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To Mr. Ardeshir Soltani.
Thank you very much for your service, help and hospitality during our visit to Iran and Damanvand July 2011.
We are a couple from Norway who wanted to visit Iran summer 2011. It was a mix of mountaineering and cultural experience.
We arrived at IKA airport around midnight 02 july 2011. We were met by Soltani at the airport. After some shopping and money change, he drove us to Poulour camp at the foot of the mountain. We arrived at 03.am. We had a room for ourselves, and a bathroom. The next day we slept long. After a heavy Iranian breakfast, we drove to the place where the road to camp 2 took off from the main road to Reyneh. We wanted to walk to camp 2 as a part of our acclimatization. After a short while, Marianne threw up the breakfast. It helped and we reached camp 2. On the way up we could see goats, sheep, horses and honey bees. There was a magnificent view of Damavand and a great variety of flowers.
Trekking Mt Damavand Iran
The next day we planned to move up to camp 3 at 4.200 masl. We drove all the way up to camp 2 by 4WD car, at 3.000 masl. The road was bumpy but it was no problem. At camp 2 there is a mosque and possible to buy water, tea and even stay overnight. We had a look at a cave that was in fact a house. Warm in winter, and cool in summer.
The path to camp 3 was not too steep, but due to altitude we went very slowly. On the way up there was a lot of natural sculptures made of volcanic rocks, amusing. The luggage was carried by mules.
There is an old camp 3 just below the new one, where we stayed. It was a rather big hut made of stone, quite new. It belongs to the Iranian Mountaineering Association. We had a small room for ourselves. There is no heating, but a solar powered light system.
The following night was bad. We both had severe headache and couldn't sleep. But it helped to hyperventilate quite often to saturate the blood with oxygen. Soltani recommended Diamox and Marianne decided to use it. Later that day the health condition improved and we went up to 4.600 masl. The evening was spent relaxing around the hut.
Mt Damavand Base 2011
The next day was summit day. Soltani woke us up early in the morning at 05. am. The weather was good and we were optimistic. Soltani had taken with him a friend Mojtaba. Mojtaba had been to the summit 198 times. Soon to be the first known 200 times summiter!!!
We went very very slowly. Soltani set the pace. We stopped shortly now and then, drinking and eating snacks. Marianne and I brought two cans of cola which we drank before the last section of the climb.
As we came closer to the summit we could smell the sulphur gazes and we passed the big geysir of smoke just before the top. The summit was reached after 7 hours. It was a great satisfaction to have made it!!! We stayed at the summit for half an hour, to take pictures and look at the view. We felt we were at the top of the world!! As we started the descend we were surprised by a blizzard. But the down jackets kept us warm. It was a problem the sulphur crystallized on the sun glasses and it was hard to see. Shortly after the wind calmed down.
The descend took us 3 hours.
We spent the night in camp 3.
Damavand Summit 5671m, NorwegianTeam 2011
The next day was holyday in Iran and there was a huge amount of people coming up to scale the mountain. We realized we had been lucky to climb on weekdays. All the newcomers were smiling and exited to be on the mountain. As foreigners we were met with kind curiosity.
Well down at camp 2 we were driven to Poulour. After a short stop for shopping and eating Soltani took us to a hotel in Theran. And the first part of our trip was over.
The next part was a cultural tour to visit some of the places in Iran that could tell us something of the country´s rich history, culture and civilisation.
The route was Theran-Esfahan-Shiraz-Persepolis-Shiraz-Theran.
The people of Iran is very polite, curious and interested in talking to foreigners. It was absolutely no problem traveling in Iran. All we can say is. Pack your gear and go to Iran!!
Kindly Marianne and Stein.
Damavand Summit, Norway Team 2011
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