24 August 2005. 7:00 AM we wake up even though we never slept the night before, so I still feel a bit tired. The sun rises and we can feel the heat in the tent. It's another beautiful day, even better than yesterday. The mountain is welcoming us in the best possible way. I go to the "toilet", which is anywhere behind a big rock. No problem in finding that on Ararat! This day is used to get better acclimatize and get used to the high altitude and in order to prevent or reduce the symptoms caused by Acute Mountain Sickness.
9:00 AM We start going up to 4200m. After a few meters the slope incline starts to get steeper and it is covered with loose rock debris. It's a typical volcanic terrain. The walk starts to get more demanding since we have to make sure not to slip on the debris. The scene is starting to get very rough. It looks as if a gigantic hand has poured loose rocks everywhere. In reality those are formed by the last eruption of Ararat in 1840. Some of the rock formations look very impressive and imposing. The message is clear... "Respect the mountain."
11:30 AM. We reach base camp 2 at 4200m. The last part of the climb was over a very steep slope. There are two other teams up there that have just returned from the peak. You can see the fatigue on every one's face. I talk with a guy from Belgium. I ask him, "Is there a path all the way up to the peak?" The guy ironically replies. "Yes... you just have to imagine it." We rest at base camp 2 for 30 min, and then decide to go a bit more higher up. After 45 min we have only climbed 200m. But we realize that we ascended from the hard part of the slope. We feel exhausted. My headache starts getting more noticeable. We take few pictures with Small Ararat in the background, and start our decent to base camp 1. At that point Ararat warned me. I slip on the steep slope. One of my sticks snaps and breaks into peaces. No injuries, except some minor scratches and a hole in my pants.
That night we meet two other Armenians that have been on the peak that day. They tell us about their experience of reaching the peak. One guy says "No matter how much you hurt, and if you feel uncomfortable ... do not stop. Just keep going up!" That night we feel better. Our headaches go away but we feel very tired. We get in our tents at 9:00 pm. Finally we have a good night sleep!