The highest volcanic summit in Asia and the Middle East is Mount Damavand, which is also the highest peak in Iran. It is the first Iranian natural landmark to be listed on Iran’s National Heritage List having a height of 5,610 meters above sea level.
The location of this Mount is 26 kilometers from Damavand City, 62 kilometres from Amol City, and 69 kilometres from Tehran City. Three rivers encircle Damavand Mount: Tineh River to the north, Haraz River to the south and east, and Lar River to the west.
On July 20, 2008, Mount Damavand was officially recognised as Iran’s first natural monument. It is noteworthy that this mountain was chosen in 2002 as one of four significant sites for environmental preservation as a national natural monument. From Tehran, it is simple to travel to Damavand on Haraz Road.
In a clear sky, Mt. Damavand is visible from a distance of more than 250 kilometres. There are a few well-known glaciers, including “Yakhar” and “Sioleh,” right beneath its crater. On some of its lower slopes in Larijan County, there are hot springs as well. The view from the top is extraordinarily expansive due to its considerable height, with a vast panorama of mountains and valleys spanning several hundred square Kilometers. There are further Alborz Mountain Range peaks all around, dipping in the south to the central Iranian deserts and rising northward to the Caspian Sea plain.
The Mount Damavand History and formation:
Mount Damavand was known to the Assyrians as the Azure rock mine. During the Medes’ reign, this mountain played a significant role. In Damavand, there are a lot of prehistoric cemeteries. Zoroastrian priests dwelt in a citadel at the base of Mount Damavand in the seventh century, hence, Mount Damavand plays a major role in Persian mythology as well. The image of Mount Damavand was positioned in the centre of Iran’s national emblem during the rule of the Pahlavi dynasty.
Mount Damavand, a volcano with a 9 km wide caldera, initially erupted around 1.78 million years ago, during one of the most recent cycles of the earth’s recurrent glaciations. According to its geology, the mountain’s steep sides are made up of layers of ash & flowing lava that has been transformed into volcanic rocks since the last eruption, which occurred in 5300 BC. The fact that sulfuric gauges are still being discharged from the summit’s crater suggests that Mount Damavand may still be active.
Climbing The Mount Damavand:
The top of Mount Damavand can be reached via a number of different paths. The key ones are as follows:
1) Northern Face: Between Sioleh Glacier & Dobi Sel Glacier lies the climbing route to the Northern Face. The ends of this route include steep slopes, making the ascent challenging.
2) Northeastern Face: Compared to other routes, this one is longer. The slope is, however, less steep.
3) Western Face: The slope at the path’s finish is comparatively severe on this route.
4) Southern Face: The southern route leads to the summit of Damavand and is the most popular and congested. This route’s mountaineering starts in a place called Dorahi. Due to the high traffic, the routes along this route are highly clear.
The southern face of the path is the simpler one, while the northern face is the more difficult one. The three faces to the north, south, and northeast are close to the villages, and each has parapets that extend halfway up the face. The last 300 metres of the ascent, where sulfurous vapors are frequently impossible to avoid, are the most challenging, according to climbers who have completed the route. However, the view from the summit is just breathtaking. One of the most magnificent volcanoes in the entire globe is undoubtedly Mount Damavand.
Best time to visit Mount Damavand:
June to September