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Mount Aragats: South Summit Ski Trail

Intermediate
  5.0 ( 1 ) Favorite

Trail

2.7 mile 4.3 kilometer point to point
Ski Line
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 10' 3 m
Descent: -2,166' -660 m
High: 12,634' 3,851 m
Low: 10,468' 3,191 m

Grade

Avg Slope: 15% (9°)
Max Slope: 31% (17°)
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Map Key

A fun descent from the lowest summit (3,887.8m) of Aragats.

State Tourism Committee Republic of Armenia
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry

Need to Know

The Ucom and VivaCell-MTS networks are almost always available up to the South Summit of Mount Aragats. In case of emergency, call 911, a service available throughout Armenia.

Description

To reach the area, you need to get to Stone Lake (Kari Lich) or the Physics Institute in Aragatsotn province. Taxi services are quite affordable throughout Armenia. Be sure to take a cab with a working taximeter.

The South Summit of Mount Aragats is located in the Aragatsotn province of Armenia. The best time of year to visit is in spring (March, April, May) as the difficulties of reaching the South Summit of Aragats are significantly lower during this time of the year. You should get to the Physics Institute (the ‘Aragats’ Scientific Station) on the slopes of Aragats by car, and then start walking uphill using the marked Mount Aragats: South Summit Ascent trail. The snow is partially melted at this time of the year, so you can see Stone Lake (Kari Lich), one of the crystal-clear mountain lakes of Armenia.

Mount Aragats is considered the highest peak in Armenia (4,090m). 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 South Summit at 3,887.8m is the lowest of the four peaks.

On the slopes of Mt. Aragats, animals rest under the thick layers of snow. While descending the route, you are likely to see traces of animals more often than traces of people. While skiing in this territory, you’ll most probably come across evidence of wolves, foxes, wild rabbits, and dogs in rural areas. Birds are also rare in this territory.

The area is located 3,250-3,888m above sea level, and the best time to visit is March, April, May. Typically, this 8.3 km round-trip climb and descent will take about 2 hours.

History & Background

Byurakan village is the scientific center of Armenia where is located one of the most popular observatories of the Post Soviet Countries. The village has a rich historical heritage.

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