29 December 2009


Winter Climb

Mt Damavand is located in the northern hemisphere and is effected by the Climate of this half of the globe, the winter condition usually start from November or December and last till April or March, the quantity of snow is different each and every year, it is suggested to check the snow news and condition in advance before your challenge.

The climbing grade and Difficulty of Damavand in winter is very tough. There are many winter attempt to this Summit each year, mostly unsuccessful and only a few successful climb is done by very experienced climber. There has been some fatality events which resulted in death and loss of some famous Iranian climbers and guides in this mountain in winter condition.

Damavand Winter view
Damavand Winter view from Polour
Photo by A. Soltani

Difficulty Factors in Winter
- You need more days in your itinerary compared to the summer.
- You need more daylight on the summit day but days are shorter.
- You hvae to spend more than twice energy eighter for climbing or for warming yourself.
- It is not possible to use mules, so you should carry all equipments yourself, or if you are lucky enough you may find and hire porters.
- You have to carry more equipments which is quite a big problem.
- Road to base camp is blocked by heavy snow and ice and cars are not able to go up to the base camp, so the starting point is the gravel road junction1 ( No 5 in GPS ) and not the Base Camp.

For a safe winter climb, all climbers should be experinced, and should have proper equipment to withstand the freezing temperatures in the harsh climate. You should consider spare days in your itinerary to allow safe retreat in case of bad weather or AMS.
- Do not attempt solo or individual, ascend only in a group.
- Good Timing and fine Weather is necessary.
- Be ready for any unexpected condition.
- Do not attempt winter climb as your first effort to the Mt Damavand,
- Only experienced climber who have the experience of winter climbing to 6000m or more may try their luck.
- In lack of appropriate whether no climb should be attmpted.

This is a brief equioment list, for more dtails see Winter Equipment .

- Wool or Pile Balaclava
- Silk Balaclava for sleeping
- Face Mask
- Glacier or Ski Goggles with side screens

Upper Body:
- Long Undershirts – polypropylene
- Shirt
- Wool, Polypropylene or Pile Shirt – medium weight
- Wool, Pile Sweater or Jacket – heavy
- Wind Jacket with Hood – 60/40, nylon, Goretex-will double as rain jacket

- Glove Liners – synthetic, polypropylene
- Wool/Synthetic/Pile Mittens

Lower Body:
- Underwear – polypropylene – light to medium
- Wool/Pile Pants
- Wind Pants – nylon (Goretex-doubles as rain pants)

- Liner Socks (thin) – polypropylene
- Wool/Pile Socks (heavy)
- Mountaineering double boots
- Gaiters – coated nylon

Shell Layer:
- Waterproof/Breathable Jacket – nylon, Goretex – must fit over stacked layers
- Rain Pants – nylon, Goretex – must fit over stacked layers

Pack & Packing:
- Large External Frame Pack – with frame extension or Large Internal Frame Pack
- Pack Raincover

Climb Equipment:
- poles – 1 pair
- Ice Axe
- Crampons

Sleeping Gear:
- Synthetic/Down Sleeping Bag – rated to -40 C
- Ensolite Foam Pad – 1-2 cm

- headlamp best
- Knife
- Whistle
- Sunglasses, Antifog
- Sunscreen
- Chapstick
- First Aid Kit, Personal Medications
- Camera, books, paper & pen, etc. (optional)

South Route Mt. Damavand
Mount Damavand South Route

More in MDG
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Winter Climb 2 MDG881008A
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