Mount Aragats
Armenia, Aragatsotn

Aragats is a lone extinct volcano, the highest mountain in the territory of modern Armenia and in Transcaucasia. This wonderful natural monument is located at 40 ° 32 east longitude, its central elevation covers an area of more than 820 square kilometers.
In prehistoric times, a volcanic eruption, accompanied by an explosion, destroyed the top of the mountain.
Around the crater of irregular shape - 2X1.5 kilometers, more than 400 meters deep - four peaks rise like the petals of a giant flower: northern - 4090 meters, western - 4080 meters, eastern - 3916 meters, southern - 3879 meters. The crater of the volcano became an ice circus.
The summit belt of Aragats retained traces of ancient glaciation. Here you can find moraines, punishment, spots of eternal snow on glacial circuses with a total area of about 5 square kilometers, alpine lakes. The largest of them is Lake Kari, lying at an altitude of 3,207 meters, with a circumference of 1,150 meters.
Powerful rocky covers of the mid-mountain part contain a rich range of tuff lavas - dark red-violet, pink, black and yellow. Outlets of basalts are found in the eastern and northeastern parts of the slopes. Lava covers form terraces, the steps of which reach 20 meters in height.
Volcanic activity and centuries-old work of water, wind and the sun formed deep gorges on the slopes, the largest - Geghovit and Amberd, with a depth of up to 500 meters; wide hollows surrounded by rocks, pipe-shaped rocky walkways-multurites - the result of lightning.
Many large and small rivers originate on Aragats, among them - Kasakh and Gekhovit, Amberd and Sevjur. In the Gekhovit gorge, three waterfalls fall out with a water fall height of more than 100 meters.
A green carpet of alpine vegetation covers the mountain from late summer to early autumn.
The alpine landscape of Aragats with its variety of colors, many sources, beautiful mountain air is very beautiful. No less beautiful is the panorama that opens from the mid-mountain part and the belt at the top - the luster of mountain lakes among the emerald greenery of the slopes, lonely hills that pass into the foggy Araks valley, on the edge of which stands the sister of Aragats - the Bible Mountain.
Legends have been preserved in national traditions that the mountains Masis and Aragats were loving sisters. Once there was a dispute between them - which of them is taller, more beautiful and slimmer.
The sisters argued for a long time and, in the end, cursed each other. Since then, to the top of Masis a man’s foot has not been able to step, and on the top of Aragats a lake of tears has come which she pours all year round.
Up to a height of just over 3000 meters, Aragats has been inhabited and mastered by man since prehistoric times. Cultural monuments of various eras have been preserved on its slopes, some of them are waiting for their researchers.
The geographers and travelers known to us climbing Aragats began in 1843, when the German naturalist and traveler M. Wagner climbed the mountain. Climbing Aragats was also undertaken by composer Komitas, academician G. Abikh, military topographer A. Pastukhov.
A legend is associated with Aragats, according to which St. Grigor Lusavorich (the Illuminator) ascended to its summit for prayers, while at night an unquenchable lamp shone on him, hanging directly from heaven. Legend claims that even now this lamp shines at night, but only the initiates see it.
The beautiful landscape of the foothills and mountain zones, numerous cultural monuments on its slopes allow us to classify Aragats among the most interesting peaks attractive for lovers of travel and alpine climbing. Several mountain climbing routes have been laid to the top of the mountain.
In summer, climbing is recommended in July or August. At this time of the year, mountain trails are already drying up, which greatly facilitates the ascent. In winter, climbing can be done only by experienced climbers on skis, because due to the deep snow-firn fields, climbing without skis is impossible. Depending on the route, climbing trips can last one, two or three days.

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