The Mystery of Lasdeever

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On Friday the 7th, the group went to the home of the Shirak Gen.Gen. chair, Unger Artak. As we sat down to the smorgasbord of delicacies placed before us, Unger Artak’s mother told us her experience from the day of the earthquake in ’88. The vividness of her story turned the events that happened more than 20 years ago into a reality and reinforced the fact that this region still needs our assistance in whatever way we can.

The next day, we took a two-hour ride to a camp site called Lasdeever; a truly enchanting place that met us with many surprises. As if it was pre-planned, the second we got out of the van, it started raining. So, in the rain, we all began what would become an hour and a half hike down the mountain. The hike consisted of extremely muddy terrain, slippery rocks and a constant supply of rain to keep us company. We were also limited in our mobility because we each had our hands full with either sleeping bags or other camping materials. Also, our tour guide was a lumberjack-esque man dressed head-to-toe in camouflage, carrying a multitude of seemingly unnecessary weaponry, including a very loud, sawed-off shotgun he enjoyed shooting at inopportune moments.

There were many times when we were ankle-deep in mud and once we got our feet out of the mud we’d proceed to fall on our behinds in that same mud. We all helped each other when passing by difficult areas. Once we got there, we were expecting a cabin with beds and indoor insulation; however, we were unexpectedly greeted by a tent that was to fit 12 people. Needless to say, we were relatively surprised, but we made the best of it.

Since it was still raining, we couldn’t make our kebab, so we sat down together, very closely, and had bread and yeghshig sandwiches and sang. Once there was a break in the weather, we seized our opportunity to make our kebab. Soon enough, the rain started up again. But the end result was delicious. After that, we all went to sleep, there was very little space, but no one really minded because it increased the already low level of heat in the tent.

This experience did wonders for our bonding as a group. The next morning we woke up and went on a hike to look at the different caves in the area. This hike had no trails and was mostly just climbing steep sides of mountains, grabbing onto rocks and trees, and anything else that would support us. We saw a cave from the Stone Age, filled with magnificent carvings and priceless history.

Once we saw all the different caves and waterfalls, we went back to the campground, and went to the waterfall where a few of the boys took a swim in the roaring waters. Next we packed up and started our trek back. We were once again met by rain. On our way back we were more confident with our mountaineering skills, but the uphill climb made it difficult. When we finally made it to the top we were all grateful for the comfort of the bus and vowed to never take heat and personal space for granted again.

Nora Injeyan

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  1. vache said:

    Did anyone climb into the treehouse!!!??
    Oh my the Lastiver man is an Armenian Paul Bunyan for sure…lol amazing place

  2. Youth Corps 2009 said:

    Sireli Unger Vache,

    Youth Corps 2009 would like to let you know that Unger Berj Parseghian one upped you by actually spending the night in the tiny tree house with two other men. When you told the group that Lasdeever was an amazing experience for the 2008 group I’m pretty sure it did not rain that weekend, and the one hour hike was not slippery and muddy. We started off with two watermelons and by the time we got to the camp ground Unger Levon had slipped and dropped both of them. Lets not mention the multiple times other people fell, including Rambo. All in all it was an…interesting experience.

    In Revolutionary Spirit,

    Youth Corps 2009

  3. Lori said:

    “our tour guide was a lumberjack-esque man dressed head-to-toe in camouflage, carrying a multitude of seemingly unnecessary weaponry, including a very loud, sawed-off shotgun he enjoyed shooting at inopportune moments.”

    The image this description conjured up in my mind is priceless!

    I remember in 1997 during our Youth Corp trek from Yerevan to Artsakh it took us 24 hours to get there in the rain. It was raining in our bus and the bus almost slipped off muddy hillsides and got stuck in the mud! At the time I didn’t find it remotely humourous or charming that we were in a bus with a sunroof in the rain facing the cliffs of death. To top it off, when we finally got to our destination we were given wet sleeping bags to slumber in, but looking back I would absolutely love to travel back and be in those moments again!