Blog 19 – Alam Kooh – Ski-Mountaineering at the Caspian See

Spring has arrived

The last symptoms of the „low altitude sickness“ disappeared in light breeze of a clear day. Lost in green slopes above the Vanderbun village (2200m) we were climbing towards Sarchal refuge (3600m). The spring had been successfully climbing up the valleys changing white into green. Nobody around. While slowly climbing up the images of the last three weeks in Iran – this incredibly coulorful country – were playing in our heads.

We could put on our skins at around 3200 metres and continued to the refuge in soft snow. It´s closed in winters but offers three winterraums and a sunny terrace on which we could enjoy delicisous dinner – Thai chicken from MX3 Aventure.

Takht-e Solleyman and its neighbours

The next day we headed to Takhte-e Solleyman (4650m) – the second highest peak in the area. With our skis on the backpack we climbed from left to the summit. From there we could enjoy great views of north face of Alam Kooh (4800m) which is the highest peak in the area. However, it does not offer any skiable line from this side. However, we could start skiing right from the summit. First between rocks than along a steep ridge (approx. 50 degrees, hard snow) into a shallow couloir. In lower sections we could enjoy some soft spring snow and ski the whole way to the refuge. What a tour!

Originally, we intended to come to Alam Kooh (after Damavand the second highest part of the Alborz Mountains) for acclimatisation at the beginning of our stay in Iran. However, due to the problems with our car and floods in the northern Iran we ended up here at the end of our stay.

Anyway, we are glad we made it at least for a couple of days. The sun is setting. Far below the lights of civilisation are visible. The sky above us is full of stars. In to this complete silence Patti Smith is screaming “Pissing in a river” from our speaker.

Don’t we go to mountains just for moments like this?

Hey, we surely have to get up early in the morning so that we catch a bus to Teheran tomorrow night” “No worries, we will definitely get up in time” Of course we did not. Despite the late start we arrived to the summit of Siah Kaman (4550m) at noon – just before the sun hid for the day behind a thick layer of clouds and the wind got stronger. Even if the sun continued to shine it would take long time for the snow in the couloir through which we climbed up to get softer. Therefore we decided to ski down the right couloir (looking from the valley). Surprisingly, in its upper part we could enjoy some powder snow and than concrete-like snow in its lower parts.

Hitting the road again

Further down in the valley (2800m) we put down our skis and continued on foot and smiling. We wished we could stay longer in these mountains but our stay in Iran was coming to its end. After two night bus-rides we should arrive to the Turkmen boarder, hopefully pick up our car and head further north – to mysterious Turkmenistan.


You can find further news from our journey here


Skiing down Takht-e Solleyman (4650metres)
#G3, #Boatpark

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Skiing down Siah Kaman (4550m)
#G3, #Boatpark


Alone in mountains – love it!


„I wish the night buses were comfortable like this!“ getting some more sleep after a long night on buses from Teheran


Spring walk


Spring walk


Spring creatures


Spring walk


Whow, they got silver snow!


Skining up from 3200 metres


Sarchal refuge – looks a bit like a hut in the Stubai Alpes


Rest is best
#G3, #Boatpark


In the winterraum
#JetBoil Sumo, #Travellunch, #GoalZero, #Hanibal


Approaching Takht-e Solleyman with the view of the north face of Alam Kooh


Under the summit


Summit of Takht-e Solleyman (4650m)
#Direct Alpine, #Singing Rock, #G3

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Summit ridge of Takht-e Solleyman (4650m)
#G3, #Boatpark

12b_Screenshot 2015-05-12 11.34.38

Upper ramp above the central couloir of the NE face of Takht-e Solleyman (4650m)
#G3, #Boatpark

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Great fun in the central couloir in the NE face of Takht-e Solleyman (4650metres)
#G3, #Boatpark


Northeast face of Takht-e Solleyman (4650metres) – what a nice tour!


“Delicous!” Thai chicken from M3X Aventure
#M3X Aventure, #Travellunch


“Wait, don’t move, im takin a picture”


Lenticular clouds.. “how much time you think we got until the storm comes from the valley?”
The main camera was suddenly out of power. Fortunately, our Lumia is a great picture maker too

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“We could have left the skins at the hut, man”
#Singing Rock


Narrow passage of the couloir


Narrow passage of the couloir
#Photo taken by Lumia 830


Narrow passage of the couloir
#Photo taken by Lumia 830


Summit of Siah Kaman (4550m) – “Let´s go down quickly before that storm arrives here”

20a_sjezd Siah Kaman_1

Skiing down Siah Kaman (4550m)
#G3, #Boatpark


Severní svah Siah Kaman (4550m) – vlevo výstupový žlab, vpravo ten sjezdový


The arranged taxi didn’t show up but we were lucky to catch a ride quickly


Who would expect such comfortable seats on a pick up?