Peak Damavand

Damavand - Iran's highest peak

Height: 5609 meter

Indix: 2B

Mt Damavand is the highest peak of Iran – a country that is mostly mountainous. But that is not the only record that this beautiful mountain sets. At the same time, Damavand is the highest peak in the Middle East and only slightly smaller than Elbrus – which is about a thousand kilometers to the North West.

And: Mount Damavand is also the 12th tallest mountain in terms of prominence. In Asia, only Mount Everest has a larger prominence! 
Mount Damavand also holds the title of the tallest volcano in Asia. 

What type of mountain is it?

Iran is an area that is very active in terms of tectonic activity. The Iranian plate is compressed between the Eurasian plate to the North and the Arab plate to the South, thus forming large mountain ranges. 

Mount Damavand is a volcano however that has formed in an area near the Alborz mountain range. The way the mountain was formed is however volcanic. This created the special way in which the mountain is far elevated from its surroundings. The mountain is steep and the top is built by a crater. While the top is often snow covered, the volcano is still active with smaller  fumaroles on the upper part of the mountain.

It is also part of the volcano seven summits. More importantly, in the mindset of Friendly Peaks where we are not looking for titles but for good times, better to hike up Volcan Baru in Panama.

Where is Damavand located?

Mt Damavand is located in the northern part of Iran, about 30 km north-east of the capital Tehran. 

Trekking around Damavand

You can do trekking in the Damavand area without problem. The area has a beautiful landscape and friendly people. Not talking about the 1-2 more frequently used roads, most of the area of Damavand is unexplored and perfectly suitable for easy trekking. 

Damavand trekking map

Coming soon. 

Climbing to the peak

Note that the peak is well above 5000 meters in altitude. Hence, altitude sickness can occur. Best to take into account 2-3 days of preparation to acclimatize to 3500+ meters of altitude and walking. 

The climb to the summit takes 3-5 days. Often, the road is much frequented by cars to a certain altitude. Above that, there is only a few people. 

How difficult is it to climb Damavand mountain?

One of the most frequently asked questions and one of the most difficult to answer. As often in life, “it depends”. It depends mostly on the time of the year. While Kilimanjaro is always ‘relatively’ accessable, Damavand is similar in difficulty in summer but much more difficult in winter. In spring, the melting snow can be an additional danger and while beginning of autumn is often a good time to climb Damavand, there is also the risk of colder weather moving in. 

How to train for Damavand summit attempt?

As mentioned above, most importantly, the altitude sickness needs to be prepared for. 

Also note that your favorite food or necessary medicine might not available in Iran. So best prepare yourself for this scenario. 

Which route to take

Usually, the southern route is taken to the summit. More information will follow here in the future.  

Guide to climb Damavand

Three things to consider: 1 connect with a guide well before the summit attempt and get help for a training plan. 2. local guides are available at the mountain – sometimes too many guides that want to “help” you. 3. your language. While most speak acceptable English, you might want a guide that speaks your native language if different from English.

Surroundings of the mountain

Note that the peak is well above 5000 meters in altitude. Hence, altitude sickness can occur. Best to take into account 2-3 days of preparation to acclimatize to 3500+ meters of altitude and walking. 

The climb to the summit takes 3-5 days. Often, the road is much frequented by cars to a certain altitude. Above that, there is only a few people. 

How to get to Damavand?

Tehran landmark

From the outskirts of Tehran, it is only a one hour drive to Damavand. However, sometimes you might be stuck another hour or two in traffic in Iran’s capital. Most tourists and mountaineers take individual shuttles to go to the peak.

Road Conditions

The road from Tehran to the hiking areas around the mountain is reasonably well preserved. Yet, as noticed above, the traffic congestion in Tehran can lead to severe delays. 

Damavand Climate and Weather

As mentioned before, there is a very large difference of summer and winter. 

How to get up-to-date weather info?

Check the Tehran weather for reference. Check also Damavandweatherforecast.com and also the following resources (to be updated)

Best time for a climb

End of summer: August to September are great times for a summit attempt. 

Skiing Mount Damavand

Damavand sees lot of snow in winter. So you might think about skiing. 

Is it possible to go skiing on Damavand

Yes and no. There is snow and it is possible to go skiing. Other mountains north of Tehran are better suitable for skiing though. Mount Tochal right north of Teheran is easily accessible by a cable car that was build in the 70s. The mountain has some great slopes, some of which offer a view of the city. Tochal’s peak is at 3964 meters of altitude and with that a potential way to acclimatise for Damavand: Take the cable car up to Tochal, do some light hiking for about an hour or two near the peak and take the cable car back to sleep on much lower altitude. If you can do that without issues you might be well prepared to face the altitude at Damavand. 

Damavand in ancient times

There are plenty of images of the mountain in ancient times. Plus: The mountain has cult purposes. 

Damavand and religion

For Zoroastrians, Damavand his a very important mountain.