How a 21-year-old Englishman Conquered the 4 Peaks of Aragats in 9 Hours
Meet Val Ismaili from London, who arrived in Armenia for 4 months, and spent five weeks in Dilijan, where he helped build the first mountaineering trail in Armenia. Climbing is a favourite hobby for the future engineer. During his stay in Armenia, Val climbed 4 peaks of Aragats in 9 hours, after which he arrived from the south to Batumi in 8 weeks.
I met him a day before his departure for a very short period of time. He was in a hurry to climb Cascade and admire the landscape that opens up on the horizon once again. And he began to recall.
“My journey through Armenia to Georgia, the Transcaucasian trail was the most enjoyable of all the other trips, and believe me, I’ve travelled all over England, Albania, Kosovo and even Croatia. Armenians stand out with their hospitality and warm welcome.”
Val also said that walking through almost all of Armenia, starting his journey from Meghri, then walking to Tatev, Sisian, reaching Artavan, Noravank, where he recalled having tasted exquisite wine, after which he reached Dilijan with Geghama Mountains.
“I am the first person to cross the Transcaucasian trail of 1500 kilometres, walking about 30 kilometres a day, and whenever I felt alone, I was surrounded by shepherds in the mountains, and they would teach me Armenian words,” said Val.
To the question of how he decided to conquer Mount Aragats, he replied that he made that decision before coming to Armenia. He has many Armenian friends who have told him about the magnificent scenery that opens up while on the peaks. He also talked about the indescribable feeling he experienced when he witnessed several sudden changes of weather in one day.
“This was my first visit to Armenia, but not the last. I’ll come back next year with a big group. I have very interesting memories from Armenia to take with me to London. I can’t walk indifferently by Armenian food, even the vegetables and fruits are unique tastes. Matsun and lavash are my favourite foods that I tried for the first time when the shepherds living in the mountains shared some with me. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to take it with me on the journey back.”
Translator Alice Ananian