Porak – Climbing, Hiking & Mountaineering

  • Elevation: 2800 m
  • Difficulty:
  • Best months to climb:
  • Convenient center:

Porak Climbing Notes

Iain from UNITED KINGDOM writes:

Climbed in July 2017 via 4x4 to edge of cone, overnight camping.

Once you get to the top, the views can be incredible, ranging from the south of Lake Sevan, Vardenis, an incredible volcanic landscape to the N, W and S, and views across the border into the mountains in Azerbaijan. I would only climb this for the view as it does not represent a mountaineering challenge. It is an eroded volcanic crater, and consists of quite loose volcanic blocks with grassy heath and wildflowers. You can climb from more or less any outside part of the cone, but the inside of the cone is steeper. The summit crater and a series of fissures immediately north of the summit have produced two major pathways for lava to flow towards Lake Sevan, and these lava flows are 10's of m high, impossible for a 4x4 vehicle to pass, and a nuisance for anyone on foot.

Accommodation should be available in Vardenis and nearby towns which are about 15 km away from the summit. The thousands of years-old lava flows are separated by grassy, grazed meadows which are easy going and there are some tracks including a very indistinct path up to the eastern flank of the summit cone. Locate yourself with GPS and good satellite photos. I would recommend finding a local guide with a hefty 4x4, and simply driving up, leaving a few hundred metres to scramble west up to the summit, which is marked by a large metal spike. Should be up and back in an easy day, or if walking and taking care with navigation, you could camp well down from the summit.

It is not work risking life and limb, however: especially in summer, evaporating water from Lake Sevan rapidly condenses and tends to generate tremendous thunderstorms and I suspect Porak is a bit of a lightning rod if the wind is in the right (wrong) direction. I would be very careful to heed any advice about weather conditions as there is zero cover and it would be easy to get caught out and be fried. You may also not get a view! The only other concern might be bears, as droppings are often seen.

2019-06-21

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