AHA! Celebrates First Anniversary

AHA! hikers with LA City Councilmember Tom LaBonge at the end of a hiking trail

GLENDALE—The Armenian Hikers Association (AHA!) celebrated one year of organizing hikes in the mountains of the Los Angeles area by hiking to Mt. Lukens, at 5066 feet above sea level, the highest point in the City of Los Angeles.

Just one year ago, doing the same hike from the home of Harout and Sona Armenian, the long held hopes of creating such a group came together when the organizational acronym “AHA!” came to mind. Since then, hikes have been organized on an almost weekly basis in the mountains in the Los Angeles area—the Verdugos, Santa Monicas, Santa Susanas, and San Gabriels. Bigger plans are in the works as well.

Early morning January 1, taking over a practice of many years from one of the lead organizers, AHA! hiked to Mt. Hollywood to greet the first sunrise of the year from a mountaintop. This peak is located in Los Angeles’ famous Griffith Park, home to the largest municipal urban wilderness area in the U.S. Besides being a treat in its own right, a large contingent of Koreans, numbering well over 200 people, hiked to the same peak and even had a dance troupe in costume perform, a small musical group showcasing their own instruments, and singing. The Korean community has a very strong hiking tradition. Then, LA City councilmember Tom LaBonge arrived, being a very frequent hiker in Griffith Park, and agreed to take a picture with AHA!

“We’re thrilled to be able to provide opportunities to our community at various levels of difficulty and technicality to go to the mountains. Anyone interested can join us and even lead hikes,” said Robert Assarian, AHA!’s lead organizer.

AHA! members gathered for a morning hike in Los Angeles

AHA! had also organized a short commemorative hike on April 24th where participants were able to express their thoughts and feeling about the day through comments, song, and poetry recitation.

Already, a Lebanon AHA! chapter has been created and others are in the works. San Diego will found an AHA! chapter on Sunday, February 16, with a hike to Sitton Peak. Anyone wishing to participate in this 10 mile round-trip (2200 feet of gain) hike is welcome. Hikers will meet at the trailhead at 7:45am. Those leaving from the LA area are meeting at 5:45 am at the park-and-ride lot on the corner of Harvey and Wilson in Glendale. Details are available on AHA!’s Facebook page.

Interestingly, four other groups, all born or reconstituted around the same time, serve the Los Angeles area community’s mountainous needs: Armenian Hikers, Armenian Hiking Club, Armenian Hiking Society (of the Armenian Society-LA), and Shade Tree Hiking Group.

The Armenian Hikers Association promotes enjoyable, healthy, and safe hikes and similar activities in the wildlands, woodlands, and wherever else Armenians and their friends can go. AHA! can be reached through Facebook.


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One Comment;

  1. tina said:

    I am interested with the hikes. How I can get more information about it. Please let me know.