Rock climbing

Rock climbing in Armenia kicked off in 2009, and more and more each year tourists are visiting the country to explore all the diverse and various places for a good climb.

The main professional go-to source to practice this sport is Up The Rocks which has started as a group of enthusiasts united by their appreciation for nature and their endless passion for rock climbing, mountaineering and backcountry skiing. Their main motivation as they started 12 years ago was to develop this discipline in Armenia and create a solid web for professionals to practice this sport. Years later, in 2013 they contributed in creating the Armenian Alpine Club which aims towards the flourishing of mountain activities in the country.

In addition, international climbing festivals were held in 2009, 2011 and 2013 as well as other events.

There are many locations and sites that are ideal to practice rock climbing in Armenia, which makes this sport all the more captivating and fascinating. Most of these climbing routes have been developed by the Up the Rocks team and their mission is to make this progress go faster in the near future.

Noravank Canyon

Located a reasonable 100km distance from Yerevan, on the main road to Yerevan-Goris, the Noravank canyon is the most favourable and developed option for climbing. The routes here present a diverse range of difficulties (grades 5a up to 8a for now) making it suitable for beginners as well as hard climbers. There are both single pitch and multi pitch routes for trad climbing and sport climbing on the limestone crags of the canyon.

Hell’s Canyon

Located 80 km from Yerevan, about 25km before Noravank canyon, the limestone crags of Hell’s canyon are mostly equipped with single pitch sport climbing routes, however there are few single and multi pitch trad routes as well. The climbing site is good both for beginners and hard climbers. At the moment, the route difficulties go from 5a up to 8a.

Khustup Mounstain

Located in the Syunik province of Armenia, this is a picturesque site to climb. With an attitude of 3200m above sea level Mt Khoustoup has a 600m limestone NE wall. Currently there are 8 alpine climbing routes. The latest and hardest is established by Up The Rocks club in 2013. The routes are not equipped with permanent protection gear.

Ijevan Mountain range

At the moment there are only three sectors developed on the high quality limestone rocks that stretch about 30km on Ijevan Mountain range. Even though the access is hard because of the 8km dirt road, but it is most definitely worthy to go, this spot provides you routes from 5c up to 8b difficulties, both sport and trad climbs at the moment.

Ashtarak

Located only 25km away from the capital Yerevan, this is a practical destination for a good climb and a great opportunity for some wonderful sightseeing and cultural discoveries. Also a perfect place to enjoy some camping. On the basalt rocks of this climbing site you can find sport and trad single pitch climbs, from the grade 4a to 6c at the moment.

Ohanavan

Located 30km from Yerevan center, This is the ideal destination for beginners. Also it is quite pleasant to rock climb in the summer given that there is the river Kasakh in the narrow canyon which helps cool down the temperature. On basalt rocks here you’ll find both sport and trad single pitch climbs from the grades 5a to 7a+ at the moment.

Kaghsi

Located 32km north from Yerevan, this climbing site is one of the great places for coaching beginners. On the basalt rocks of Kaghsi rocks, there are both sport and trad single pitch climbs, from grades 4c up to 6b+ at the moment.

Yerevan

Located in the large downtown, in Hrazdan gorge, between the Davtashen Bridge and Yerevan Physics Institute, here you have a nice chance to escape from the busy city into nature. This location is for bouldering, sport and trad climbing on basalt rocks. The routes here are from 4c up to 7a+ and V6 at the moment.

Other options to consider if you are thinking of rock climbing in Armenia:

Overz Club, Redpoint Adevntures, Irbis, Scream of Soul

Photo Credits: Up The Rocks