Mount Damavand also known as Donbavand, a potentially active volcano and the highest peak in Iran, has a special place in Persian mythology and folklore. It is a potentially active volcano, since there are fumaroles near the summit crater emitting sulfur, which were known to be active on July 6, 2007.
Mount Damavand also known as Donbavand, a potentially active volcano and the highest peak in Iran, has a special place in Persian mythology and folklore. Located in the middle Alborz Range, adjacent to Varārū, Sesang, Gol-e Zard and Mīānrūd, it is the highest point in the Middle East and the highest volcano in all of Asia.
It is a potentially active volcano, since there are fumaroles near the summit crater emitting sulfur, which were known to be active on July 6, 2007.
The mountain is located near the southern coast of the Caspian Sea, in Āmol county, Māzandarān, 66 kilometres (41 miles) northeast of Tehran.
Damavand is, as any cursory reading of Persian literature will indicate, the Mount Olympus of Persian mythology.
Damavand is the symbol of Iranian resistance against despotism and foreign rule in Persian poetry and literature. In Zoroastrian texts and mythology, the three-headed dragon Aži Dahāka was chained within Mount Damāvand, there to remain until the end of the world. In a later version of the same legend, the tyrant Zahhāk was also chained in a cave somewhere in Mount Damāvand after being defeated by Kāveh and Fereydūn. Persian poet Ferdowsi depicts this event in his masterpiece, the Shahnameh.
Damavand’s Thermal springs
Mt Damavand has some thermal springs (Abe Garm Larijan) with therapeutic qualities. These mineral hot springs are mainly located on the volcano’s flanks and at the base, giving evidence of volcanic heat comparatively near the surface of the earth. While no historic eruptions have been recorded, hot springs at the base and on the flanks, and fumaroles and solfatara near the summit, indicate a hot or cooling magma body still present beneath the volcano, so that Damavand is a potentially active volcano.
In this village there are lots of hot baths. Of about 1,000 liters of water per minute Chshmە larijan SPA is removed. Its temperature is between 65 to 70 degrees Celsius. The unpleasant taste and odor of hydrogen sulfide and water color is clear. This is the source of magnesium and bicarbonate salts for skin disease, old wounds, rheumatism, respiratory tract diseases and neurological disorders is beneficial. Bath’s famous monuments in the village of Shah Abbas Safavid period is related to
The most important of these hot springs are located in Abe Garm Larijan in a village by the name Larijan in the district of Larijan in Lar Valley . The water from this spring is useful in the treatment of chronic wounds and skin diseases. Near these springs there are public baths with small pools for public use.
Other spa around Mount Damavand
The most prominent mineral water springs that exist in this area include hot water Bayjan AltaVista mineral springs, mineral water Astrabakv, Chshmە pleural Chshm Mineral water and estelle iron head.
Routes to the summit of Mt. Damavand
The best major settlement for mountain climbers is the new Iranian Mountain Federation Camp in Polour village, located on the south of the mountain.
There are at least 16 known routes to the summit which have different difficulties. Some of them are very dangerous and require rock climbing. The most popular route is the Southern Route which has step stamps and also a camp midway called Bargah Sevom Camp/Shelter at 4220 m (about 13,845 ft). The longest route is the Northeastern and it takes two whole days to reach the summit starting from downhill village of Nāndal and a night stay at Takht-e Fereydoun (elevation 4300 m – about 13,000 ft), a two-story shelter. The western route is famous for its sunset view. Sīmorgh shelter in this route at 4100 m (about 13,500 ft) is a newly constructed shelter with two stories. There is a frozen waterfall/Icefall (Persian name Ābshār Yakhī)about 12m tall and the elevation of 5100m is the highest fall in Iran and Middle East.
Geographical location of Damavand
Damavand Nomination as National Heritage Site
An anthropologist of Mazandaran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department, Touba Osanlou, has said that a proposal has been made by a group of Iranian mountaineers to register the highest peak in the Middle East, Mount Damavand as a national heritage site.
Mazandaran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department has accepted the proposal, the Persian daily Jam-e Jam reported.
Osanlou noted that the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization is presently in the process of renaming an upcoming ancient festivity after Mount Damavand “We have proposed Tirgan Festivity, Tabari Nowruz, to be named as Damavand National Day,” he added.
Tirgan Festivity is held in Amol County’s Rineh region in Mazandaran province.
Volcanic Seven Summits
Mt Damavand 5671m is one of the Volcanic Seven Summits Mount Damavand, situated in Iran, stands tall as the highest volcano in all of Asia, at 5,671 m. A potentially active volcano, it has fumaroles near the summit crater that release sulfur gas and whose last recorded activity was in 2007. Damavand is considered the Mount Olympus of Persian literature and mythology, where it has long stood as a symbol of resistance against invasion and tyranny. Today, thermal springs with curative properties on the volcano’s flanks are an undoubted attraction for those who visit and attempt one of the 16 known routes of varying difficulty to the summit. Then, of course, there are the views.
Elevation (meters): 5671
Range/Region: Iranian Plateau
Month for climbing :
Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct…
(Best: July, August, September )
Volcanic status: Extinct
Year first climbed: 1837
First successful climber(s):
Plour,(Complex of Federation)
Nearest major airport:
Damavand is a towering volcano just 45 miles northeast of Teheran, near the Southern coast of the Caspian Sea. It is surrounded by the smaller and comparatively rugged peaks of the Alborz range, but its great height and classic volcanic shape.
unique to the region, grant it dominance and isolation. Damavand has not erupted in historical times, though occasional steam and sulfur gases exude from the top.
The view from the summit is an amazing panorama of Iran’s vast expanse of mountains, valleys, and deserts.
Located approximately 50 kilometers northeast of Tehran, Mt. Damavand is an impressive stratovolcano that reaches 5,670 meters (18,598 feet) in elevation. Part of the Alborz Mountain Range that borders the Caspian Sea to the north, Damavand is a young volcano that has formed mostly during the Holocene Epoch (over approximately the last 10,000 years). The western flank of the volcano includes solidified lava flows with flow levees—“walls” formed as the side edges of flowing lava cooled rapidly, forming a chute that channeled the hotter, interior lava. Two such flows with well-defined levees are highlighted by snow on the mountainside.
Damavand is the highest peak in Iran and the highest volcano in the Middle East. The mountain and its surrounding areas are popular hiking, climbing, and skiing destinations. While no historic eruptions of the volcano are recorded, hot springs on the flanks of the volcano and fumaroles (steam vents) in the summit crater suggest that a hot or cooling magma body is still present beneath the volcano. This continuing activity, while minor, indicates a dormant rather than extinct volcano.
Astronaut photograph ISS010-E-13393 was acquired January 15, 2005 with a Kodak 760C digital camera with a 400 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and the Image Science & Analysis Group, Johnson Space Center. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.
A dormant volcano with a narrow summit. Location Alborz Mountains, Iran. Height 5671.
The earliest recorded ascent of Damavand was made in 905 by Abu Dolaf Kazraji, although others unknown may have preceded him. Three centuries later.
Yaqut, the great Byzantine/Arab geographer, attempted to climb Damavand, but failed to reach the summit. However, the local people who served him as guides gave him a detailed description of the summit which he incorporated into his famous “Dictionary of Geography”, and which conforms perfectly with the geographical reality. At approximately the same time Ebn Esfandiar noted that the ascent from Ask took around two days. Apparently climbs of Damavand were not uncommon during the early 13th century, before the Mongol invasion under Hulagu Khan swept, and destroyed, everything before it.
actually, at the time of Thompson’s ascent in 1837, there were ascents regularly being made by iranians, to gather sulphur from the summit for commercial purposes; Thompson himself mentions this in his article in the Royal Geographic society magazine of 1838. This commercial activity was mentionned in Nasser-i Khosrow’s medieval book of travels
The seasoned traveler in Iran is so used to seeing gaunt, rugged precipice , jagged peaks and bare deserts, that the sight of Damavand is a relief and surprise to the eye. Visible From many kilometers away, thought it is surrounded on every side by the peaks and ridges of the albroz, its superior height and singular outline compel attention. It is as prominent a feature in northern Iran (only 80-km northeast of the capital, Tehran) as is the well-known Fujiyama in Japan. Many travelers say that its snowy-white cone is the most beautiful sight of the country and the one-day treasure most.
A small and picturesque town bearing the name of Damavand is beautifully situated on the southern slopes and is much used as a summer resort by the people of Tehran. There has been no eruption of the mountain in historical times and it is now regarded as virtually extinct thought some hot springs are found on its lower slopes. At the summit there is a crater, some 300 meters across, with a profusion of yellow sulfurous rocks and pumice stones. Snow covers the crater and upper slopes in winter and spring. in sheltered hollows snow many remain all the year. 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.
It is not surprising that such a prominent mountain should figure in Iranian legend. The great tenth-century Iranian poet, Ferdowsi, relates in his epic “Shahname” how the tyrant Zahak is overthrown by the young Feridun and imprisoned in chains to die in a cavern on the slops of Damavand. Local legend asserts that his groans may still be heard .
on this slops lived the heroes, Jemshid and Rostem .On Other Legend Associated Damavand with the arc, claiming that it rested here, and not Ararat.
Damavand has been frequently climbed.Traditionally, the Iranian was opposed to the conquest of the mountain. 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 accent in early summer, expanses of snow must be corset to the crater at the top. Because of its great height and isolation, the view 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 of iran.
Warm, wind proof jacket with hood – Good warm sleeping bag
Waterproof jacket and over-trousers Water bottle (1 -to 2 litres)
Walking trousers, shirts, pullover Water purification tablets and filter
Warm underwear Wash kit, towel, toilet paper
Walking socks First aid kit ( including blister plasters, lip slave
Good comfortable Climbing boots headache pills, sun cream, personal medication)
Trainers ( for evenings) Torch
Gaiters Sun glasses
Sun hat Walking pole (s)
Warm hat or balaclava and scarf
NB: It is advisable to pack your clothing and equipment into a waterproof rucksack for carry. Also it is advisable to have a small day rucksack to carry your raincoat, camera, packed lunch and energy snack and items of personal nature.
Alborz Mountain range with more than 2000 Km. lenght lies from North-West to North-East of Iran.
This vast mountain range comprises main peaks of 4000m. height. The only peak higher than 5000m. is Damavand with 5671m. altitude at the farthest end of the central eastern part of Alborz. It’s 70Km. on a straight line from Tehran.
Mount Damavand is the result of volcanic activities at the beginning of the quaternary geologic time (Pleistcence stage). The same accured for Arrarat in Turkey and Sahand, Sabalan, Taftan and Alvand in Iran.
Damavand like many volcanic mountains bears a conic shape very similar to Fujiyama in Japan.
Damavand is actually a non-active volcano but wipes brim-stone. It means that it is going through the last stage before complete silence. However, its warm mineral springs, absence of extensive glaciers and frequent earthquakes at every few years intervals are the evidences of internal activities of this mountain. However, its isolation, high altitude and conic shape visible from far distances, have made it outstanding amongst other high mountains in the region.
Damavand region is one of the most beautiful natural surroundings with fields full of wild poppy and purple lily in spring and long grass plots in green summer. It is also a rainfull area having very hard winters, but moderate summers. The summit and slopes are always covered by snow.
In the history of Iran, Damavand has always been a symbol and its name is synonymous with Iran.
A good number of tales and epics have been written about it, reflecting the deep place it holds in the culture and beliefs of Iranian people.
Due to its conical shape, climbing is possible from all sides, but well-known paths are nine. The most frequented are North, North-East, South and West faces. The easiest trajectory is the southern path. On all faces, shelters are provided.
If the starting point is Tehran, you should count on an average of 3/4 days for the climb. From Tehran, you take Haraz Road. After 120 Km. via Polour village, This is the nearest village to the southern path. There, you can find a well-equipped new shelter 4200m.
In the past, climbing started from this village, but nowadays, by taking a dirt road (often used by mine machinery) you can reach a spot called Goosfand- Sara with an altitude of 3000m. from sea level. At this point, you can follow a path with a moderate slope which gets gradually steeper. After 3 / 4 hours climbing, you reach the southern shelter at 4200m. altitude. This shelter with a capacity of 100 persons is a favorable place for a night rest.
The beginning hours of the following day is the best time to start the final stage of the climb. The path starts from behind the shelter. the slope is relatively steep and the high altitude and lack of Oxygen makes climbing rather difficult. At 5100m. at your right, you can see a huge suspending Ice Fall called Abshar Yakhy .
The most difficult part of the climb is about 300m. under the Summit. This part is called Sulphurous hill (Tape Gogerdi) steaming sulphuric gas out of the holes. Its bad smell makes breathing difficult. After passing this part, there is no more slope to climb, only a huge ditch waits ahead. This is the main Damavand volcanic mouth located on top of the summit.
If the weather is fine, you can see the green jungle of the north of Iran, the Caspian sea, the city of Tehran, the lake of Lar and at very far sight on the south the vast plain of Varamin from Damavand peak.
Climbing from shelter to the peak takes 6 to 8 hours and the return to the shelter about 3 to 4 hours.