At Two Ararat, we understand that embarking on the incredible journey of climbing Mount Ararat is not just an adventure; it’s a dream for many. We are a dedicated climbing company that specializes in providing a safe and exhilarating experience for climbers who seek to conquer the majestic peaks of Mount Ararat. Our commitment to the safety and well-being of our climbers is unwavering, and we take pride in ensuring that every expedition with us is not only challenging but also memorable and, most importantly, secure.

The Importance of Acclimatization Exercises and Activation Days with Two Ararat Climb Company

At Two Ararat Climb Company, we place paramount importance on the well-being and safety of our climbers. We understand the unique challenges posed by high-altitude expeditions and recognize the crucial role that acclimatization exercises and activation days play in preventing high altitude diseases. Here’s why these practices are integral to our expeditions:

  1. Ensuring Climber Safety: Two Ararat prioritizes the safety of our climbers above all else. Acclimatization exercises and activation days are essential components of our itineraries because they significantly reduce the risk of high altitude diseases. This commitment to safety is fundamental to our approach.
  2. Gradual Adaptation: Acclimatization exercises involve a gradual ascent to higher altitudes, allowing climbers to adapt to the reduced oxygen levels. This gradual adjustment minimizes the chances of developing acute mountain sickness (AMS), a common high-altitude ailment.
  3. Preventing Severe Conditions: High altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) and high altitude cerebral edema (HACE) are severe and potentially life-threatening conditions. Acclimatization reduces the risk of these conditions by helping the body adjust to the unique challenges of high-altitude environments.
  4. Expert Guidance: Two Ararat’s experienced guides understand the significance of acclimatization and activation days. They lead our climbers through these crucial phases, ensuring they are adequately prepared both physically and mentally for the ascent.
  5. Health Monitoring: During acclimatization exercises and activation days, our guides closely monitor climbers’ physical condition and well-being. This proactive approach enables us to detect any early symptoms of altitude sickness and provide timely medical intervention if necessary.
  6. Enhanced Physical and Mental Preparedness: Activation days allow climbers to rest, recover, and build strength for the challenges ahead. This ensures that climbers are not only physically fit but also mentally focused and alert, reducing the risk of accidents and errors during the climb.
  7. Improved Oxygen Utilization: Acclimatization exercises stimulate the body to produce more red blood cells and optimize oxygen transport in the bloodstream. This adaptation is critical in a low-oxygen environment, helping climbers maintain energy levels and overall health.
  8. Reduced Cardiovascular Strain: High-altitude environments place stress on the cardiovascular system. Acclimatization exercises and activation days alleviate this strain, enabling the heart and lungs to operate more efficiently with less effort.

High altitude diseases Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE).

High altitude diseases, also known as altitude sickness or high-altitude illnesses, are a group of medical conditions that can occur when individuals ascend to high elevations, typically above 8,000 feet (2,500 meters) above sea level. These conditions are primarily a result of reduced oxygen levels and lower air pressure at higher altitudes. There are three main types of high altitude diseases:

  1. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS):

    • AMS is the mildest and most common form of high altitude sickness. It typically occurs when individuals ascend to altitudes of 8,000 feet (2,500 meters) or higher within a short period.
    • Symptoms of AMS may include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, insomnia, and loss of appetite. People with AMS might also experience difficulty concentrating and mild shortness of breath.
    • The severity of AMS can vary from mild discomfort to more severe symptoms. In most cases, it is a self-limiting condition that improves as the body acclimatizes to the altitude. If symptoms worsen or become severe, it can develop into one of the more serious conditions, such as HAPE or HACE.
  2. High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE):

    • HAPE is a more severe and potentially life-threatening condition that primarily affects the lungs. It typically occurs at altitudes above 8,000 feet and can develop from untreated AMS.
    • Symptoms of HAPE include severe shortness of breath, cough with pink or frothy sputum, chest tightness, and extreme fatigue. Individuals may also experience a rapid heartbeat and confusion.
    • HAPE is caused by the accumulation of fluid in the lungs, leading to impaired oxygen exchange. If left untreated, it can be fatal. Immediate descent to lower altitudes and supplemental oxygen are essential for managing HAPE.
  3. High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE):

    • HACE is the most severe and life-threatening form of high altitude sickness. It occurs when there is fluid buildup in the brain, resulting in swelling of brain tissue. HACE is often preceded by AMS or HAPE.
    • Symptoms of HACE include severe headache, confusion, ataxia (loss of coordination), altered mental state, hallucinations, and impaired consciousness. Seizures and coma can also occur in severe cases.
    • HACE requires immediate medical attention and a rapid descent to lower altitudes. Administering supplemental oxygen is crucial, and medications like dexamethasone may be used to reduce brain swelling.

It’s important to note that high altitude diseases can affect anyone, regardless of age or fitness level. The best way to prevent these conditions is through gradual acclimatization to higher altitudes. Climbers and trekkers should also be aware of the symptoms and risks associated with high altitude diseases and seek prompt medical attention if symptoms of AMS, HAPE, or HACE develop. In some cases, descent to a lower altitude is the most effective treatment for these conditions.

High altitude diseases, such as acute mountain sickness (AMS), high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), and high altitude cerebral edema (HACE), can be life-threatening if not managed properly. Several factors increase the risk of these conditions, and proper physical fitness and preparation are crucial for mitigating these risks. Here are the key factors that contribute to high altitude diseases:

  1. Rapid Ascent:
    • Rapid ascent to high altitudes without allowing the body to acclimatize is a significant risk factor. As you ascend to higher altitudes, the air pressure and oxygen levels decrease, putting more stress on your body.
    • Ascending too quickly doesn’t give your body enough time to adjust to the lower oxygen levels, making you more susceptible to altitude-related illnesses.
  2. Inadequate Acclimatization:
    • Acclimatization is the process by which the body gradually adapts to the reduced oxygen levels at high altitudes. Insufficient acclimatization increases the risk of altitude sickness.
    • Spending a few days at intermediate altitudes (e.g., 6,000-8,000 feet) before going higher allows your body to adjust and build more red blood cells to carry oxygen efficiently.
  3. Pre-Existing Medical Conditions:
    • Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, such as heart or lung problems, are at greater risk when exposed to high altitudes. These conditions can be exacerbated at altitude due to the lower oxygen levels.
    • Conditions like hypertension, asthma, and coronary artery disease can become more challenging to manage at high altitudes.
  4. Age and Fitness Level:
    • Age can also be a factor, as older individuals may be more susceptible to altitude-related illnesses.
    • Physical fitness plays a crucial role in altitude adaptation. People who are physically fit are generally better equipped to cope with the reduced oxygen levels and physical demands of high-altitude activities.

The importance of physical fitness and preparation:

  1. Physical Fitness:
    • Regular physical exercise and cardiovascular fitness can enhance your ability to cope with lower oxygen levels at high altitudes. Fit individuals may experience fewer symptoms and acclimatize more quickly.
  2. Gradual Ascent:
    • Gradual ascent is vital. Climbers and trekkers should plan their trips with a focus on acclimatization, spending a few days at intermediate altitudes before ascending to higher elevations.
  3. Hydration and Nutrition:
    • Proper hydration and nutrition are essential to maintaining energy levels and supporting the body’s physiological responses to altitude. Dehydration can exacerbate altitude sickness.
  4. Medications:
    • In some cases, medications such as acetazolamide (Diamox) may be prescribed by a healthcare provider to help prevent or alleviate altitude sickness symptoms. However, these should not be considered a substitute for proper acclimatization.

Risk Factors:

High altitude diseases, such as acute mountain sickness (AMS), high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), and high altitude cerebral edema (HACE), are a result of reduced oxygen availability and reduced atmospheric pressure at high altitudes. Several factors can increase the risk of these conditions:

  1. Rapid Ascent:

    • Rapid ascent to high altitudes without proper acclimatization is one of the most significant risk factors. Ascending too quickly doesn’t allow the body sufficient time to adjust to the decreased oxygen levels.
    • Avoiding a rapid ascent means taking time to acclimatize, which may involve spending a few days at intermediate altitudes before ascending further. The body can gradually adapt to the reduced oxygen levels during this time.
  2. Inadequate Acclimatization:

    • Inadequate acclimatization, even at a moderate altitude, can increase the risk of high altitude diseases. Spending time at higher altitudes helps the body adjust to the lower oxygen levels.
    • Proper acclimatization involves gradual ascents and spending time at higher altitudes to allow physiological adjustments to occur. It also includes staying hydrated and maintaining proper nutrition.
  3. Pre-existing Medical Conditions:

    • Certain pre-existing medical conditions can increase the risk of high altitude diseases. These conditions may include respiratory and cardiovascular issues.
    • Individuals with conditions like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or congenital heart diseases should consult with a healthcare professional before attempting high-altitude activities. They might require specific precautions or medications.
  4. Physical Fitness and Preparation:

    • Physical fitness is a crucial factor in reducing the risk of high altitude diseases. Aerobic fitness, muscular strength, and endurance help the body better cope with the physical stress of high-altitude activities.
    • Preparatory measures include regular exercise routines, especially cardiovascular workouts and strength training, to enhance overall physical fitness. Training can improve an individual’s ability to handle physical exertion and stress at high altitudes.
  5. Altitude and Climbing Experience:

    • Previous experience with high-altitude activities, especially climbing, can be an advantage. Experienced climbers tend to be better prepared for the physical and mental challenges posed by high altitudes.
    • Novice climbers or trekkers should consider joining guided expeditions, as experienced guides can provide valuable advice and assistance.
  6. Hydration and Nutrition:

    • Proper hydration is essential to prevent altitude-related illnesses. Dehydration can exacerbate the symptoms of high altitude diseases.
    • Adequate nutrition, with a focus on high-carbohydrate, balanced meals, can help maintain energy levels and support acclimatization.
  7. Altitude and Weather Conditions:

    • Extreme cold and severe weather conditions at high altitudes can increase the risk of hypothermia, frostbite, and other cold-related injuries. Adequate clothing and equipment are essential.
    • Altitude also affects UV radiation levels, making sun protection a crucial aspect of preparation.

In summary, the risk of high altitude diseases is influenced by factors such as rapid ascent, inadequate acclimatization, and pre-existing medical conditions. Proper physical fitness, acclimatization, and preparation are crucial for reducing these risks. It’s important to plan high-altitude activities carefully, seek medical advice if necessary, and prioritize safety to enjoy the unique and breathtaking experiences that high-altitude environments offer.

Role of Acclimatization Exercises in Preventing High Altitude Diseases:

Acclimatization exercises play a vital role in preventing high altitude diseases. These exercises are designed to help individuals adapt to the lower oxygen levels and reduced atmospheric pressure at high altitudes. They aim to stimulate physiological changes that improve the body’s oxygen utilization and reduce the risk of conditions like acute mountain sickness (AMS), high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), and high altitude cerebral edema (HACE). Here are some key aspects of acclimatization exercises:

  1. Gradual Ascent: Gradual ascent is the cornerstone of acclimatization. It involves slowly ascending to higher altitudes, giving the body time to adapt to the reduced oxygen levels. Ascent should ideally involve incremental gains in altitude, with rest days between ascents.
  2. Hydration: Staying well-hydrated is crucial during acclimatization. Proper hydration helps maintain blood volume and circulation, which is essential for oxygen transport. Dehydration can exacerbate altitude-related symptoms.
  3. Rest: Adequate rest is essential for the body to recover and adapt. Proper sleep and relaxation are vital components of acclimatization, as they aid in reducing fatigue and improving overall well-being.
  4. Altitude Exposure: Spending time at higher altitudes, even for short periods, can help the body acclimatize. Some acclimatization exercises involve ascending to higher altitudes during the day and descending to sleep at a lower elevation.
  5. Physical Conditioning: Physical fitness is an important part of acclimatization. Regular exercise, especially aerobic fitness and strength training, can enhance your overall ability to cope with the physical stress of high-altitude activities.

Two Ararat’s Activation Days and Their Importance:

Two Ararat’s Activation Days are an integral part of their acclimatization strategy for climbers ascending Mount Ararat. These activation days involve a gradual ascent to a higher altitude and are designed to help participants acclimatize effectively. Here’s why they are important:

  1. Gradual Altitude Gain: Activation days allow participants to ascend to a higher elevation gradually, providing the body with time to adjust to reduced oxygen levels. The gradual ascent minimizes the risk of altitude-related illnesses.
  2. Stimulating Adaptations: These days help stimulate physiological adaptations in the body, including increased red blood cell production, improved oxygen-carrying capacity, and changes in breathing patterns, all of which are critical for acclimatization.
  3. Symptom Monitoring: Activation days also allow climbers and guides to monitor participants for any signs of AMS, HAPE, or HACE. Early detection of symptoms can lead to timely interventions, preventing the progression of these illnesses.

Tips for Effective Acclimatization:

For climbers aiming to acclimatize effectively, especially in high-altitude environments like Mount Ararat, consider the following tips:

  1. Plan a Gradual Ascent: Ascend slowly and avoid rapid altitude gains. Include rest days during the ascent to allow your body to acclimatize.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, but avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine, as they can contribute to dehydration.
  3. Prioritize Nutrition: Consume balanced, high-carbohydrate meals that provide energy for the physical demands of climbing and acclimatization.
  4. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to altitude-related symptoms. If you experience symptoms like headache, nausea, or difficulty breathing, descend to a lower elevation.
  5. Engage in Activation Days: If available, participate in activation days or exercises that promote acclimatization.
  6. Rest Adequately: Ensure you get enough sleep and rest to recover from the physical and mental stress of high-altitude climbing.
  7. Consult a Healthcare Professional: If you have pre-existing medical conditions or are unsure about your suitability for high-altitude activities, seek advice from a healthcare professional.

Effective acclimatization is essential for a safe and enjoyable high-altitude experience. It reduces the risk of altitude-related illnesses and allows climbers to fully appreciate the breathtaking vistas and challenges of high-altitude environments like Mount Ararat.

Recognizing Early Symptoms of High Altitude Diseases:

Recognizing the early symptoms of high altitude diseases is crucial for climbers to ensure their safety and well-being. These symptoms can vary in severity and might be subtle at first, making it essential for climbers to be vigilant. Common high altitude diseases include acute mountain sickness (AMS), high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), and high altitude cerebral edema (HACE). Here’s how climbers can identify early symptoms:

  1. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS):
    • Headache: A persistent, throbbing headache is one of the earliest signs of AMS.
    • Fatigue: Feeling unusually tired or weak.
    • Nausea and Vomiting: Experiencing nausea and, in some cases, vomiting.
    • Loss of Appetite: A decreased desire to eat.
  2. High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE):
    • Shortness of Breath: Difficulty in breathing, especially when at rest.
    • Coughing: Persistent dry cough, which may progress to producing pink, frothy sputum.
    • Chest Discomfort: A sense of tightness or pressure in the chest.
  3. High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE):
    • Severe Headache: A severe, pounding headache that is different from a typical AMS headache.
    • Mental Confusion: Difficulty thinking clearly or making decisions.
    • Ataxia: Loss of coordination, unsteady gait, or difficulty walking.

Encouraging Open Communication:

Climbers should maintain open communication with their guides and fellow climbers. Here’s why it’s essential:

  1. Safety: Open communication ensures that guides and fellow climbers are aware of any symptoms or discomfort experienced by an individual. This information is vital for safety and prompt response.
  2. Early Intervention: Detecting symptoms early allows for timely interventions. In many cases, descending to a lower elevation or seeking medical assistance can prevent the progression of high altitude diseases.
  3. Shared Responsibility: Climbing in a group fosters a sense of shared responsibility. Everyone in the group can look out for one another’s well-being.

Importance of Not Ignoring Symptoms and Seeking Medical Attention:

Ignoring symptoms of high altitude diseases can be dangerous and even life-threatening. It’s essential to emphasize the importance of taking symptoms seriously and seeking medical attention when necessary:

  1. Progression of Symptoms: High altitude diseases can progress rapidly. What may begin as mild symptoms can worsen quickly, leading to more severe illness or complications.
  2. Life-Threatening Consequences: HAPE and HACE, if left untreated, can be fatal. Timely medical attention is critical for a positive outcome.
  3. Prevention: Early intervention, such as descending to a lower elevation or administering appropriate medications, can prevent the progression of symptoms and mitigate the risks associated with high altitude diseases.
  4. Safety of the Group: Ignoring symptoms not only endangers the individual but can also compromise the safety of the entire climbing group. Evacuating a sick climber is a complex and demanding process.

In conclusion, recognizing early symptoms of high altitude diseases, openly communicating with guides and fellow climbers, and seeking medical attention when necessary are key components of a safe and successful high-altitude climbing experience. Climbers should prioritize their health and well-being while enjoying the challenges and rewards of high-altitude adventures.

Treatment Options for High Altitude Diseases:

Treatment for high altitude diseases is crucial to prevent the progression of symptoms and potential complications. Depending on the specific condition, the following treatment options are available:

  1. Descent to Lower Altitudes: For most high altitude diseases, the primary and most effective treatment is immediate descent to lower altitudes. This allows the body to rapidly regain access to higher oxygen levels and alleviate the symptoms. The rate of descent should be based on the severity of the illness.
  2. Supplemental Oxygen: In less severe cases of altitude sickness or while descending, supplemental oxygen can be administered to relieve symptoms. Portable oxygen tanks are commonly used for this purpose.


  • Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS): Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate headaches. Acetazolamide is a prescription medication that can be used to speed up acclimatization and reduce the severity of AMS symptoms.

  • High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE): Nifedipine or phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors like sildenafil may be used to relax blood vessels and reduce pulmonary hypertension.

  • High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE): Dexamethasone is often administered to reduce brain swelling. Immediate descent is crucial in HACE cases.

Two Ararat’s Safety Measures:

Two Ararat, like many reputable adventure companies, takes safety seriously to ensure the well-being of climbers. Here’s how they prioritize safety:

  1. Access to Medical Support Evacuation Plans: The company develops and communicates clear evacuation plans to deal with emergency situations. In the event of severe altitude-related illnesses or other emergencies, evacuation procedures are followed to get the affected climber to lower altitudes or medical facilities as quickly as possible.
  2. Acclimatization Strategies: Two Ararat incorporates acclimatization days into their itineraries to reduce the risk of altitude-related illnesses. These days allow climbers to gradually adjust to higher elevations, reducing the chances of experiencing severe symptoms.
  3. Group Dynamics: Climbers are encouraged to communicate openly with guides and fellow participants about any discomfort or symptoms they may be experiencing. This open dialogue enhances the group’s ability to monitor and respond to altitude-related issues.
  4. Prioritizing Safety Over Summits: Safety is always the top priority. Guides are trained to make decisions that prioritize the safety of climbers over reaching the summit. They may recommend turning back or delaying the ascent if safety is a concern.

In conclusion, Two Ararat, like any responsible adventure company, takes extensive safety measures to ensure climbers’ well-being. These measures include access to clear evacuation plans, acclimatization strategies, qualified guides, and an emphasis on open communication and safety over summit objectives. These precautions contribute to a safer and more enjoyable high-altitude climbing experience.

Use of Medications like Acetazolamide (Diamox) in Preventing and Treating Altitude Sickness:

Acetazolamide, commonly sold under the brand name Diamox, is a medication that can be used for both the prevention and treatment of altitude sickness. It works by increasing the body’s respiratory rate and helping to balance pH levels, which in turn can reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness.

  1. Prevention of Altitude Sickness:
    • Acetazolamide is often prescribed to individuals who plan to ascend to high altitudes rapidly and have limited time for acclimatization. It can be taken 24 to 48 hours before the ascent and continued during the climb.
    • The typical dosage for prevention is 125 mg to 250 mg twice a day. It is essential to follow a healthcare professional’s advice regarding dosage and timing.
  2. Treatment of Altitude Sickness:
    • Acetazolamide can also be used to treat mild to moderate symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headache, nausea, and fatigue. It should be used in conjunction with descent and rest.
    • The dosage for treatment is typically 125 mg to 250 mg every 6 to 12 hours.

Emphasizing Consultation with Medical Professionals:

It is of utmost importance to emphasize that climbers should consult with medical professionals before using any medication, including acetazolamide, for altitude sickness.

  1. Individual Variability: The response to altitude and altitude sickness can vary greatly among individuals. What works for one person may not work for another. A healthcare professional can provide personalized recommendations based on your medical history and specific circumstances.
  2. Potential Side Effects: Acetazolamide, like any medication, can have side effects. These may include tingling sensations in the extremities, increased urination, and changes in taste. A medical professional can assess the risks and benefits and provide guidance on managing potential side effects.
  3. Contraindications: Some individuals may have underlying medical conditions or medications that contraindicate the use of acetazolamide. A healthcare professional can help determine if the medication is safe for you.
  4. Overall Health Assessment: Climbing at high altitudes is physically demanding. A medical professional can assess your overall health and fitness to ensure you are prepared for the rigors of such an activity.

In summary, medications like acetazolamide (Diamox) can be a useful tool in preventing and treating altitude sickness, but climbers should never self-prescribe or self-administer such medications without consulting a medical professional. An individualized approach, taking into account medical history and specific conditions, is the safest and most effective way to address altitude-related health concerns. Additionally, climbers should follow the healthcare professional’s recommendations regarding dosage and timing when using acetazolamide or any other altitude sickness medication.

Emergency Procedures for Severe High Altitude Disease Cases:

In the event of severe high altitude disease cases, timely and appropriate actions are critical to ensure the safety and well-being of climbers. Here are the emergency procedures that may be implemented:

1. Recognizing Severe Symptoms:

  • Guides and fellow climbers should be trained to recognize the severe symptoms of altitude sickness, including High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). These can include extreme shortness of breath, confusion, inability to walk, coughing up frothy sputum, and severe headaches.

2. Immediate Descent:

  1. The primary response to severe altitude sickness cases is to descend to lower altitudes as quickly and safely as possible. This is the most effective way to alleviate symptoms and avoid life-threatening complications. In case of an emergency, if possible, efforts will be made to provide assistance using horses and, if it is possible to transfer from the main camp to the city by off-road vehicle. If it is not possible, the patient’s evacuation will be facilitated using a stretcher, with support from the camp team, and if necessary, with the assistance of mountaineers. There are no civilian helicopters that can fly to Mount Ararat under any conditions, and there is no civilian first-aid helicopter available in the region. However, it is possible for official companies to seek assistance from the military, and in response to an emergency call, a mountain rescue helicopter can be dispatched by the Turkish army. The final decision regarding sending a helicopter is made by military authorities.

3. Assisting the Affected Climber:

  • If a climber is unable to descend on their own, fellow climbers and guides should provide assistance. This may include helping the affected individual walk or organizing a rescue if necessary.

4. Monitoring Vital Signs:

  • Guides and team members should monitor the affected climber’s vital signs, including heart rate, breathing rate, and oxygen saturation, if possible.

5. Communication:

  • Guides should maintain communication with their base camp or support teams to request assistance or provide updates on the situation.

Calling for Help or Assistance:

Climbers can call for help or assistance through various means, depending on the circumstances:

  1. Mobile Phones or Handheld radio:
    The guides know all the areas where mobile phones work on Mount Ararat. They also carry walkie-talkies to communicate between camps and in the city centre.
  2. Whistle or Signal Devices:
    Carrying a whistle or other signal devices can be useful for attracting attention in case of emergencies. This is especially important if communication devices are unavailable or have failed.

It’s important for climbers to understand the emergency procedures and communication methods specific to their climbing expedition. Effective communication and a swift response to severe altitude sickness cases can make the difference between life and death in high-altitude environments.