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Asia, Middle East, Turkey, Mt. Ararat, Northeast Rib/Face

Mt. Ararat, northeast rib/face. On July 27, a group of climbers from five countries made an ascent of the northeast flank of Mt. Ararat (16,940') near the borders of Armenia and Iran in northeast Turkey. The team was comprised of Marcelo Buraglia (Columbia), Khoo Swee Chiou (Singapore), Tunc Findik (Turkey), David D. Keaton (US), Nasuh Maruhki (Turkey), Ricardo Torres Nava (Mexico), and Fernando Gonzales Rubio (Columbia). One of the expedition goals was to help raise awareness and support for several charities including the Babu Chiri School in Nepal and the Istanbul-based AKUT search and rescue team. The ascent alternated between a rib of funky rock and a series of snowfields. A short section of 50-degree ice led to the summit icecap and the east summit, which was traversed to reach the main top. The line, vexed by rockfall, may not have seen a previous ascent. Western climbers have typically been restricted to the mountain’s southern route, but the lesser known northern approaches offer new route possibilities including the unclimbed and horrific looking Ahora Gorge. A more detailed report can be found at www.holylandexpeditions.com.

David D. Keaton