GLENDALE — At a celebratory event held on Sunday, October 9th, Los Angeles Armenians Hiking Plus More (AH+More) organization honored seven of its members who recently climbed Mount Ararat, reaching the top of the national symbol of the Armenian nation.
The brunch reception was held at committee members, Mr. and Mrs. Roupen and Anahid Harmandayan’s beautiful residence in Glendale.
Organization members, Dr. Haroutyoun Armenian, past president of the American University of Armenia, and his wife Sona, who had made the same pilgrimage several years ago, shared their experience and memories of climbing the Mountain, which has special and historic meaning for Armenians everywhere. Dr. Armenian congratulated the hikers and gifted each one of them a copy of his book of reflections about his own journey. Mrs. Armenian, who was the mentor and trainer of this group, praised the climbers for their determination and encouraged other members to undertake this once-in-a-lifetime expedition.
Afterward, members of this AH+ most recent hiking group spoke about their trip planning, challenges at the different stages of the hike, and the difficulties they faced on their way up to the peak. Their anxieties at the foothills were overcome by the excitement of the calls they seemed to hear from Ararat. At the top of the 5165-meter-high Mountain, they all burst into tears of overwhelming emotions unique to Armenians. Some were disappointed though that they were not able to see the Armenian capital Yerevan from where they were standing. On the way back, they felt sadness for having to leave Ararad behind.
Mount Ararat hikers, Ani Gueukdjian Gottwald, Karmen and Edik Edgarian, Hasmik Shakaryan, Nargiz Terzian, Lilit Saakian, and Tamar Tashdjian received special certificates of achievement, presented by committee members Rita Filikyan and Jorik Khajadourian.
It is worth mentioning that over the years, several other AH+More members climbed Mount Ararat and returned with similar sentiments.