Finishing Unfinished Business

Publiziert von detlefpalm Pro , 16. August 2018 um 21:00.

Region: Welt » Armenien
Tour Datum:19 Juli 2018
Wandern Schwierigkeit: T2 - Bergwandern
Geo-Tags: AM 
Zeitbedarf: 5:00
Aufstieg: 600 m
Abstieg: 600 m
Zufahrt zum Ausgangspunkt:From Yerevan to Geghard on Asphalt. From Geghard to the trailhead with a 4WD and high clearance vehicle

We were in the Geghama mountains several years ago, trying to hike Azhdahak. We had reached our trailhead with a rented Lada Niva, and camped in preparation for the hike next day. Snow fell during the night, and the first order of the day was to bring back the Lada to any visible road and safety. This time we returned in summer to finish the unfinished business. We had come all the way from Germany in a 25 year old Opel Vectra. For the drive from Yerevan to the trailhead, we exchanged it for an even older 29-year-old UAZ, owned and driven by the capable Arayik. The UAZ didn't have a glove compartment, but probably the most reliable four-wheel drive gear around. Air conditioning is provided by removing the front half-doors.

The volcanic cone sits on the vast Geghama plains, which gently rise from about 2000 Meter to 3000 Meter elevation. Its a huge area, mainly inhabited during summer by the Yezidi herders. While Yerevan in summer will be a sweltering 40 degree celsius, the Geghama mountains enjoy a climate pleasant for men, women and beast.

During our hike to the summit, we were overtaken by Yezidi horsemen, who also enjoyed an outing on horseback to the summit and the crater lake.

The main challenge (for me) was the lack of adjustment to the altitude. We basically approached the mountain from sea level, and for many reasons had little exposure to altitude during the past few years. Following our Azhdahak adventure we spent some time in Armenia at an elevation of 2000 Meter, such as at Lake Sewan. The logic thing to do would have been to first hang out at Lake Sevan or other places for a couple of days, and then climb Azhdahak - or any other mountain.

Mid-July is a good time to enjoy the Geghama Mountains. Snow still lingers mostly on the northern slopes, providing a beautiful and striking contrast to the red or white volcanic soil. Flowers appear in abundance, and the air is fresh. It pays to watch the online-weather forecast, for example on, which provides good weather information at different altitude levels. We aimed for the only real sunny day of the week, and were not dissapointed.

It seems customary to hike around the crater lake - if only to extend your stay. Note that there are sheer drops on the northern side of the crater rim.

Tourengänger: detlefpalm

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 41437.gpx Ashdahak


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