2020-21 Nominee
– Mountain Protection Commission of IMSCF (I.R. Iran Mountaineering and Sport Climbing Federation)

Mountain Protection, UIAA


Over the past few decades many mountain shelters across Iran have effectively turned into waste sites due to bad management, a lack of culture and environmental information among mountaineers, and the absence of repair or reconstruction systems. To counter these developments the Mountain Protection Commission of the IMSCF has started a long-term project to restore these mountain shelters with the purpose of avoiding total destruction and to use them for mountain protection activities in the future.

Vision, goals and objectives
Over the last three decades, shelters in Iranian mountains have gradually become unusable and turned into big dustbins, due to bad management and lack of culture and environmental information among mountaineers, no repair and reconstruction system, etc.

The Mountain Protection Commission of the IMSCF has started a long-term plan for mountain shelter reconstruction following two main goals:

– Physical reconstruction avoiding futher destruction.
– Use the shelters after construction as a base location for mountain protection activities.

In a first phase of the project, reconstruction will be carried out at four old shelters located in Damavand:

– South shelter located at 4200m (project almost finished)
– Two shelters in north face located at 3800m and 4800m
– North east shelter (Takht-e-Freidoon) located at 4250m

Project Objectives: Protecting the Damavand environment via a mountain protection team located in the shelter. Waste management system in the shelter via separation of wet and dry waste and carry it down to the village every day or week as needed. Using natural, environment friendly material. No use plastic dishes, bags etc. Promoting mountain eco loges and eco camps. Local economy support via use of local transport, local porters etc.

Expected implementation and outcomes
In phase 1, a 3D Max design will be drawn up. In phase 2: material will be carried to the shelters (including thermal and water resist woods, tools, etc.). In total this amounts to about 2500kg carried across 2 months. Furthermore, 2 seasons from June to August, will be used to reconstruct and repair the hut according to the 3D Max design. Phase 3 focuses on the operation. In phase 4 and after reconstruction, the shelters are used as a base location for mountain protection activities. Furthermore, the team promotes and encourages people to protect the mountain environment.

Climbing, mountaineering or outdoor sport focus

Damavand mountain, as the highest pick in Iran (5610m) and one of the highest volcanoes in the world, has shelters and huts on its main faces. This reconstruction project located at Damavand Southern (4,200m), focuses on one of the oldest shelters in the Iranian mountains dating back more than 50 years. Every year in summer and winter seasons many mountaineers and skiers come to Damavand, which is why the focus was put at the heart of the mountain.

Best practices in mountaineering and mountain-based sports for mountain protection

After reconstructing the shelter, a previously useless place has been turned into a very nice standard hut which can host 10 people in 24 hours at about EUR 25 per person. Online reservation is available on IMSCF website. Two people are working part time for about five months per year. Every year volunteers can participate in the mountain protection team located in the hut. These people offer their knowledge and services free of charge in the hut. One of the most important parts of their mission is waste management, as well as face to face conversations with mountaineers and tourists. They provide them with the information about the mountain environment and also super light bags for them to carry dry waste back down.

To discover more about the UIAA Mountain Protection Award please click here.