It's not the highest mountain in the world, or the most beautiful, or most challenging, or...A lot of people wouldn't have a lot to say about the climb of Mount Ararat. But, all mountains – all challenges in life – are relative to the skills we bring to the table, the goals we are looking to achieve, and our personal perspectives and prerogatives.
And, for Art Adams, reaching the summit of Ararat was not a given, was not easy, and was as well earned as any...Seeing him standing on top made me proud.
It wasn't an easy day. Çelit and I awoke to a big lenticular cap on the summit and raging wind and snow at ur high camp. We pushed back our departure by an hour, and finally saddled up to begin the climb at 1:00 AM. While reasonable enough, the wind and snow never relented as we climbed. Scrambling through jumbled rock with intermittent 30-40 mph blasts of wind took it's toll on Art. However, he kept his spirits up and game face on, and Çelit assured me the summit wasn't too far away.
We continued on, and by 8:00 AM, we were moving up the summit snow slopes. And, finally, the weather gave us a break; the lenticular blew off as sun bathed us in light and warmth. Art, proud as ever, stood on the storied summit of Mount Ararat, gazing off into Iran and relishing the accomplishment.
Çelit and I simply looked at him, proud of his accomplishment, and happy to share it with him.
Ararat may not be the highest, the most beautiful, the hardest, or any other myriad of hyperbolic expressions. But, it's a great mountain...and climbing it with great people puts it high in the rankings for me. And, seeing Art standing proudly on the summit made it as impressive as any peak I've seen.