Question: My friend and I will be travelling in Iran in May and would like to climb Damavand end of May (around 26th). Does anyone know if the mountain is climbable without too much experience this year (that is whether there still be a lot of snow etc)?
What temperatures can be expected on the summit end of May?How can we find a guide? Better in Teheran or Reyneh?Can one rent equipment (tents, sleeping bags, cooking equipment) in Reyneh?What is a regular price for a guide's services?
Answer: Iran is a mountainous country. In general, the mountains include two main chains of "Alborz" with an east-west direction and "Zagros" with a northwest-southeast extension, which covers most of the high mountains in Iran. Many single high mountains are also spread in other areas and mainly around the central plateau of Iran. Thanks to the extremely high altitude variation in Iran, ranging from 28m below the sea level up to 5671m on Damavand Mount, stunning views and climatic variations can be seen all over the country. Alborz Mountains located in the north, includes a collection of the highest mounts in Iran. Alamkuh, 4850m and with forested slopes, has 850 meters of fine parapet excellent for rock-climbing. Damavand, the roof of Iran with a 5671-meter altitude, is a volcanic cone. There are also many other peaks of over 4000 meters high. In the Zagros chain, most of the mountains are calcareous with deep valleys and meandering rocks. Famous mountains such as "Dena" with several high peaks, "Zardkuh" and many other peaks with over 4000m, stand there. But there are other peaks of over 4000m in other areas as well such as "Taftan" volcanic cone in Baluchestan with volcanic gases still emitting out, and the splendid "Sabalan" peak in Azerbaijan with slopes covered with wild flowers and a beautiful lake in the volcanic cone at it's peak frozen most of the year. Mountaineering facilities are available to most of these peaks as well as perfect climbers with wonderful capabilities for lots of mountain sports.
Damavand is an inactive volcano with a narrow summit with 5671m height which is located in Alborz Mountains, Iran.
The traveler in Iran is so used to seeing gaunt, rugged cliff, uneven peaks and bare deserts, that the sight of Damavand is a relief and surprise to the eye. Its superior height and outstanding outline among the peaks and ridges of Albroz is visible from many kilometers away. Many travelers say that the snowy-white cone of this mountain is the most stunning sight of the country.
The climb is long, but not difficult or dangerous. Loose stone and small ribs of rock have to be clambers over, at higher levels, if the ascend in early summer, expanses of snow must be corset to the crater at the top. Because of its great height and isolation, the sight from Damavand is very extensive; a vast panorama of mountains, valley and desert covering many handed of square Kilometers. All around are other peaks of the Alborz range, sweeping down in the north to the humid Caspian plain and in the south descending to the deserts of central Iran.
A small town bearing the name of Damavand is situated on the southern slopes and is used as a summer resort by the people of Tehran. At the summit is a snow-covered crater, some 300 meters across, with an abundance of yellow sulfurous rocks. On most days of the year the summit can be seen from Tehran and, when the air is clear from far away Kashan to the south of the great salt desert.
This prominent mountain has been figured in Iranian legend. The great tenth-century Iranian poet, Ferdawsi, relates in his epic “Shahnameh” how the tyrant Zahak is overthrown by the young Feridun and imprisoned in chains to die in a cavern on the slopes of Damavand.
Alborz mountain Range in northern Iran is stretching from west to east, in the southern end of the Caspian Sea. This mountain range forms a natural barrier between the south part of the Caspian Sea and the central plateau of Iran, Its width varies from 30 to 130 km in different places, and it is more than 1500 km long. Average height is about 3000m, highest peak is Mt Damavand 5671 m, and it has several peaks above 4000m.
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