Treks up Mount Ararat are normally five-day affairs, supported as far as Camp 2 by mules. From the starting point at Eli (2150m), 10km north of Doğubeyazıt, it’s a half-day walk to Camp 1 (3200m).
Camp 2, at 4200m, is a strenuous six-hour march higher. From Camp 2, a 1am start is needed to reach the summit (5hr) before cloud cover becomes too thick. At around 4900m the stones give way to permanent snowpack and then glacier. The views on a clear day are stupendous, compensating for the hard slog of the ascent. Winter climbs followed by ski-descents have become increasingly popular for experienced mountaineers.