3th “Arev” Armenian Rock Climbing festival was hold by Up The Rocks club on May 25-31, 2013. The event took place in Hell’s canyon and Noravank canyon, which are located in Vayots Dzor province.
This time it was also special: two professional climbing guides from France, Vasken Koutoudjian and Simon Flechaire, were send by the national trade union of climbing guides “SNAPEC” and Petzl Foundation, were here to help to amplify rock climbing in the country by looking at UIAA degrees standards. For one of these French, Vasken, it was in the same time a journey back to his routes, the discovery of a mythical land through what is not leisure neither a sport, but lifestyle we are devoted to, for better or for worst: Climbing!
During these 5 days in Hell's and Noravank canyons so many things happened, that it will be hard to report them all. Martin Tucka from Czech Republic equipped on bolts majors new single pitch lines of Noravank canyon. He ended up his trip by putting the latest anchors, just before taking back to Erevan, of what may become a standard in beauty and difficult multi pitch routes in Noravank canyon.
7 climbers committed themselves to such a great level of wellness that they decide to take part of the above mentioned upcoming program of a climbing training. During poor weather we had technical exchange trainings about safety and progressing so that in the end we all were full of knowledge from each other.
But what may have been one of the highlights of the festival, was the coming of the kids from villages around (Areni and Arpi). The week before we went to visit some schools there, like pipers in the tale. You see, for some of us we have been given body and soul in climbing.
Why? Maybe the answer is coming from these kids. Simon Flechaire, well inspired by what is quite common in France, called Via Cordatta (very easy climbing trail with a rope), found a perfect line to equip in Noravank canyon. With the assistance of Levon, Gevorg, Karen and Aram, (who did their first bolt holes!), it was on this route that we brought the kids from the villages.
Each time I do that it’s almost the same thing. I can lose my faith in me, in what I do, in climbing, even in humanity sometimes. But simply I look to one of those kids we guided climbing and it reminds me of the immanence of the experience of climbing.
When we strangely make contact with this pre-historic way of being human, in a place where logic and conscious are in a very basic way of understanding, a state of a man, where we can be free for a very short moment, of historical mind control..
To become what after that?
We don’t know, and we’ll continue to search, so rendezvous in “Arev “ Festival 4 !!!