Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
Need to Know
Ucom and VivaCell-MTS networks are almost always available between Aragats village up to the west summit of Mount Aragats. In case of emergency, call 911, a service available throughout Armenia.
To take this ski run, you need to get to the village of Geghadzor, in Aragatsotn province. At the southern end of the village, the road heads toward the mountain with the West Summit Ascent
and can be driven until the conditions do not permit further travel.
From the top, there are unbelievable views of the peak to the east and the sprawling lands to the west toward the Turkish border. The first mile and a half have the steepest grades ranging upwards of 40 degrees. The run follows parallel to the ascent before crossing to the west to stay on top of the ridge. Continue back to the starting point.
Mount Aragats is considered the highest peak in Armenia (4,090m., 13,419ft.). It is an isolated shield-like massif of about 200km in circumference. Together with its fan-shaped slopes, it covers 4,000 sq. m, and is situated in both the Aragatsotn and Shirak provinces. Aragats used to be one of the world’s largest volcanos. It has a gigantic 400m-deep crater, 3km in diameter, and 4 peaks. The highest point is the North Summit; the West Summit is second (3,995.3m., 13,207ft.) and is followed by the East (3,908.2m., 12,822ft.) and South Summit (3,887.8m., 12,755ft.)
According to legend, the name ‘Aragats’ originated from the name ‘Ara’, and the word ‘gah’ (throne): that is to say ‘Ara’s throne’ (the Armenian king Ara Geghetsik, meaning Ara the Beautiful).
Heading for the West Summit of Aragats from Yerevan or vice versa, you can visit the Armenian Alphabet Monument after M. Mashtots, Hovhannavank (5th-13th centuries), Saghmosavank Monasteries.
The best time to ski is January to April. Yerevan is 81km away from the village of Geghadzor, so the road there takes 1h 30m and costs 8,100-8,500 AMD (by taxi).
History & Background
The winters on Mt. Aragats are long, cold, and snowy. There is steady snow cover for 250 days of the year. Near the summit, it is cold during the summer, too. While passing the trail, you may come across wolves, foxes, and wild rabbits.