Iran – Twin Peaks Alam Kuh + Damavand
Mount Damavand (5610m) is the highest peak in Iran, and Alam Kuh (4850m) is the second highest, both mountains are part of the Alborz mountain range, north of Iran.
Mount Damavand bears itself as the highest point in the Middle East, as well as the highest volcano in all of Asia. While the word Damavand means snow, Mount Damavand is actually a dormant volcano with fumaroles near the summit crater which occasionally displaces sulfur and steam.
Alam Kuh is mainly made of tertiary intrusive rocks; granite and diorite. Some Triassic and Jurassic sediments are also found. The southern slopes range tend to be dry and barren, the northern valleys leading to the Caspian Sea (which offer the best approaches to the mountains) are wet and lush with vegetation.
About The Climb
We will climb Alam Kuh first, then followed by Mt Damavand. We will spend 4 days trekking Alam Kuh, ascending from Hesarchal camp to the summit, then descend to camp. After the trek we will go to Kelardasht and from there we will transfer to Polour Village to prepare for the climb up to Mt Damavand. Mt Damavand South route climb begins with a drive to Goosfand-Sara (3250m). From Goosfand-Sara, the climb towards the high camp at Barghahe-Sevom (4250m) takes about 4 to 5 hours on a moderate uphill climb on mountain slopes filled with summer flowers. Nearer the high camp, there may be snow and ice conditions.
The summit attempt is about 10 to 12 hours round trip. Terrain for the first part is on loose scree before a steep climb up some rocky sections which may required some scrambling. The final 500m is typically a mixture of loose scree, snow, ice and slush. The most challenging part of the climb is about 300m below the peak, known as “Doud Kouh” or sulphuric hill. The pungent smell of the sulphur can make the already difficult breathing at high altitude harder. A huge ditch lies ahead after “Doud Kouh” leads directly to the top of the summit. On a clear day, the view from the summit includes the green jungles in the north of Iran, the Caspian Sea, the city of Tehran, and the lake of Lar. Part of the descend may be on a glacier slope, that may require the use of snow cleats/crampons, depending on the snow level and conditions.
Good to have above 4000m high altitude trekking experience. Climbing the two peaks in summer is not technical and does not need major climbing skills. However, it requires a good physical fitness and steady footwork on loose scree, rock scrambling and ice and snow. There may be a need to wear snow cleats/crampons on the glacier slope during the summit attempt on Damavand.
You will be climbing 2 peaks, mostly vertical mountain terrain with a personal backpack load of 5-6kg for 7 to 8 hours each day. For summit day, be prepared to trek for 10 – 12 hours starting at pre-dawn and in extreme zub-zero cold temperature.
Equipment and Gear
You can wear a t-shirt and trekking pants during the approach trek. Thermal base layers, a fleece jacket and an outer shell jacket are required. When at the campsites and after sundown, a down jacket will help keep you warm. A down sleeping bag is also needed.
Note: All female travelers who enter Iran MUST obey Islamic rules including Hijab or Islamic dress-code.
A packing list will be provided to all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to learn about the layering system and choose the right gear/equipment for your climb/trek.
- Group size: 6 - 12 people
- 4-5 people: $3800 per person
- This twin peaks trip is part of our annual Mountain Climbing Challenges event. To promote mountain climbing and to encourage people to challenge themselves physically and mentally, we have initiated and introduced a few mountain climbing challenges into our calendar each year. These Mountain Climbing Challenges trips are accompanied by a team leader. To read more, click on this link: Mountain Climbing Challenges
- You can also form a private group for this trek. For enquiry, send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Day||Description||Meals||Altitude at Rest Point|
|Day 1||Arrive in Tehran||-/L/D||1189m|
|Day 2||City tour in Tehran||B/L/D||1189m|
|Day 3||Transfer to Kelardasht 1400m / Vandarbon 2300m||B/L/D||2300m|
|Day 4-7||Summit Trek (Alam Kuh, 4848m). Descend and transfer to Caspian Sea on Day 7.||B/L/D||3500m|
|Day 8||Transfer to Polour Village||B/L/D||3050m|
|Day 9-12||Summit Trek (Mt Davamand, 5610m) with spare day||B/L/D||4200m|
|Day 13||Transfer to Tehran||B/L/D||1189m|
|Day 14||Depart Tehran. (Programme ends here. Next day arrival on flight, if any, not reflected in itinerary )||B/-/-|
- Return airport transfer in Tehran
- All land transfers as indicated in itinerary
- Meals as indicated in itinerary
- Twin/triple sharing accommodation in Tehran
- Camping Equipment: Sleeping tents, sleeping mats and dinning tents
- Trek support: Mountain climbing guide(s) and porterage service using horses
- Permits & Fees : Trekking permit
- Insurance coverage within Iran – Medical expenses on injuries and illnesses, medical evacuation
- Entry Visa application support - invitation letter & submission
- International air tickets, airline taxes and fuel surcharge
- Visa Fee
- Single supplement
- Meals not indicated in itinerary
- All tipping
- Personal porters
- Personal travel insurance (mandatory to cover agent insolvency and travel to Iran)
- Personal expenses like shopping, laundry etc
- Personal travel & trekking gear – warm clothing, shoes, backpacks etc
- Emergency evacuation and medical expenses outside Iran
- Compensation for damaged or lost of personal items (eg: climbing/trekking gear and equipment, cameras and any valuable items etc)
- Any expenses including accommodation, meals & transfer outside the stipulated trek/climb itinerary – i.e. any person leaving the group for personal travel, illness/injury or any form of extension of stay
Support from Ace Adventure Expeditions
We provide pre-trip support to prepare you for the trip:
1. Trip briefing and information kit
2. Gear list and gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Training guideline kit
4. Rope skill workshop (For climbs that require rope up and/or fixed rope skill)
We carefully select and establish strong working relationship with our local trek operator to ensure safe participation by everyone. Our local climbing guides have extensive experience in guiding treks in Iran, possess intimate knowledge of the local surroundings, conditions and culture and are trained in emergency rescue.
Training: Regardless of your level of fitness and physical conditions, it is advisable to train prior to embarking on a trekking or mountain climbing trip.
Pure cardiovascular fitness is NOT enough.
Focus your training effort in the following areas, assuming that you are in good health and injury-free:
- Climbing conditioning – stairs and load training.
- Cardio training - Jogging/running and interval training like CrossFit or HIIT.
- Strength training for the lower body, shoulder, back and core
- Flexibility training - eg: Yoga and stretching exercises
A good four to five months of training would be a good preparation for this trek.
A recommended training guide specific to the trek or climb will be given to you upon signing up.
Refer to our Grading chart for an overview on the technical difficulty and fitness required for this trek.
Refer to our Training Guide for tips on trekking and mountain climbing training.