Dangers / Problems
It is no wonder that the Ark of Noah has remained a mystery to all of man
for such a long time. For over 4300 years, Noah's Ark has been preserved in the high
altitudes of Mount Ararat.
Not only has the Ark been preserved by freezing temperatures but also by
the incredible number of obstacles a climber must surpass and/or endure to reach this
secret spot. The book, The Lost Ship of Noah by Charles Berlitz represents the
basis for most of these descriptions and some are direct quotes. Select one of the
following and see why the Turkish word for Mount Ararat is Agri Dagh or "the Mountain
Overhanging snow cliffs can partially melt and detach themselves and crash
down. An area in Ahora gorge has been dubbed, "Avalanche Canyon" by
researchers. It is in this canyon, very clearly seen from photographs that rocks and
glacier run off smash and destroy everything in their path.
Because of the proximity of Mount Ararat with Iran and Armenia, the
mountain provides good cover for arms trade. This leads to dangerous conditions for the
unsuspecting mountain explorer.
In 1985, John McIntosh along with Colonel Irwin, the astronaut, and others
of the Probe Ministries Foundation, ascended Mount Ararat. The team was turn around by
terrorists, and this is his account: "The people who raided our high camp tore down
our tents, took what equipment they thought they would need, then poured our cooking gas
on the equipment they didn't want and set it afire. They kept us around the fire and held
us there while part of them burned and looted the French camp below us. .... Suddenly they
started pushing us and pointing their guns at us, indicating that we shouldn't stand in a
straight line. We didn't know what was going to happen but, when I saw them bring their
guns to shoulder level and stiffen their arms as they aimed the guns at us I thought 'This
is it!' .... Then, when we were lined up to their satisfaction, several lowered their guns
and produced cameras and started taking flash pictures of us. .... After this their
leader, who Bill Crouse said looked just like Joe Stalin, pointed down the mountain toward
Dogubayazit and said, 'Go quick - back to America!' "
The PKK or the Kurdistan Workers Party [AKA: Kurdish Separatists,
Mesopotamian Army] "is known as one of the most active and best organized terrorist
organizations in the world.", as reported by The Terrorism Research Center in 1997.
Almost 20 million Kurds inhabit the Middle East with the majority residing in Turkey.
Kurds have been unable thus far to establish themselves as an autonomous nation. The
social revolution of Turkey in 1928 began to outlaw several languages use by minority
groups such as the 10 million Kurds in Turkey. A backlash from this continued repression
and lack of a homeland lead to the development of the PKK.
The PKK is a very dangerous, angry, and merciless group. Over the past ten
years, their rebellion has caused 10,000 deaths. They target Turkish travel agencies,
cultural centers and stores with the malicious intent to damage Turkey's 7 billion dollar
tourism industry. Tourists do not escape their wrath.
The PKK does not represent the vast majority of Kurds. They have commanded
the presence of the Turkish Army as they find refuge in the crevasses and nooks of Mount
Ararat. It is this group which has caused so many problems for past and present
expeditions to locate Noah's Ark. Their terrorist tactics have captured past explorers on
Mount Ararat at gun point and detained them. Currently the Turkish government has
forbidden all climbing in and around Mount Ararat because of the PKK activity.
Check out this Web resource for more information on the ever present
danger of the PKK: www.noahsarksearch.com/turkishnews.htm
Mount Ararat is a volcano. It is continually giving off hot puffs of gas.
It has been stated by scientists that there is active carbon dioxide gas on the upper
slopes. When this is combined with the normal lack of oxygen at the higher altitudes, it
can bring on illness and confusion.
Crevasses located on the many large glaciers on Mount Ararat have claimed
several lives. Even the locals will "tie" themselves together with rope
when entering glacial fields. The crevasses can be tens or a hundred feet deep.
Ararat is a volcano which last erupted in 1840. After the eruption, it
destroyed the village and monastery of Ahora on the northeastern side of the mountain and
created a great gorge, nearly 800 feet deep where the village once existed. Black Glacier
now covers that side of the mountain.
In 1965, near prayer time at the mosque, Mount Ararat let off a
"...deep and powerful roaring sound that came from inside the earth. After that the
Rock slides and falling rocks can be caused by jumping wild goats, a loud
shout or a gun shot. Rock slide or "rock avalanches" pour down thousands of
rocks just like snow in a snow avalanche.
Colonel James Irwin, an astronaut who walked on the moon, was an avid Ark
searcher. On one trip at 12,500 feet, he sat down to put on his crampons and suddenly lost
consciousness. He had been hit in the head by falling rock and regained consciousness at
the bottom of the snowfield in a pile of sharp rock, bleeding from many cuts, suffering
sprains, possible concussion and five broken teeth. Later on that very cold night, tucked
into his sleeping bag, he once again began to slip and slide down the mountain. He walked
his sleeping bag back up the mountain, made it through the night and was taken to a local
hospital in the morning.
Ararat is a very high lone mountain which is acts like a giant lightning
rod. The upper slopes are usually covered with clouds full of static electricity. The
metal items which climbers carry can attract a lightning bolt. Sharp granite rocks attract
the lightning. Head for lava rocks if you seek protection during a lightning storm.
John Morris organized an expedition in 1972. He describes his encounter
with a bolt of lightning at an elevation of 13,000 feet. The lightning seemed to be
collecting in certain spots, accompanied by a tremendous explosion of thunder.
"Static electricity was evident everywhere. Our ice axes and crampons were singing,
our hair was standing on end, even J.B.'s beard and my moustache were sticking straight
They continued their climb and then rested under a large rock. Suddenly
the rock was repeatedly struck by lightning, knocking two of them down the slope and
"freezing" another to the rock with arms and legs sticking straight out. While
stuck to the rock, he could feel the electricity surge through his body. When he put one
foot to the ground, it completed the circuit and exploded him down the slope with the
Prior to the break down of the Soviet Union, Mount Ararat was surrounded
by hostile nations. With Iran on one side and Soviet Union on the other, it became very
difficult for Western climbers to look for Noah's Ark. Russian radio would broadcast,
"American spies wandering in the Ararat area with the pretext of looking for Noah's
Mount Ararat is located within a military zone and has frequently been
closed to climbers for reasons of security.
Fog is created by the venting of hot gases from the mountain into the cool
mountain air. This fog often starts out as a small wisp and grows to cover large areas of
the mountain. As the fog envelops climbers, it is best to stop moving for fear of falling
over a precipice, into a crevasse or through thin ice which may be hiding a fissure in the
Unexpected rainstorms can cause flash floods and devastate unexpecting
Wild animals on top of Mount Ararat have been known to viciously approach
Those families that
raise herds of cattle, sheep or goats on Mount Ararat have sheep dogs to guide and
protect. Many of these sheep dogs are very big, possibly 100 to 150 pounds which
approach the climber or stranger to the area with a vicious growl and loud frightening
bark. There shaggy appearance is even more ominous especially when "rabid
dog" images come to mind.
The ballpark estimate for summiting Mount Everest, a mountain with multiple
permanent base camps, guides and tour packages designed to reduce
, is $75,000 to $100,000.
That's just the cost for one person and with gear, plane fare and permits varying in cost it can
easily exceed that number. Mount Ararat is about 13,000 feet shorter than Everest and also has
it's own base camps, guides and tour packages. Ballpark
for summiting Ararat are in
the $40,000 to $75,000 range, which seems cheaper but there are also much greater risks. You
can get a small business loan from a company like www.rapidadvance.com to run tours or to pay
for a group of people to summit Everest as a corporate team building exercise because of the
relative safety of the trek, but you cannot get a small business loan or any other kind of loan
to summit Ararat. This is due to many of the issues already listed on this page like bandits
and politics, but also because of the high rate of impostor tour groups and guides combined
with very little medical support in case of an emergency. Should anything happen to you,
you'll be relying on the climbers you're with. No helicopters and no huge search and rescue
crew. The overall price of a trek like this may be cheaper than other, more famous mountains,
but you'll make up for it in the greatly increased risks involved.
For more information, check out this page:
It was created by a highly experienced guide group and contains 47 different warnings to consider
when climbing Mount Ararat.