|Armenian First Ascent Open Festival - May 26-28, 2011 Arpa Gorge|
|Written by Mkhitar Mkitaryan|
|Thursday, 02 June 2011|
In the afternoon of May 26, the event crew set up the camp on the plateau above Arpa Gorge, one of two basalt columns formation of Armenia. Like the basalt columns at Garni Gorge, basalt column formations in Arpa Gorge are also considered Natural Monuments. To climb on these formations during the Festival only by Clean Climbing discipline,
The campsite was not set on the spot it was initially planned. Due to flooded river from recent days’ continuous rains, it was not possible to cross the river walking to set the camp at the small field below the Devil’s tower. So, it was set up on the plateau right above the tower from where we needed just some 5min hike down to the base of the rocks. To get to another climbing section, 800m above by the river from Devil’s tower, we just need to drive along the river there and to cross Arpa River by the wire bridge.
In the morning of May 27, Vladimir Belousov started with FFA of the route “Eagles aren’t home” which was first ascended by Mkhitar Mkhitaryan on the Festival 2009. Aleksey Antonov and Aleksey Adamov started warming up on Alex Chabot’s “Pencils” 6c+, whereas Nasim Eshqi and Caroline North climbed new line “Find the Pleasure”. During the rest of the day other existing lines were repeated.
Three more beautiful lines were initiated next day, on May 28. After crossing the gushing river by wire- and branch-made bridge, being secured by rope guard rail, the climbers started hiking up the slope to the rocks. Vladimir Belousov did “Short trip”, Caroline and Nasim did “2 girls in dreamland” and two Alexeys, from Russia, did “The village hour”.
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