Thursday, November 05, 2009
Climbing Mt. Ararat in Turkey
Mountain Hardwear athlete Eric Weihenmayer recently made the journey to Eastern Turkey to climb the mystical Mt. Ararat, a 16,854 foot peak formed from a long dormant volcano. The mountain sits on the border of Turkey, Iran, and Armenia, and has played a role in the region's history.
Weihenmayer shares the story of his trek over at the Hardweare Sessions Blog, where he describes reaching a huge glacier at 14,000 feet that covers more than 17 square miles in size and his over 350 feet deep.
The climb isn't especially technical, but still presents its own challenges, and there are always issues when dealing with this kind of altitude. Still, the team made a successful summit, and Eric was able to add another peak to his growing list of amazing accomplishments. Considering the fact that he is blind, he has still done far more than most people with perfect vision, including a summit of Everest.
Part of the mythology that surrounds Ararat is the belief by some that it is the final resting place for Noah's Ark. The mythology explained in the Bible names the mountain specifically, and the rumors were increased when a spy plane flew over the area and spotted a large object on the slopes that was believed to be made out of wood. The object has yet to be identified, and there are many who believe that it is indeed the Ark. It has been an enduring myth for some time, and definitely adds to the allure of the mountain.