Mount Ararat is a great inspiration for Armenians.
“One had to be there to see the feeling of each individual. We were in heaven that day” said Vatche Soghomonian from Fresno.
On July 15, a team of 11 men, including six from Southern California, two from New Jersey, two from Canada, and one from Fresno reached the summit of Mt. Ararat. Team “Ararat 11,” a code name that the team had given themselves would soon be known to all Armenians.
On July 13, team “Ararat 11” traveled 14 hours in a van to Georgia in order to enter Turkey. At the Turkish border, one of the Turkish guards asked them why they were going to Turkey. A team member, who was fluent in Turkish, told the guard that they were going to climb Mt. Ararat. The guard took one look at one of the team member’s white hair and asked, “This guy is going to climb Mt. Ararat?” The guy that the guard was referring to was Vatche Soghomonian of Fresno. The guard got up from his chair and requested a photo with Soghomonian. According to Soghomonian, the guards at the Turkish border were overall very cordial.