Ararat: Base Camp To High Camp – 4300m

The First Section: Reaching High Camp At 4300m

Despite the stormy forecast, the weather turned out really nice when we left BC on one of the many tracks, which were carved like scars into the mountain’s slopes.

Gaining more altitude, the lush green vegetation soon vanished, making room for rocky, volcanic terrain.
We climbed on steep sections, scrambling up the slopes on big rocks, accompanied by horses and dogs. Again they shall provide protection from wolves and bears.

We were fast, we felt strong, mainly because we were so well acclimatized after summiting Kazbek. After only 2h, we reached an almost abandoned High Camp at 4200m. We were the first to arrive that day, therefore no one else was there yet. The winds were strong, especially on the left side of the rocky ridge, which apparently divided Ararat from it’s neighboring peak, Little Ararat.
In order to find a spot which was more protected from the winds, we headed east.

Ararat High Camp 4300m
Arriving at an almost abandoned High Camp

Soon after we gained some distance from the ridge, the winds eased and it became a lot warmer. We set up our tent on a small plateau, the views were incredible. As far as the eye can see, until the very horizon, we were surrounded by desert. The sun was casting it’s golden rays on the barren lands. It was about time to have a short break, get in as much as possible from those incredible views, before we’d do an acclimatization hike. Our plan was to reach the summit the next day already.

Inga Ecker at Ararat High Camp 4300m
Taking a well deserved break at 4300m
Ararat horses 4300m
Collecting our gear

The Second Section: Acclimatization Hike to 4700m

Spending almost an entire afternoon at High Camp was a very much appreciated break after the past couple of days.
I didn’t try to sleep because bed time would be early anyways, but rather I spent an hour walking between the several tents, which were like little green dots, painting the mountain’s otherwise brownish, rocky slopes.
At an altitude of 4300m, no more plants were present, the tents were the only colorful interruption of the otherwise mono colored landscapes.

As the afternoon approached, other climbers arrived at C1, it soon became a busy spot, with groups lingering around the food tents and others trying to set up their tents.

The cooks already started preparing dinner, when Shota and I started the ascent to 4700m for a short acclimatization hike. The delicious smell of the herbs, the cooks were using, was accompanying us for the next couple of hundred meters of ascent. It was more of scrambling then walking, the further we moved upwards, the bigger the rocks blocking the small trails got. We were climbing directly above C1, observing from above what was going on there.

The blurry noises of talking climbers, arriving horses and guides, soon were replaced by the sound of the wind. It became a lot stormier again, since we got closer to the ridge.

Reaching 4700m, we stopped, made ourselves comfortable on some rocks and just rested up. The views were again incredible, vastly stretching desert areas, covered I’m the sun’s golden light, birds on the distant horizon. It was a well deserved break, before heading back to the camp to go directly to bed, already preparing for summit push in a few hours.

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Little Ararat
Views of Little Ararat during the acclimatization hike at 4700m
Inga Ecker at 4700m Mount Ararat
Feeling happy and strong at high altitude
Ararat view Base Camp from High Camp
Views of Base Camp from the upper Camps
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Inga Ecker at Ararat High Camp
Having a great afternoon with good weather
Ararat High Camp Food
Food at High Camp
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Kazbek – Day 4, Betlemi Hut to Stepantsminda Vastfreedom

When you're on the summit, you're only halfway there, you still have to get back safely. After spending some time on top of Mount Kazbek, we were returning back to the town of Stepantsminda.
  1. Kazbek – Day 4, Betlemi Hut to Stepantsminda
  2. Kazbek – Day 3, High Camp to Summit, 5054m
  3. Kazbek – Day 2, Betlemi Hut to High Camp, 4500m
  4. Kazbek – Day 1, Stepantsminda to Betlemi Hut
  5. About

One thought on “Ararat: Base Camp To High Camp – 4300m

  1. The adventure continues. I like your sunglasses. Horses? For some reason, I would expect donkeys or mules. But I don’t know a thing about serious mountain climbing.

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