Mt Damavand (5760m) is the most prominent natural feature of Iran looming majestically near the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. It has a narrow summit crater with permanent snow-cap which is surrounded by many beautiful peaks of the “Alborz” Mountain Range.
Mt Damavand is visible far from 250km in a clear sky. Just below its crater there are few famous glaciers such as “Yakhar”, “Sioleh” and” Dob”i Sel. This majestic peak is located about 80 km north east of capital city Tehran, midway the “Haraz” Road. Damavand Mountain is a silent dormant volcano in a shape similar to Fujiyama of Japan but much greater. Its snowy white top with its regular clouds is one of the most beautiful sights of Iran. There has been no eruption reported throughout it's history, so it is sometimes regarded as an extinct volcano. There are some hot springs on its lower slopes like Larijan village. At the summit there is a crater about 150-200 meters across, with a lot of yellow sulfurous rocks and pumice stones.
At about 5400 meters high, there are also some sulfuric gas making a little problem for climbers. Snow covers the crater and upper slopes in winter, spring and autumn. Because of its great height, the view from top is very extensive, a big panorama of mountains and valley covering many hundred of square Kilometers. All around are other peaks of the Alborz Mountain Range, in the north to the Caspian Sea plain and in the south descending to the deserts of central Iran. It is the highest peak of Iran and Middle East and the highest if you travel from Europe eastward to Iran.
When to Go?
Mid June to mid September is the best climbing season for Damavand. During this period the footpaths are usually free of snow and the weather is relatively mild. But in winter climbing is almost impossible due to low temperature and heavy winds.
How to Go?
There are at least 16 known paths to the summit which have different difficulties, The most popular one is the Southern Route with excellent mountain resort which has step stamps and also a camp midway called Bargah-e Sevom Camp/Shelter at 4220m (about 13,845 ft). Most mountaineers prefer to climb from the classic South route. Ordinary mountaineering gears are enough for summer ascends to Damavand from south face.
Damavand Tour Itinerary - 5 days
Day 1: Drive to Polour - overnight stay in Polour.
Day 2: Trekking - overnight stay in Goosfandsara (base camp)
Day 3: Climbing to camp 2 - overnight stay in Bargahe-e Sevvom (4220m)
Day 4: Climbing to the Damavand peak and return back Bargahe-e Sevvom.
Day 5: Drive to Tehran via Larijan thermal water spa resort.
List of Ski Resorts In Tehran Province
Dizin Ski complex is located in the Alborz Mountain range just about 120 km north of Tehran and was established in 1969. It is undoubtedly the best ski resort in Iran which has been officially recognized by the International Ski Federation for its capacity in administering official and international competitions. With the high altitude of 3550 meters, Dizin is the 40th highest ski resort in the world. Due to this high altitude, the ski season in this resort normally begins in November and lasts to the end of May, longer than most European ski resorts. The great snow quality at Dizin makes this resort a rival to many European and Rocky Mountain ski slopes. Dizin has 23 ski runs and the ski lifts include three cable-cars, two chair- lifts, seven dish tele-skis, and one Hammer Tele-ski.
Shemshak ski resort is only 45 minute drive north east of Tehran in the Alborz mountain range. After Dizin Ski complex, it is the second biggest ski resort in Iran which started its operation in 1958. Shemshak has two main slopes that lie at an altitude of 2250 to 3050 meters above sea level. The light powder snow at these high elevation and a vertical drop of 500 meters, have made this resort a popular skiing destination with the more experienced and advanced skiers. This ski resort has two chairlifts, three dish teleskis, and two Hammer teleskis. Shemshak resort operates from December to the end of March and is also equipped with the lighting facilities for night skiing and snowboarding.
Aab'ali ski resort is located 70 Km north east of Tehran and is the closest ski slope to Mt. Damavand (5610m) - the highest peak in Iran. Aab'ali ski slopes are the birth place of modern skiing and the base of the winter sports in Iran. In 1953 it was the first ski resort of Tehran to have installed a mechanical ski lift. This slope is situated at an altitude of 2650 meters, with a vertical drop of 250 meters, ideal for beginners as well as intermediates skiers!
Tochal ski complex located in the northern Tehran, is the closest ski resort to the city. It is accessible by catching a cable car in the northern neighborhoods of Tehran called Velenjak , which makes this ski area a popular place for daytrip skiers. The famous cable car line from Tehran to Tochal is one of the longest and the highest in the world. It takes 40 minutes to reach the resort from the base station.Tochal is the least developed ski resort around Tehran and offers fewer runs than others. It has five skilifts, 1 cable car, 2 chair lifts, and 2 surface lifts.
Skiing Tour Itinerary - 7 days
Day 1: Arrival, transfer to hotel in Tehran.
Day 2: Full day skiing at Tochal Ski resort in northern Tehran- O/N Tochal
Day 3: Transfer to Shemshak, Full day skiing at Shemshak Ski resort - O/N Shemshak
Day 4: Drive to Darbandsar, Full day skiing at Darband-Sar, drive back to Shemshak - O/N Shemshak
Day 5: Transfer to Dizin, half day skiing at Dizin ski resort - O/N Dizin
Day 6: Full day skiing at Dizin Ski resort - O/N Dizin
Day 7: Drive back to Tehran (120 km), sightseeing in Tehran/ Departure