Armenian First Ascent Open Festival: May 21-31, 2011


The Armenian First Ascent Open Festival was first held in July 2009. This festival, organized by local climbing club "Up The Rocks" and sponsored by Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia and Spitak Rescue Center, is intended to develop the rock climbing culture in Armenia, while at the same time promoting climbing at the local rock formations through the development of new routes.

The festival will aid in displaying the unique nature these routes to the world climbing community. The enhanced development of climbing in the country will also open the doors to the rock climbing world for Armenian youth. Armenia is a spot where it is worth hanging out for 10 days with the festival crew to climb, have fun, and share this unique experience with other climbers from around the world.

Whether you are an avid first ascensionist, a climber who relies on the guidebooks to find the most popular, beautiful, and fun routes, a traditional climber looking to plug in some gear, or a beginner just looking for fun and safe sport routes, you are welcome to our event. The festival will be held at the three of Armenia’s premier rock formations listed below.

  • May 21: Yerevan city tour and opening party in the pub Calumet

  • May 22-25: Noravanq Canyon—featuring limestone walls up to 200 meters high, with a great potential for trad and sport first ascents

  • May 26-28: Arpa Gorge—featuring unique basalt columns up to 35 meters high. Clean traditional climbing only at this site. No bolts, pitons, or hammer use is allowed!

  • May 29-31: Garni Gorge—featuring unique basalt columns up to 100 meters high. Clean traditional climbing only at this site. No bolts, pitons, or hammer use is allowed!

  • May 31: Closing event—music, fun, and slideshow in the Calumet pub in Yerevan.

  • Departure day: June 1

Event fee is $276 per person, which includes:

  • All the transportation for carrying out the event program in Armenia

  • May 21, 28, and 31 nights accommodation in Yerevan

  • Food and alcohol for the opening and closing party

Event participants will be responsible for providing:

  • Air tickets to and from Yerevan

  • Due to the hazardous nature of rock climbing, insurance will be needed in the event of an accident, injury, or rescue

  • Food (the shopping will be supported and organized by organizers) and drinking

  • Camping equipment

  • Rock climbing equipment

The application deadline is April 30, 2011.

For more information feel free to contact us:

  • Mkhitar Mkhitaryan (event producer)

  • Wilbur Nazarian (representative in US)

  • Jared Nielson (event coordinator)

  • Belousov Vladimir (representative in Russia)

For more information, please visit