Treks >> Iran - 2019. Damawand limbing (5 611m)

In August 2019 we made a wonderful trip to Iran. 

Despite the fact that we began to prepare in early, the preparation itself was not carried out thoroughly. Our preparations were made without any special persistence. We slowly found guides in Iran. We talked with them, were imbued with the proper level of trust, made an advance payment.

Then we decided what equipment will be needed taking into account the Iranian climate. After some discussions we've taken crampuns (they were not useful). About the ice axes we decided that if suddenly, then we will rent them on the spot.

We discussed in detail with the guides the climbing program. According to the plan, we wil made Damawend in 4 days (excluding the day of arrival in Iran), but we also discussed the possibility of meeting the deadline a day earlier. After the phrase “in fact, all Russian groups do like this”, I realized that most likely we will have a long descent, but on the day of the summit we will spend the night in Tehran.

A week before trek, we started vitamins. I used some vitamins with iron, but it seems that it have not give me any good. For myself, I came to the conclusion that taking vitamins makes sense, but at the usual level, without increasing the dosage, and vitamins with iron create discomfort rather than give any positive effect. 

We started from Baku, having specially planned a long transfer during the flight from Moscow to Tehran. A few hours walk in the center of Baku made a significant contribution to our acclimatization and moral preparation for the climbing.

We arrived in Tehran at night and on the way to the hotel we visited the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini and the remains of a cave village on the slope of Damawend. Before the climbing you have to get a permit in the Iranian Mountaineering Federation. Permit costs 50USD, the procedure includes a record of the group members in the climbers log and a short briefing near a large Damawend map. We spent the night in the "SPA" hotel - right in the rooms you can take baths with water from sulfur springs, and on the ground floor there is a whole large pool with sulfur water. Very hot.

On the first day of the climbing, we drove to the first camp (3000m) by car and made a march to the upper camp for an altitude of 4100m. We walked with only small racksacks, things was carried to the camp by mules. A little walk for acclimatization. Most of the group ate without appetite, but nobody have any really unpleasant effects. We spent the night in a concrete bunker on the floor. It seemed to me that it was stuffy in the room, and I decided that it was better to sleep in a tent. It was a mistake. At night, a very strong wind rose, and with terrible turbulences - as if it blew at once from all sides. As a result, we fought all night with the tent, which was shaking all over. Somewhere nearby, garbage cans fell, some objects flew ... In general, I didn’t get much sleep.

The second day was the acclimatization day. We climbed just 300 meters above the base camp and our guides decided that we walked enough. During acclimatization a balance is needed - on the one hand, it is desirable to climb higher. On the other hand, you need to rest and regain strength. The guides turned out to be right - we didn’t need to climb so much as to have rest. We decided to go out for summit at night, so immediately after lunch we went to bed. This time there were no experiments with spending the night in a tent.

We had started at 3 in the morning. Before dawn, the route was not very difficult, we were slowly moving along the road. Closer to altitude 5000m we begun to come across places where it was necessary to climb over stones. Not very difficult, but takes power. The most tough things awaited us after 5300m. The entire top of the mountain is shrouded in sulfuric smoke, and near the summit there is a large fumarolla, from which sulfuric smoke is constantly pouring. Fortunately, the wind was in the right direction and we did not get into this smoke, but we got some sulfur in our langs.

We have been at the summit at 12.00 and decided to go down stright to Tehran, without spending the night in the base camp. The first part of the descent is very easy, we quickly went down the loose soil to 4500m. After lunch, we assumed that we would quickly go down to the first camp, but no. It turned out to be long and hard way. The whole path was covered with fine and very slippery dust, which was not easy to move upon. And when it got dark, this dust so scattered the light from the flashlights that it was difficult to make out what's under your feet. We reached the first camp by 22.00. And at 24.00 we already had dinner at a restaurant on the way to Tehran.

And after climbing we went on a short tour around the ancient cities of Iran. In a week we visited Shiraz, Persepolis, Yazd, Isfahan and Tehran. Very beautiful, very interesting, very tasty. I recommend everyone to visit this ancient country. 

The short video (in Russian) about this trip you can see here:



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