Doug Scott in General Assembly of the UIAA in Tehran

The Official Website of the Mount Damavand Guides

The General Assembly of the UIAA in Tehran Oct 2008

Doug Scott
It was a great moment for Iranian mountain climbers and Mount Damavand guides to meet the renowned mountaineer, Doug Scott during the October 2008 General Assembly of the UIAA in Tehran.

Doug Scott and Ardeshir Soltani, Tehran
Doug Scott in Tehran
Doug Scott and Ardeshir Soltani, Tehran 19 Oct 2008

A man who has made 45 expeditions to the high mountains of Asia. He has reached the summit of 40 peaks, of which half were first ascents, and all were climbed by new routes or for the first time in Alpine Style. Apart from his climb up the South West Face of Everest with Dougal Haston during Chris Bonington's Expedition of 1975, he has made all his climbs in lightweight or Alpine Style, without the use of artificial oxygen. He has reached the highest peaks on all seven continents - "the seven summits". He is a past President of the Alpine Club. He was made a CBE in 1994. In 1999 he received the Royal Geographical Society Patron’s Gold Medal....
Doug Scott Mountaineering

UIAA concludes successful GA in Iran UIAA

The 2008 General Assembly of the UIAA was held in Teheran, Iran from October 16-18. It was the first time a GA of an international sport federation was held in Iran.
Opened by Ali Abadi, the Vice President of Iran, the meeting's main agenda items included elections to the Management Committee and the Executive Board, discussions on the significant increase in the number of mountaineering and climbing equipment carrying the UIAA Safety Label, as well as issues related to competitive sports. Regarding this issue, the Ski Mountaineering Federation ISMF voted not to become a UIAA unit member.

The Commissions reported on successful UIAA events and ongoing projects (such as youth camps, updating the Tyrol Declaration, research in mountain medicine, and assessing the use of mountaineering themes in advertisements).

Germany's Pit Schubert was elected honorary member in recognition of his lifetime work to improve the quality of mountaineering equipment by developing new standards and testing methods.

Jan Bonding and Nico de Jong were re-elected to the Executive Board and members Paola Gigliotti and Zhixin Li were replaced by Italy's Silvio Calvi and Switzerland's Rita Christen. The terms of the other board members, President Mike Mortimer, Vice President Jordi Colomer and Peter Farkas do not expire until 2010.

The UIAA expressed its thanks to the Iranian Mountaineering Federation for its warm hospitality and excellent organisation, especially the efforts of Homayun Bakhtiyari and Shiva Farsi who were always on hand to deal efficiently with delegates' requests, including some that seemed impossible.

Following the GA, many participants took the opportunity to climb beautiful Mount Damavand, a volcano and the highest peak in the region at 5671m. Only this summer, it was designated as the country's first National Natural Heritage Site.

Trek Damavand Iran
Trek Damavand Iran

Mt Damavand UIAA

Many global tourists and alpinists consider Damavand the most beautiful conical and unique peak of Asia," said Bakhtiyari. It is situated in the Albourz Range, only 100km from Teheran and 75km from the Caspian sea. "The Iran Mountaineering Federation is going to build one of world's highest shelters at 4,000 metres on this mountain to provide appropriate facilities for climbers," Bakhtiyari added. The peak is reached by an eight-hour trek followed by an eight-hour climb along one of four main routes. Each has a refuge for climbers. Of the mountain's many glaciers, the most important are Dobisel and Sioleeh in the north and Yakhar in the east.

The mountain is surrounded by myths and it is said that a monster inhabits the summit. As the country's national symbol, its picture adorns bank notes, credit cards and bus tickets. Iranian geographers were the first to reach the summit in 1900, but after that there were no recorded climbs until 1936. In the 1940s mountaineering in the area increased, new routes were opened and foreigners eventually started to arrive.

Damavand's crater has a diameter of about 180 metres. The slopes and skirts are filled with volcanic lava and yellowish sulfuric rocks, and there are a number of small volcanic mouths near the peak from which sulfur gases are leaking. "Although Damavand has been dormant for 100,000 years, geologists have not denied it might become active again," said Bakhtiyari.

He points out that Damavand is only one of many climbing opportunities in Iran. "People do mountaineering and climbing all over Iran, these climbs staged from very simple routes and trekking to very technical winter or summer ascents on mountains such as Alam-Kouh (4,850 m) with a 750m vertical granite face."

Other popular climbing areas are Kuh-e-Bisotun, Alam Kouh (4,850 m), Takht-e-Soleiman (4659 m), and Mt. Saballan (4,800 m).

In 1994 the Iran Mountaineering Federation, which became a member of the UIAA in 1972, organised a five-year programme to climb Mt. Everest, and the goal was achieved in 1998. After this followed other Iranian expeditions to many Asian peaks including Mt.Cho-Oyu, Shishapangma, Mt. Makalu and Gasherbrum II. In 2005 the first Women Expedition successfully climbed Mt. Everest and two Iranian women stood on the top of the world.

For more information, please read the full presentation of Iran's geography and mountaineering traditions written by Homayun Bakhtiyari.

For a slide show of Iran's mountain landscapes,
please visit our photo gallery page.

Mount Damavand Photo Gallery

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Doug Scott MDICU14DEC12N