Located in the central part of Alborz mountain range, Mt Damavand (5610m) is the most prominent natural feature of Iran looming majestically near the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. In terms of national divisions, the peak is located in Larijan county of Amol city, Mazandaran province. It can be seen from the cities of Tehran, Varamin, Qom, as well as the Caspian Sea coast when the sky is clear and sunny. Damavand is a dormant volcano with a iced-caped summit crater (400 m in diameter) that erupted for the last time 38,500 years ago, and it may happen again. It is the highest peak of Iran and Middle East and the highest if you travel from Europe eastward to Iran.
Mount Damavand was registered as the first natural monument of Iran on July 20, 2008. It is worth mentioning that this mountain was considered as a national natural monument in 2002 among four valuable areas in terms of environmental protection. Damavand can be easily reached via Haraz Road from Tehran.
Mt Damavand is visible far from 250km in a clear sky. Just below its crater there are few famous glaciers such as “Yakhar”and “Sioleh”. There are some hot springs on its lower slopes in Larijan county. Because of its great height, the view from top is very extensive, a big panorama of mountains and valley covering some hundreds 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.
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.
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.
✔ How long does it take to climb Mt. Damavand?
Depending on your physical condition and experience, it takes 3 up to 5 days to reach the summit. However some climbers reach the top in only two days, but it is not advisable if you haven’t climbed it before.The Damavand hike is not technically difficult (particularly in case of the South face), but the air gets pretty thin up there. Therefore, taking some time for proper acclimatization would be necessary; either with acclimatization hikes or by staying in a mountain shelter for an extra night.
The South Face Track
This is the easiest track that requires basic trekking skills. The descent is straightforward and often experienced climbers, who have taken more difficult tracks up, peak this track for the descent.There are several base camps and shelters along the way. You can also get mule support for backpacks on this track, something that cannot be guaranteed on other routes. Rescue teams can also reach the south route faster in case of emergency. As this is the most common track, it can get busy which puts the facilities under pressure.
Day 1: Drive to Polour - overnight stay in Polour or Rineh
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.
The North Face Track
This is Damavand's most challenging track and requires some experience. It’s quite steep in some parts and involves clambering. The wind is usually strong on this face so it is also much colder than the south face. In May and June, there is often snow and ice. There are two shelters along this route at 4,000 meters and then at 4,700 meters.
Day 1: Drive to nandal - overnight stay in a guest house in Nandal (2300m)
Day 2: Drive by 4x4 to start Trekking from Sang-e saboor (3000m) ,climb to Char Hezar (4000m) shelter , overnight in base camp
Day 3: climb to panj Hezar shelter(~4700m), overnight in camp 2
Day 4: Climbing to the Damavand peak and return back to Nandal
Day 5: Drive back to Tehran
The North East Track
Damavand's North East Track is the longest but the most beautiful one. It’s also the one that requires some mountaineering experience. It can get extremely cold on the way up due to the wind direction. You’ll find a shelter at 4,400 meters called Takht e Fereydoun.
Day 1: Drive to Nandal - overnight stay in a guest house in Nandal (2300m)
Day 2: Trekking - climb to Takht-e fereydoon 4400m ,overnight in base camp
Day 3: Full day Acclimatization, overnight in base camp
Day 4: Climbing to the Damavand peak and return back takht-e Fereydoon
Day 5: Drive back to Tehran
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
Day 1: Tehran Arrival
Day 2: Drive to Lasem, full day skiing
Day 3: Full day skiing – West Dobrar 4072 m
Day 4: Full day skiing
Day 5: Rest day –hot spring spa in Larijan village
Day 6: Drive to Base Camp & Ski to to Bargah-e Sevom (4250 m)
Day 7: Climbing to the summit (5671m), skiing return to base camp
Day 8: Rest Day
Day 9: Drive to Reineh – Overnight stay at Reineh
Day 10: Drive to Tehran – Overnight stay in Tehran
Day 11: Transfer to IKA
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.