Damavand Avalanche

Information for Damavand Mountain Winter Climbs and Ski Mountaineering

Mt Damavand South Route Avalanche

Update 15 May 2013

There has been an avalanche on the ski trail of Mount Damavand. It happened on the south route at about 10 am Tehran local time on 15 May 2013 which has injured two German ski mountaineers. The wounded Germans have been taken by a rescue helicopter to a Fayaz Bakhsh hospital in Tehran. The latest info indicates that the injured mountaineers are not in a serious condition.

The avalanche occurred after one week of heavy snowfall in the area. This is the first reported avalanche in this zone and there has been no record of any major avalanche in this part of Damavand mountain.

Damavand Camp3 Bargah Sevom to the Summit Route Map
Avalanche occurred on the red line from 5200m to about 4400m near the Camp3

Camp3 Bagah Sevom to the Summit Route Map
Green line for ascend from New Hut to Summit
Red line for descend or ski from Mt Damavand peak to Camp3


Damavand Avalanche

The main cause of an avalanche is the accumulation of a great amount of snow (or rock) on a steep slope angle. The classic south route of Mount Damavand Iran is well known for its mild slope angle and there is not a great risk of snow (or rock) avalanches on the south trail.

Snow Avalanche

Winter Climbing

If you use the correct trails on the south ridge during Damavand winter climbing there is no risk of snow avalanche.

Ski Mountaineering

The risk is very low on the southern footpaths which follows near the main ridge. Avoid unnecessary traverse during skitouring and Keep away from valleys (such as Kafar Dareh) and do not ascend/descends through gorges as much as possible.

Mount Damavand Winter Climbing
Damavand Mountain Winter Climbing

Rock Avalanche
In summer season, there is a small risk of rock avalanche and rolling stones falling rapidly down the mountain if you miss your way and end up in a valley or a gorge.

Road Avalanche
Before reaching the winter starting point (No 5 in GPS Landmark) of Mt Damavand, you may observe powerful road avalanches in the winter season with the ability to carry a large amount of snow, ice, rocks. These avalanches could close the roads or delay the traffic towards the mountain.

The Haraz main road and the Polur and Reyneh side roads which lead to Damawand Mountainand and also other small roads such as Lasem road that branches off of the Haraz main road are the common avalanche zones actually before you reach the mountain.

There are also some small rock avalanches in other seasons on the mentioned roads. These avalanches typically occur and trigger from a natural source, bypassing cars or human activities.

Skitour Damavand Iran
Skitour Damavand Iran
Photo A. Soltani

Warning

1- The classic south face of Damavand is the safest route of the mountain for winter climb, ski mountaineering, skitour, snowboard and snowshoes. Winter sport activities are more difficult, dangerous and are not recommended on the other faces.

2- In any season ascends to the Damavand summit through any route is possible only in a suitable weather; otherwise it could be very tough and dangerous.
See also warning in Winter Climb.

3- Avoid any ascend/descend through the Kafar Dareh (Kafar valley/ gorge), because always there is a big risk of snow or rock avalanche there.

Footnote

When you climb from the south face, Kafar Dareh is located on your right hand side. The Icefall (5100m) of Mt Damavand is located at the top of this huge valley/gorge.
See also Damavand Forecast.

Snowboarding Mt Damavand
Snowboarding Mt Damavand
Photo A. Soltani

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