures! Not
pictures from far.... Some people like to say they
have been there. You can't get there. If you were to
get there, you would probably be shot. We only got
there because of Nasuh...
think what we did was a good thing."
what we did was a good thing. We can do much more.
All of us can make a difference. It might be one
person at a time, but every one counts!
"7" along with other Everest Summiters want
to do a Peace Climb 2002 and 2003! We plan to pick other
areas in need :)
to put into words what happened on this climb...
received this from an experienced Everest climber who
did not go on the expedition but discussed the
expedition with some of the "7": "I
read all the dispatches and they were quite
interesting and it sounds like it was a great success.
For them it was a truly enlighting experience... Here
they are Mt. Everest heroes... In their conference
they are able to transmit the true climbing spirit and
the camaraderie between climbers of different nations,
different languages, races and religions and how
together they can overcome the obstacles. There
was no competition, there was no utilizing others
equipment without permission, there were no
conspiracies, there was only one team with one
objective. I hope one day future climbers of Mt.
Everest can regain that spirit they once had. I
think the Mt. Ararat expedition showed that the spirit
of great mountaineers still exists."
climb has genuinely touched ALL of these climbers. We hope
it has touched You. To
support this vision of peace, please make a donation, via
SHIVA charity. You can make a credit card donation by