2001 Ararat Peace Climb
Gonzalez-Rubio: 2001 Ararat Peace Climb Member
from 7/24/2001: At 5:00 in the afternoon, Saturday,
July 21st, we left on an Air France flight to Paris,
two Colombians who will be representing our country in
the "ARARAT 2001 PEACE CLIMB" expedition.
Then after a little more than 9 hours of flight we got
to Paris where we waited another 7 hours in transit to
take the flight to Istanbul. Finally, and after
four hours we got to our final destination; it was
11:50 PM. We were received by Onur and Aidan -
two young students -, who took us to the hotel where
we rested just two hours because at 4:30 AM we had to
leave to the airport to take a flight to Ankara and
Kars. Another four hours of flight to meet some
members of AKUT (Turkish Search and Rescue Association)
with whom we traveled three more hours to Igdir.
There we finally found our expedition teammates,
foreign like us, and with them we left to the Mountain
in several vehicles. At 4 PM we were in front of
our objective, Mount Ararat, also called Mount Agri by
the Christians or Mount Cudi by the Muslims.
did not imagine such a remote place; after traveling
in four different airplanes and a few more hours by
car, there it was, beautiful.
climbing teammates are all of a high technical level,
and in spite of our fatigue because of the will to
come and the change of hours, we started to know each
other, and we saw that they are excellent people.
Everybody of different nationalities; There are
climbers from United States, Mexico, Singapore,
Turkey, and us, the Colombians. We have all climbed
Everest, which was a requisite to go to this
expedition. Breaking the barriers of language with
signs and smiles, we have begun to know each other and
to create a joint strategy to try to summit. The first
thing we have to do is to acclimate, to avoid health
inconveniences, then we ascended from 2,000 meters to
3,300 and we came back to 1,800 meters above sea
level. We are finishing the preparation of
logistics to avoid errors since we don't have but one
chance of ascent because access is very restricted,
even for the Turkish.
Mountain is an inactive volcano that reaches 5,137
meters, we have to install an intermediate camp and
try to summit. Since we don't have yaks or porters, we
have to take everything on our backs and although we
try to take out everything that is not indispensable,
our load is 25 kilos by person.
Mountain is surrounded by an intense green that fades
in the volcanic sand that turns reddish, until getting
to a huge cracked and dangerous glacier that gets to
Arbelaez and Fernando Gonzalez-Rubio. Ararat
Expedition 2001 Peace Climb. Translated from Spanish
by Jorge Rivera