Damavand mountain with 5610m altitude is the highest peak of Iran, located at the central part of Alborz mountain range. This mountain is the highest volcanic peak of Asia and Middle East and also the 19th highest peak in the world. It is located in Mazandaran province and about 80 km northeast of Tehran (capital of Iran) in Alborz Mountain range and 70 km south of Caspian Sea.
When considering summiting Damavand mountain, the weather plays a significant role to have a successful ascend. Late spring to the end of the summer is the best time with running water and (almost!) stable weather. During fall, ascend is possible only with climbing equipment and the weather is snowy and freezing. During winter, the weather is snowy and stormy as expected and ascend is very difficult to be reached.
Routes for getting to Damavand mountain are quite various, so here we have briefly introduced 4 of them (the most frequently used ones):
The west route: passes through Polour village and has a 2-hour drive above Lar plains. On the way through this route you get to see Simurgh shelter 4250m. This route is pretty straightforward but can get tricky and steep at the last 200 meters left to the peak.
The north route: starts at Nandal village and passes by Siole and Dobi Sel glaciers. There are 2 shelters on the way, Chahar Hezar 4700m and Panj Hezar 4600m. North route is the most challenging one, demands experience and is extremely windy.
The south route: is accessible through Rineh and Polour village and you can get to Goosfandsara 3000m (base camp). This route is the easiest way and has facilities such as Polour Hut and mules for rent.
The northeast route: is via Nandal and Gazane villages and passes by Takht-e Fereydon shelter 4350m. This route is known as the most beautiful route of all but is the longest and having mountaineering experience is essential.
When reading Damavand tour itineraries, you will stumble upon 2 names quite frequently, Goosfandsara 3000m altitude and Bargah Sevom with 4200m altitude (both located at southern route). Goosfandsara is the name of a mosque that is the starting point towards the peak. You will get transferred by a 4X4 car from Goosfandsara to Bargah e Sevom and then the trekking begins towards the peak of the mountain. The two places are proper for spending the night and from Bargah e sevom you can provide some canned food.
Damavand mountain is a potentially active volcano and hasn`t been active for a long time so its volcanic activity is limited just to emitting sulfuric gas.
Damavand mountain with 5610m altitude is a quite difficult mountain to summit and you need to have experience of summiting other mountains on your background. Due to its altitude, climbing Damavand can be quite challenging and you need to have acclimatization beforehand to get used to the thin air either by having hikes to the other mountains or staying in the mountain shelters for a day or two. Furthermore, you need to be in a good physical shape and have mountaineering experience.
This mountain is an important asset in Iranian culture and poetry and has been used in poetry and Shahnameh quite frequently and also Arash (Iranian brave fighter) threw a magical arrow from Damavand to mark the border of Iran. Damavand in poetry has magical powers and is the symbol of resistance and unifying.