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  • 1

    Start in Tehran; afternoon city tour

    Those on the group flights are scheduled to arrive in the morning. After a rest at the hotel we will head out on a tour of some of Tehran’s sites including the National Museum with its collection of prehistoric, ancient and Islamic artefacts, the Golestan Palace and the blingtastic National Jewel Museum.

  • 2

    Transfer to Nandal (2700m)

    Today we drive up to Nandal Village (time can vary with traffic out of Tehran but it should be about 4hrs). As we leave the capital city’s urban sprawl, the landscape turns stark and rocky, dotted with occasional trees. We stop for lunch on the way (at own expense) to break up the journey. The final hour or so of our drive is along a windy mountain road with great views of Mt. Damavand. We should arrive at Nandal Village (2,200m) mid-afternoon. It is a seasonal village which the inhabitants abandon in winter because of heavy rain and snow. Tonight was spend the night in a homestay. Sleeping arrangements are in dorm rooms with shared bathrooms. At the village we will meet the rest of the trekking crew who will accompany us on the trip.

  • 3

    Short drive to Gousfand-Sara; ascend to camp at 3500m.

    After breakfast we begin this morning with a short drive (20 minutes) from Nandal to the little farming enclave of Gousfand-Sara. The drive is across wide trails and will be in the back of a pick-up truck so expect a bumpy ride. From here we begin our ascent of Damavand. We start on fairly obvious cattle tracks but these become gradually less well defined as we ascend and occasionally descend throughout the day. We will stop for lunch about half way through the day and we should reach our campsite (3800m) after approximately 5 hours of walking. The camp is not a permanent tented camp and you’ll have to assist in erecting and dismantling your tent. The site is in a fairly sheltered location with beautiful views. Trekking 5kms; aprox. 5hrs; Altitude gain: 890m Camp

  • 4

    Trek to Takht-e-Fereydoun

    We continue to our second camp at Takht-e-Fereydoun where we spend three nights for acclimatisation purposes. We walk alongside a stream in a rocky gully before ascending a grassy hump and arrive at a flat, green meadow. From here there is a good pony path that winds upwards towards the eco-camp. The camp at 4350m is situated in a spectacular setting overlooking both Damavand and the valley below has twin-sharing lodge-tents, a dining room and kitchen and camp staff. In the afternoon there should be time for an acclimatisation walk to the ridge above the campsite. Trek 2kms; aprox. 4hrs; altitude gain: 750m.

  • 5

    Acclimatisation day

    Today is an acclimatisation day so we will go on a trek in the morning. Usually the route taken for this will be part of the summit route we walk tomorrow. The afternoon should be spent relaxing before the early start tomorrow. Trekking distance and time may vary, generally about 2hrs.

  • 6

    Non-technical but strenuous ascent of Damavand (5671m); return to camp at Takht-e-Fereydoun.

    We will begin today’s climb early, whilst it’s still dark, for the final ascent of Damavand. Hot drinks and a basic breakfast will be provided before we leave the campsite. You will also be given a packed lunch to carry in your daypack. It will be a long day so you should also take any other energy snacks that you have. The climb begins on a good rubble path, which may even be snow-covered, until we arrive at a ridge. From here we gain spectacular panoramic views. Staying to the right of the glacier valley with fine views of colourful rocky pinnacles, we ascend steeply through snow and soft rock. At times we walk across patches of yellow sulphurous volcanic scree, interspersed with snow and rock, to reach a large landmark rock ahead of us which signals we are very near the summit crater. You will need to take your walking sticks as the snow can be deep in places. As we approach the crater rim the smell of sulphur is quite strong. A short walk to our left brings us to the highest point of the volcano with spectacular views to the south and across the snow-filled crater. We then make our descent, returning to camp for a well-deserved rest. Depending on conditions this can vary in time considerably. Trekking 3kms, the ascent takes approximately 6-7 hours and the descent a further 3-4 hours. Altitude gain (and loss) 1,320m.

  • 7

    Descend to Nandal village; drive to Tehran.

    We begin our descent to the village of Nandal using the outward route. We will make our way back to the village of Gousfand-Sara via the route we used to ascend. We lose altitude quickly so the walk should not take more than 4 hours. On arrival at the farming hamlet we will stop for a traditional Iranian lunch before continuing in vehicles back to Nandal where we stop briefly before driving back to Tehran on the Haraz road in time for a hot shower and a bed! We should arrive in Tehran by 8pm but this will depend on traffic. Usually the group will go out in Tehran for our final dinner.

  • 8

    End Tehran.

    An early morning transfer to the airport for our return flight to London. The vehicle will arrive at the hotel very early. The trip ends after breakfast for those who have not booked the group flights.

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