Ski-touring in Armenia
The wide range of the Little Caucasus (or Lesser Caucasus) extends for over 600 km south of Georgia and includes a large part of the Armenian territory; the highest peak is Mount Aragats 4090 m.
Apart from some known itineraries, the possibilities for adventure are huge; in fact some remote valleys have seen very few foreign visitors on foot and even fewer on skis. The scarcity of information and infrastructure add a special charm to a visit to this small and proud country.
Among the many possibilities, we propose here a traveling tour by car to visit the reliefs to the south-west of the great lake Sevan (towards the border with Turkey) and to the south-east (border with Iran and Azerbaijan), plus the possible ascent to Mount Aragats.
All trips are done in the day, if road access allows it. Some tours are already well known, others are probably new.
During the transfers we recommend to dedicate some time to visit the ancient monasteries, true jewels of religious architecture, typical of the region.
NOTE: the only large ski resort in Armenia is Tsakhkadzor, on the hills west of Lake Sevan; it offers 30 km of sk pistes, served by 7 lifts, at altitudes of 1900-2800 m. It is also quite interesting for off-piste. The best time there is January-March.
*** ON REQUEST ***
> Options and variants for other itineraries in the region and tourist extensions.
> Trekking tour (best time in june, then september and october).
Arrival in Yerevan.
Day trips to some of the most interesting regions of the Little Caucasus for ski mountaineering: Akha valley (Geghama chain), Geghard area (with a visit to the remarkable monastery of the same name), Vardenis massif (this area is also known for the climbing on organ pipe basalt rocks), the mountains around the pleasant town of Goris, and then further south the Zangezuri Lernashghta mountain range.
Possible visits to the Tatev monastery near Goris, or to the millenary churches and ruins of the Vayots Dzor region.
The peaks of the mountains are at altitudes of 3000 – 3600 m; possibly for longer trips or traverses it will be possible to stay overnight in a hut, where available.
Return to Yerevan and board the return flight.
OPTIONAL EXTENSION up to 6 days
with inclusion of the ascent (in 2 days) of Mount Aragats 4090 m.
As an alternative program, in Explorer mode, we offer to all adventure ski mountaineering enthusiasts a one-week raid (Little Caucasus Haute Route), an unprecedented project to discover the most remote valleys of Armenia, with overnight stays in guesthouses at the bottom of the valleys, or bivouac in tents.
In june and september-october.
Consult us to request a personalized program,
also for other areas of Armenia, or in Georgia, Turkey, Iran.
Trip dates, Duration, Departure
The period of time given in the trip description sheet is indicatively the most recommended for optimun conditions for the planned activities. Different periods are possible, especially during season with special climate situations. Duration is referred to the “standard” programme as per description sheet, however it could change according to the local conditions and/or the team’s requirements. If the trip is included in the Scheduled Trips list (yearly planner), the departure date is the one given in the planner; otherwise it will be decided according to the requests we have received. In any case we suggest to contact us for more precise information. In customized trips, departure date and duration are established according to customer’s request
By means of the scores given in the trip decsription sheet we wish to provide an indicative assessment of the challenges to be expected, divided in the following three categories:
Grade 1: adult performing a minimum sport activity (4-8 hours/week), or teenager in medium fitness conditions
Grade 2: adult performing sport activity (8-16 hours/week) or teenager in good fitness conditions
Grade 3: adult performing regular sport activity (16-20 hours/week) or teenager in very good fitness conditions
Grade 4: adult only, regularly performing sport activity and intense training (more than 20 hours/week)
Grade1: no prior experience in the activity is required, just a natural predisposition
Grade 2: prior experience in the activity as beginner to medium level
Grade 3: prior experience in the activity at medium to high level, with regular practice since min. 3-5 years
Grade 4: excellent technical skills with long experience in the activity (more than 5 years)
Grade 1: no prior experience in adventure travel id required, just a positive attitude to adapt
Grade 2: prior, yet limited, experience in adventure travel, with a strong attitude to adapt and determination
Grade 3: prior experience in adventure travel including remote area and wilderness, or extreme wheather, or uncertainty in route finding
Grade 4: prior experience in adventure travel including remote area and wilderness, or extreme wheather, or uncertainty in route finding, strong determination to overcome unforeseen events
The type of accomodation as planned is indicated in the trip sheet (hotel, lodge, tents, etc..).
The means of local transfers are indicated as planned (flight, bus, 4WD vehicle, ferry, etc.). Some changes are possible in relation to the actual availability on site and/or the terrain and wheather conditions.
Service included and Prices
We do not have a price list. Quotes are sent on request only. Details of services included, excluded, or optionally available, will be specified in the quote and confirmed at the time of booking. Prices depend on number of participants and on the specific requirements of the group. They will be definitely set at the time of booking after definiton of all trip details and confirmation of dates. Special prices can be granted according to number of participants, and/or for pre-established groups, clubs and associations, guides with own clients, active athletes, tour operators and travel agents, journalists, physicians, rescue operators, schools, staff of organization running an humanitarian or research project.