Photo by  Andrew Mandemaker

The ALBORZ MOUNTAIN RANGE IS A HOME FOR the LOFTIEST MOUNTAINS IN IRAN, DAZZLING ITS VISITORS WITH SNOWY PEAKS AND NUMEROUS OPTIONS FOR OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES.

Alborz (also spelled as Alburz, Elburz or Elborz), is a major mountain range in northern Iran that continues for 900 km (560 mi). It lies from the frontier with Azerbaijan along the western and a whole southern coast of the Caspian Sea and runs northeast where it finally merges into the Aladagh Mountains in the northern Khorasan. 

This mountain range is divided into the Western, the Central, and the Eastern Alborz Mountains. The highest point of the whole mountain range is Mount Damavand - 5,610 m (18,410 ft), located in the Central Alborz Mountains. In fact, all top five of the most prominent peaks of Alborz Mountain Range are located in the Central Mountains. 

 Photo by  Hansueli Krapf

The name Alborz is derived from Hari Barazaiti, a name of a legendary mountain appearing in the religious texts of Zarochristians, other known as Avesta.  Hari Barazaiti can be translated to “the high guardian” or “the high watch post”. In Zarochristian mythology Hari Barazaiti is a mountain around which the stars and planets revolve.

FIVE MOST PROMINENT PEAKS IN ALBORZ MOUNTAIN RANGE.

  • Mount Damavand - 5,610 m (18,410 ft), a dormant volcano located in Central Alborz Mountains, Iran. It is the highest point in the country as well as in the whole mountain range.
  • Alam-Kuh - 4,848 m (15,906 ft), also located in Central Alborz Mountain Range, north Iran.
  • Sabalan - 4,811 m (15,784 ft), an inactive stratovolcano in the Alborz Mountain Range, northwestern Iran.
  • North Khersan - 4680 m (15354 ft), again located in Central Alborz Mountain Range, north Iran.
  • South Khersan - 4659 m (15285 ft), just next to the northern Khersan peak.

TREKKING AND CLIMBING AROUND ALBORZ MOUNTAIN RANGE. 

There are plenty of routes for trekking and climbing around Alborz Mountain Range, however, due to high elevations and snowy trails, trekking here require caution. The most popular among outdoors enthusiasts is the Central Alborz Mountain range, as the highest peaks of the mountain range are located at this part.

First and foremost, probably the most visited peak is Mount Damavand, the highest peak of Iran. There are at least 16 known routes to the summit, which vary in levels of difficulty. The best place to start you ascend is Polour Mountain Resort. The best time to climb Mount Damavand in summer as the trail is technically less difficult, but still, it is an exhausting challenge. On the other hand, if you manage your time and do the trek in 4 days rather than 2 you will find yourself having a good and satisfactory workout. The most popular route is the Southern Route which has step stamps and a camp midway and is mostly done in two days.

Another great place to trek in Alborz Mountains is a Takht-e-Soleiman Massif, a home of Alam Kooh, the Khersan peaks and a number of mountains with the elevations highers than 4000 m. There are quite a few starting points to climb a massif, but the most popular one is Roundbarak. There are so many trails around this area, that with proper preparation you can spend weeks here and you would still have another trek to do. For more information on treks in Takht-e-Soleiman massif visit the website.

Finally, another place to find peaks over 4000 m is a northwestern part of Iran, where Mount Sabalan is located. There are also two famous hot springs, Ghotursoui and Shabil, in this area. There are three ridges to climb Mount Sabalan: the North East ridge, which is considered to be the easiest route that also features the Ghotorsoi hot springs; South Face Ridge, which starts from Alvares Ski Resort and the West Ridge, that features Heram glacier.

For more information on climbing Mount Sabalan visit the website.

OTHER ADVENTURE SPORTS IN ALBORZ MOUNTAIN RANGE.

As Alborz Mountains are covered in snow through the whole year it is attracting skiers from all over the world. The most popular place for skiing is Dizin. Dizin is the place with lifts as high as 3,600 m (11,811 ft) and also to Shemshak, at 3,050 m (10,000 ft). It is also easily accessible from Tehran. Another of the larger resorts is Pooladkaf where you can ski at the elevation of 3,400 m (11,150 ft).

Alborz is also a great place for experienced mountain bikers, there are many agencies located in Tehran that would be more than happy to take you on a challenging ride through beautiful landscapes, rivers, and forests.

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