IRAN 7 SUMMITS

In March and April 2018, Hosein, Mohsen and I ascended 7 of the highest Iranian summits. Check out the full story on this page!
→ Video teaser

Introduction

February 8, 2018,

It is 1pm on my Casio F-91W, I am squeezed in the back of a minibus, finally arriving at the border of Bazargan between Turkey and Iran. In the background, I can distinguished the Mount Ararat.

I am happy to be here!

Mont Ararat from Bazagard border

The Mount Ararat – 5137m

With Reza, a young Iranian I met during the ride, we share a tea before crossing the No Man’s Land. I feel as a donkey while carrying all of my stuff… I may have its smell as well after 5 days spent in buses from France.

The check-point is crowded. Everyone is trying to rush so as to clear passport control. Exhausted from this mess, a border guard stands up from his chair to maintain order. Using his loud voice and his right fist to knock on the skull of the least obidient, he transforms the chaos in a clean single lane.
I am even more surprised when the guard turns himself towards me and asks:
« Tourist?
I mechanically respond:
– Bale.
– Farsi khub baladi… Bia! »

I just got a “fast lane” pass for passport control. I am a bit embarrassed by this favor… I say goodbye to Reza and look down at my feet while overtaking the lane.

At the desk, I answer all questions asked and observe the officer fast checking my passport with ease. He finally stamps my entry VISA.

The man hands back my passport and says: « Kosh Amadid! »

I am back in Iran!

This year, I am leading 2 new projects: Complete a “ski touring” section on the website and create an Iranian delegation to intend the Mountain Planet Trade Show. Since my arrival on the iranian soil, time flies. I both work on creating the delegation, and ski a lot with my Iranian and French friends.

Speedriding in Shemshak - Iran

speed Riding in Shemshak

Each day reminds me that Iran is great and Iranian so sweet.

2 weeks after my arrival, using Eric’s advices, I meet Hosein who is coach of the ski mountaineering national team. By chance, he invites me to join him and Mohsen for a new project he is working on: The Iran 7 Summits!

Hosein has set multiple objectives :
– Skiing in less than 4 weeks, 7 of the highest peaks in Iran
– Communicate towards Iranian about ski touring and ski mountaineering
– Try to convert the hundreds of Iranian mountaineers to this sport
– Show the world, Iran’s incredible potential
– Have fun

I like the idea and say « Yes »!

Chapter 1: Fast & Furious

March 7, 2018,

Hosein, Mohsen and I, arrive in the small city of Chelgerd, in central Iran.

It is 5am, the team is complete, we are at 2,400m in altitude, the air feels warm, and I compare my equipment with the ones of my 2 companeros. I feel like a hobo hanging out with 2 world-class athletes… I don’t even own my gloves! Before leaving for Iran, I only had complete one day of ski touring in my life. I ask myself what the heck am I doing right here!

The sun is rising, let’s go…

N°1: Zard Kuh – 4200m (Central Iran)

→ More info about Zard Kuh

N°2: Dena – 4409m (South of Iran)

→ More info about Dena

N°3: Hazaran – 4500m (South-East of Iran)

→ More info about Hazaran

N°4: Binalood – 3211m (North-East of Iran)

→ More info about Binalood

March 14, 2018,

We are back to Tehran.
It has been 8 days since we started our adventure… 7481m of elevation gain, 2979km by bus, 1033km by taxi, 20 liters of Doogh and 4 summits later, I am really tired but happy!

Eating Iranian food

Hosein (on the left) et Mohsen (on the right)

Hosein has some professionnal duties and Mohsen has to head back home so as to take care of its numerous dogs, horses, sheeps and other wild animals. I also want to spend my free time in the mountain and follow him to Dizin.

Goats in Iran - Goosfand

mohsen’s goosfands during summer time

In Dizin, I stay at my friends “Abbas & Shokoofeh” and spend a lot of time with Mohsen skiing and having fun. This guy does everything: Shepherd during summer, ski patroller during winter, ski athlete and humourist… He speaks chinese, sing in spanish and promises me to be fluent in English in less than a year. I love him!

on the road!

We patiently wait for Hosein to give us a sign so as to start the phase 2 of our project.

Le grand final

March 28, 2018,

Hosein and I are in Rineh, a small village right at the bottom of Damavand. Sadly, Mohsen couldn’t join us because of an injured shoulder.

The sun rises as with start our first day of acclimatization, climbing towards the South-East face of Damavand. At 4,400m, we leave most of our equipement under rocks and reach back to Rineh for a short night of sleep.

south-east face of Damavand

March 29, 2018,

3.30am, it is my birthday and we are aiming to the summit…

5. Damavand – 5610m (North of Iran)

→ More info about Damavand

April 1, 2018,

Mohsen is back and it cheers me up!

We failed at Damavand but are now on our way to Alam Kuh. Hosein booked a lodge at the “Mountaineering complex” in Rudbarak. Once there, we relax and enjoy this free time all together to play games and eat kebabs. I even have the chance to visit the local Hospital…

The weather is bad and I get to rest one more day after this unexpected injury.

A few stitches

April 3, 2018,

Alam Kuh, here we come…

6. Alam Kuh – 4848m (North of Iran)

→ More info about Alam Kuh

April 5, 2018,

It’s 5am when we reach Shabil, a small spa resort located on the edge of Sabalan’s slopes. The day before, we drove along the coast of the caspian sea from Rudbarak to Meshgin Shahr where Babak, Hosein’s friend, hosted us for the night. The last rainfall is luckily over and the first sun rays now reveal a astonishing view on the volcano covered in snow.

7. Sabalan – 4810m (North-West of Iran)

→ More info about Sabalan

While climbing, unluckily a repair done a few days ago on one of the binding breaks. Despite lots of effort with skis on my back, I don’t manage to follow Mohsen and Hosein in the 30cm of fresh snow. They finish the ascend without me.

Back to Shabil, I am disapointed. Fahrad, a good friend from Tabriz, told me a lot about Sabalan’s crater lake ; I am sad. Fortunately, Mohsen’s sense of humour associated with a swim at Shabil’s SPA cheer me up.

The next day marks the end of our adventure. Sitten in the bus, I look back at those amazing 4 weeks with a big smile – Probably the best of my life.

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