Iran – Mt Damavand
Mt Damavand (5671m), located 66km northeast of Tehran, in the middle of Alborz Range and near the Southern coast of the Caspian Sea, is the highest peak in Iran. Steeped in traditional Persian folklore and mythology, Mt Damavand is also the highest point in the Middle East and the highest volcano in Asia. While the word Damavand means snow, Mt Damavand is actually a dormant volcano with fumaroles near the summit crater that is still displacing sulfur and steam.
Mt Damavand is a perfect shape conical volcano, therefore climbing is possible from many sides. There are at least 16 known climbing routes to Mt Damawand summit. Four of these routes are popular because they have a shelter, refuge or a suitable campsite midway. The most popular side is the south route, which has very clear foot trails and a mountain refuge at Polour Village (2200m) and also a high camp at Bargah Sevom (4250m).
Climbing Mt Damavand in summer is non-technical and can be compared to Mt Kilimanjaro in East Africa and Everest Base Camp in the Himalayans Range. It is a challenging climb with a rewarding panoramic vista of Iran’s vast expanse of mountains, valleys and deserts. In winter, Mt Damavand’s difficulty is scaled up and is likened to scaling a 7000m peak.
About The Climb
Our Mt Damavand climb is via the South route.
The itinerary is planned with a 2 days/1 night acclimatization climb on Mt Tochal (3933m), prior to climbing Mt Damavand. Mt Tochal is a mountain and ski resort located on the Alborz mountain range, adjacent to the metropolitan area of Tehran in northern Iran.
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.
At the high camp, we will spend another day on an acclimatization hike up the rocky volcanic ridge towards Mt Damavand to reach an elevation of around 4700m.
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.
Overcrowding in Summer
There is often overcrowding in mountain hut in Barghahe-Sevom (4250m). Trekkers filled the space on the floor in the dormitories, corridors and dinning area when the bunk beds are filled. Our local partner set up a private permanent campsite at the high camp each summer. This campsite is away from the crowd in mountain hut for more privacy and comfort.
Mt Damavand is best climb in the summer months from mid June to mid September. November to May the conditions becoming difficult for winter climbing and December to April are suitable for ski mountaineering, snowboarding and snowshoeing.
Good to have above 4000m high altitude trekking experience. Climbing this 5671m giant volcano 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.
You will be climbing 2 peaks - Mt Tochal (3933m) and Mt Damavand (5671m), on 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 fo 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.
- Our Mt Davamand scheduled climbs with a trek leader are part of our Volcanic Mountain Challenge Initiative
- Group size: 6 - 12 people
- 4-5 people: $2480 per person
- 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 3-4||Acclimatisation trek to Tochal Peak (3950m). Drive to Polour Village after acclimatisation trek||B/L/D||Shirpala Hut - 2750m
Polour Village - 3050m
|Day 5-8||Summit Trek (Mt Davamand, 5610m) with spare day.||B/L/D||4200m|
|Day 9||Transfer to Tehran||B/L/D||1189m|
|Day 10||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
- Accommodation: Twin/triple sharing accommodation in Tehran. Mixed dormitory in Polour and Mt Tochal
- Camping equipment (on Mt Damavand): Three-season sleeping tents, kitchen tents, dinning tables and chairs and sleeping mats
- Trek support: Climbing guide, assistant climbing guide and porterage services on Mt Damavand using mules
- Permits & Fees : Trekking permit
- Boiled/filtered drinking water
- 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 travel agent insolvency and trekking up to 6000m)
- Personal expenses like shopping, laundry etc
- Personal travel & trekking gear – warm clothing, shoes, backpacks etc
- Compensation for damaged or lost of personal items (eg: climbing/trekking gear and equipment, cameras and any valuable items etc)
- Emergency evacuation and medical expenses
- 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 climb:
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 are all from Iran Mountaineering Federation, have extensive experience in guiding treks in Iran, possess intimate knowledge of the local surroundings, conditions and culture and are trained in mountaineering skills including 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.