Climbers from Spain, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iran took part in a January winter ascent of Damavand (5,671 m) the highest volcanic mountain in the Middle East.
Located just two hours by car from the Iranian capital of Tehran, the mass climb of the South Face of the mountain was organized by the Iran Mountaineering and Sport Climbing Federation.The expedition was kicked off on 27 January and included 210 Iranian climbers and nine foreign climbers.
The expedition was buffeted by bad weather but two days after the climb began 69 climbers including three from Armenia and one from Azerbaijan joined their Iranian counterparts on the summit. The summiteers included six women.
“The mountain and its surroundings are popular hiking, climbing and skiing destinations,” said spokesperson Mohammad Fahimi. “The 2012 winter ascent of Damavand was the result of team work.”
The expedition led by Hamid Reza Olanj included 24 members of the Red Crescent.
Damavand, a mountain subject to intense west winds, was first climbed by a European Tiller Thomson in 1837. The first Iranian ascent was recorded in 1857 when a team led by Colonel Mohammad Sadeghkhan Gajar reached the summit.
The full expedition report can be found here.
The Iran Mountaineering and Sport Climbing Federation hosted the UIAA General Assembly in 2008.