ISSN 1829-4618


By: Melkonyan A. A., Academician of NAS RA

The most valuable and magnificent names Ararat-Masis for us Armenians have been known since earliest times. Ararat is mentioned in the Bible as a name of the mountain where Noah’s ark rested after the Flood subsided. The word Ararat is presented as Armenia in Vulgatae and King James Bible. It is suggested that the names of both Aratta (the 3rd millennium BC) of the Sumerian and Urartu (Van Kingdom, the first half of the 1st millennium BC) of the Assyrian cuneiform sources are derivations of the name of Ararat.
During centuries many travelers admired the Ararat-Masis and tried to climb to the summitit. In the 19th century the most succesful were Prof. Parrot and famous Armenian writer Khachatur Abovyan who then joined and climbed the mountain with Herman von Abich. In the course of the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century there were new expeditions to the summit of Ararat.
By the 1921 illegitimate treaties of Moscow and Kars, with the annexation of Kars comprising part of Eastern Armenia to Turkey, the perpetrator of the Armenian Genocide, started the history of “captivity” of free Masis - Ararat, the highest peak of the Armenian Highland, the cradle of Armenians. In 1950s the routes up Masis were re-opened for the mountaineers of the world. Gradually Ararat turned into one of the centers of international mountaineering thus bringing great financial benefit to the Turkish authorities. But for Armenians the iron curtains of the roads of the so much desired mountain peak were not raised. The Armenians tried to be on top of the biblical peak within numerous foreign mountaineering organizations.
During the recent years the incredible stories of different groups about reaching the summit of Ararat, perturbed and inspired new layers of the Armenian nation. The first day of our ascent, August 8, 2007 was not chosen by chance. In case of a three-day successful ascent the Armenian group would be on the top on August 10, i.e. on a very symbolic day for Armenians, the day of the Treaty of Sevres. On August 10 from the height of about 5000 m, on the peak flooded in the sunrays, flying flags could already be seen. Between 8:45 and 9:18 Yerevan time all the members of the group reached the peak.

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