Mount Ararat is the most fabled mountain in the world. Millennia of myth-making have created stories deep in nuance and riddled with rumour. Rick Antonson joined a five-member expedition to the 5,167-metre summit of Mount Ararat, camping alongside a contingent of Armenians for whom Ararat is their stolen signature of nationhood. Antonson traces the earliest mountaineers seeking to scale Ararat, initially drawn by eyewitness accounts of "Ark" sightings and later for the simple quest of conquering the seemingly unconquerable. Whether recounting the Kurdish nationalist ambitions or listening closely to the Armenian claims of genocide and their loss of a mountain so large it could define a country, Antonson takes us with him into narrow conversations and broad landscapes.
Rick Antonson is president and CEO of Tourism Vancouver. Author of To Timbuktu for a Haircut and Route 66 Still Kicks, he entwines travel, history, and memoir in books about extraordinary places, the lands around them, and the people who call them home. He lives in Vancouver.