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Haj Ali Gholi

This is said to be the most beautiful salt lake in Iran. I have been wanting to cross it on foot from East to West for a couple of years now but because of the narrow window in which one could do this before it is waterlogged or due to intense summer heat other commitments have meant it has not happened yet. Last Autumn together with a few friends, old and new we decided we wanted to cross it by 4WD. We had a professional off-roader Hossein Delfan with us as the leading pilot. Below, you can see the outcome of this unsuccessful attempt. Hossein reckons that by mapping the area carefully it should be possible to do this crossing. It would be the first time in history if this happens. The locals I talked to said it was impossible because even in the height of the summer large parts of the dried lake remains wet just under the crust and you could only walk it. The walk would be approximately 52 kilometers and done in 2 days. In the old days camel herders and other locals used to walk the length of this to get from village to village.
The man playing the accordion is Omid Kamali a friend and a composer from Gorgan. We had a lot fun fun digging out Hussein's car after having to camp on the spot because of darkness. We had with us food, water and something stronger to keep the cold at bay.
Enjoy the images and if you feel like trekking this wonderland get in touch here, info@alamuttrek.com

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I have 4 days for trekking in the Alamut Valley, what can I do?

Option 1

It would be possible to do 4 days from Lake Ovan to the Caspian hinterland via Khashechal summit( 4120 m). However, if you are to walk from the lake itself you really need 5 days of trekking plus the day to get there and to get to Tehran ie 7 days in total. If you wish to walk it in 4 days ie 6 days in total then you need to leave out the summit.


Option 2

Another option would be to start from Garmarood, where the ridge is lower and the summit you can do is off the path and is 3600m. There is a dirt road that you will have to cross 3 times on foot and there will be some cars passing from May until October but this will be a short stretch.

You may end either in Maran or in Yuj.


The main differences between the two are the crossing of a road which is absent from the first trek, and the fact that the first trek goes through some of the most pristine Hyrcanian forests terminating at 900m ASL but in option 2 the trek ends above the forest line at about 2200mASL and the rest is in …

The Zagros trek Part 2

And we crossed that bridge!
We then had to negotiate our way through some steep rocky trail to get to the "flat" part of the trail grabbing whatever piece of rock we could. For the next time we decided to have fixed ropes installed although we doubt there will be a next time as this area is so pristine and the nomads so authentic and their culture so untouched that we would hate to contaminate that. Beautiful oak forest of the southern Zagros with lush green meadows, interesting looking limestone carved out by the forces of nature are is our vista, there is one that must be 25 m high in the shape of a mushroom, amazing!. We climb up a very steep scree only for Mehdi to tell us that we have taken the wrong path ! It is getting dark. We wait and he goes continues to see if he can find the trail leading to the first nomadic settlement, they call these Maal. Last time he came to this area was over 5 years back so he could be forgiven for mistaking the path. Soon he comes back te…

Ski and Snowboarding in Iran

Leave your prejudices where you live and come skiing in Iran !

Yes, we have ski resorts and when people are busy skiing in Iran,   many European resorts  are waiting for their first snowfall ! 
Besides, you pay embarrassingly little to ski in Iran.
Here you have a list of all the ski resorts close to Tehran:
1. Tochal Ski resort, this is the highest ski resort in Iran. It starts close to the summit at 3850m and is some 1200m long. It is skiable for almost 8 months of the year! It is a short car drive from central Tehran.
http://tochal.org/en
2. Dizin, arguably the best ski resort in Iran,  it is situated deep in the central Alborz range with spectacular views of the Alborz summits such as Alam Kooh and Mount Damavand. It is a 3 hour drive from the capital. There are 7500m of ski pistes from 3600 m down to 2650m of altitude.
3. Darband Sar is 50KM north of Tehran. It is a good resort for experienced skiers.
4. Abali Ski resort is on the eastern part of the city and is one of the oldest …