Guestbook Testimonial and Trip Report - Kim Wherry

The Official Website of the Mount Damavand Guides Iran

Kim Wherry from Australia - September 2013

I travelled to Iran in September this year (2013). My main motivation for travelling to Iran was to Climb Mt Damavand. I arranged my tour through Damavand tours before I left Australia, they assisted me in getting a visa which was fantastic. I was greeted at the airport in Tehran by Mr A. Soltani the owner of Damavand tours and taken to a hotel for some rest.

A few hours later I was then taken to polour camp 1 where I spent the night. The following day A Soltani introduced me to my guide and we made our way up to Polour camp three. I was fortunate to have not only one of the best climbers in Iran as my guide but also one of the best climbers in the world, Parvaneh Kazemi. Parvaneh was so experienced, patient and passionate about Iran and Mount Damavand.

Damavand BaseCamp, September 2013
Damavand BaseCamp, September 2013
Kim Wherry, Ardeshir Soltani and Parvaneh Kazemi

I loved climbing the mountain with her. On our summit day Parvaneh had several calls from the tour operator A Soltani, he clearly wanted us to summit and be safe and he genuinely cares about his clients. When we returned from the mountain A Soltani picked us up at camp 2 and we returned back to camp 1 by car. We had a Melon celebration followed by a great meal at the local restaurant.

After this I was driven back to Tehran. It was the end of my tour. I had a hotel in mind that I was going to stay in and showed Mr Soltani. Mr Soltani wasn't too comfortable with the place I had chosen and instead offered to assist me in finding a different place within my budget. He took me to one hotel first, the hotel was waiting for someone to vacate the room and asked us to come back in an hour.

A Soltani gave me a small tour of the town in this time. I really must emphasise here that my tour had ended and Mr Soltani was doing this out of his own goodwill to ensure I stayed in a good area. I truly appreciated his time and care. We returned back to the hotel to find there was still no room. We then went to another which fortunately had availability and ended up being a fantastic hotel in a great area.

I thoroughly enjoyed climbing Mt. Damavand through Damavand tours and highly recommend them. I hope to return to Iran in the near future and will definitely use their services again. I travelled around Iran independently after climbing Mount Damavand.
Below is a link to My Blog.

Mount Damavand Base Camp
Mount Damavand Base Camp, September 2013
Kim Wherry and Parvaneh Kazemi

Give Iran a Chance
I don't usually write too many blogs. I usually document my travels purely by photographs, however based on a number of negative responses I got from people when I told them I was going to Iran I felt the urge to Blog about my travels here in hope to dispel some misconceptions about this country. In reality Iran is not the place the media portrays.

My main motivation for going to Iran was to climb Mount Damavand, Middle East's highest mountain.Mount Damavand is classic shaped volcano and its image is one of the most recognisable icons in Iran appearing on the IR10,000 note, on spring water and other commercial items. The mountain is a spiritual place for many Iranians and has many mythological tales associated with it.

The mountain has 16 routes,the most popular being the classic southern route, the one I did. There are three camps on the southern route. The third camp sits at around 4200m and hasone of the best huts at this height in the world. To summit from Polour camp 3 it takes around 5-7 hours. I found summiting tough.

When you reached 5200m not only were you dealing with a lack oxygen but you were also breathing in sulphuric fumes strong enough to kill stray animals. Those animals succumbing to the death from Damavand's sulphuric fumes are oddly displayed at the summit of the mountain smack bang next the summit sign in the summit photo opportunity spot, pretty funny!

Mount Damawand Iran
Mount Damawand Iran

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Kim Wherry from Australia MDIC21AUG12W
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