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I'd like to go trekking in the Alborz mountains next year, but so far I haven't found much information.

I am considering early June, for around 3 weeks. I am an experienced hiker, even if if will be my first time in a "non-occidental" country.

I'd like to have a scenic trail, ideally around 400km or more. I will probably go with crampons to climb the Mount Damāvand (or maybe I will rent some). So the trail can go on (easy) glaciers.

I will probably sleep in my tent.

I don't want to use a guide or a travel agency.

I will come and go from Tehran (direct flight from Paris).

Is there anywhere where I can find some information or good maps?

  • I'd like a trek of ~400km and then climbing mount Damāvand. So yes, way larger scale :p – Shan-x Nov 9 '16 at 14:33
  • 2
    Are you traveling alone? Do you have experience using crampons / walking on glaciers? – mts Nov 9 '16 at 17:13
  • 2
    For maps, OpenStreetMap seems to include the trails and shelters in this area. – Vince Nov 10 '16 at 13:55
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+250

Disclaimer

I'm not an expert just did a bit of research and like to share it here. Some parts of this post are taken from other websites (English, translated from Persian) and some other parts are my own.


ABOUT DAMAVAND

A potentially active volcano (last time was active in 38500 years ago). The highest peak in the Middle East (highest volcanic in Asia). Located ~68 KM northeast of Tehran (takes ~90 minutes to get there by car from Tehran). Temperature goes to -60°C in winters and up to -1°C in summers.

GOOD TO KNOWS

Mount Damavand is the result of volcanic activities at the beginning of the quaternary geologic time (Pleistocene stage) and like many volcanic mountains bears a conic shape which makes it possible to climb it from different sides. Currently It is going through the last stage of its volcanic activities.

Its region is one of the most interesting wildlives and beautiful natural surroundings and fields full of wild poppy and purple lily in spring and long grass plots in green summer. It is also a rainfall area having very hard winters, but moderate summers. The summit and slopes are always covered by snow.

In the history of Iran it has always been a symbol and its name is synonymous with Iran.

CLIMBING

Due to its conical shape, climbing is possible from all sides, but well-known paths are nine. The most frequented are North, North-East, South (the easiest) and West faces. On all faces, shelters are provided.

SOUTH PATH

This path is known for being one of the easiest and oldest paths to climb Damavand. To reach there from Tehran you should take Haraz road and after ~120KM passing via Polour Village you reach Reineh village.

First Shelter
This is the nearest village to the southern path. There, at 2080 altitude you can find a well-equipped shelter. It was used to be called a tea-house before being abandoned for many years. It was reopened almost 30 years ago and can host up to 30 people - this was the starting point for climbing at past but nowadays by taking a dirt road you can reach a spot called Goosfand-Sara (which literally translates to: Sheep House, probably named so because it’s located near a sheep house?)

Second Shelter
A 25 year old mosque located near a sheephouse with an altitude of 3200m from sea level that could host up to 50 people. - at this point, you can follow a path with a moderate slope which gets gradually steeper. After 3 to 4 hours climbing, you reach the southern shelter at 4150m altitude.

Third Shelter
This stone shelter was built in 1972 and has a capacity of 30 people - it is a favorable place for a short night's rest. Its parent shelter (a metal one) was destroyed in an avalanche in 1973 - beside it you can find empty places for camping - 50 meters above this building at an altitude of 4200 you’ll find a more equipped building called Damavand Mountaineering Complex, with a capacity of 200 people. It's equipped with kitchen, bathrooms, dining room and they claim to have private rooms.

The beginning hours of the following day is the best time to start the final stage of the climb. The path starts from behind the shelter. the slope is relatively steep and the high altitude and lack of Oxygen makes climbing rather difficult. At altitude of 5100 meters at your right, you can see a huge suspending ice-piece called Abshar Yakhy (Icey waterfall).

The most difficult part of the climb is about 300 meters from the peak. This part is called Doud Kouh (Smoke Mountain) or Sulphuric Hill, steaming sulphuric gas out of the holes. Its bad smell makes breathing difficult. After passing this part, there is no more slope to climb, only a huge ditch waits ahead. This is the main Damavand volcanic mouth located on top of the summit.

If the weather is fine, you can see the green jungle of the north of Iran, the Caspian sea, the city of Tehran, the lake of Lar and at very far sight on the south the vast plain of Varamin from Damavand peak.

Climbing from shelter to the peak takes 8 to 9 hours and the return to the shelter about 3 to 4 hours.

Other climbing routes are:

NORTH PATH

WEST PATH

EAST PATH


I'll gradually update this post with details for other routes and other general information that I'll find useful!


Useful links:

http://www.damawand.de/How/How.html http://damavandclimbing.com/ http://damavandkooh.com/ (in Persian)


Useful dictionary:

Mount Damavand = Gholle’ye Damāvand -> قله دماوند

Shelter = Panahgāh -> پناهگاه

  • 2
    This far you are not answering the question. The OP is asking about the trek in the mountain range of about 400K. Not just the rather short trails up the mountain. Finding information about Damavand is easy. About the rest of the mountains is very hard. I didn't find anything about the rest of the mountain range when I climbed Damavand in May. And I've been looking – Some wandering yeti Dec 25 '16 at 7:27
  • @ptityeti yeah I'll try to include them in my future updates. – Hatef Dec 25 '16 at 9:36

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