Damavand is a popular mountain for summer Climbs, despite its mild climbing slopes and easy technical routes, without a doubt, it is one of the most difficult peaks in the world in winter.
Due to proximity to the Caspian Sea and wet Climate, there is a heavy winter snow fall in the area, further more strong winds and freezing temprature makes winter ascend to this summit very difficult.
Supports and logistics to the mountain is another major problem in this season, because cars can not go up as far as the Camp 2 Base and it is impossible to use mules in the area, so climbers must carry their equipments themselves or hire an expert sherpa.
Mount Damavand Winter view from Polour Village
Photo by A. Soltani
The south route is the only recommended side for winter ascends, other faces are more difficult, dangerous, and risky in winter. The winter climate may start in the region from November till March, the amount of snow varies each year and it is recommended to check the snow condition in advance before your arrival.
All refuge and shelters are open during the whole climbing seasons, but camp2 base shelter and Camp 3 Bargah refuge may need some cleaning from snow and removing dirt and garbage, if you are lucky enough to find them under ice and snow!
For a safe and successful attempt in winter, you must be very experienced and well supplied and equipped, plus good timing and suitable Weathe, well supported logisticaly and prepared for any dangerous and unexpected condition in the area.
Weather condition in winter could change to disastrous quickly, with wind speed more than 100km/h and freezing temprature bellow -60°C, almost similar to the south pole, you must be well-practiced for such a difficult climate either for a winter climb or ski mountaineering expeditions , and further more be aware that rescue team and medical facilities and support are not around in case of injury or emergency requirement, and you should just rely on a good luck for surviving, so extra care should be taken in winter and it is done by your own risk only.
Reinhold Messner, in 1970 attempted a winter climb to Mt Damavand, but he failed due to bad weather, he realized that despite lack of technical difficulties, is not an easy mountain for hiking and the challenge is highly depended to the weather conditional .
Read the original comment in Wikipedia in Deutsch:
Reinhold Messner ist im Jahre 1970 bei seinem Versuch, den Damāvand zu besteigen, aufgrund von widrigen Wetterverhältnissen gescheitert; daran erkennt man, dass der Damāvand trotz mangelnder technischer Schwierigkeiten kein einfacher Wanderberg, sondern eine große konditionelle und hochalpine Herausforderung ist.
Mt Damavand Winter Climb, Photo by A. Soltani
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Winter Climb MDG29JAN10B
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