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Skiing in Iran? Yes you Can!

Skiing in Iran? Yes you Can!

This Land Entrusted To Me Knows

pop quiz: computer game to movie franchise soundtrack from Canadian songstress, perhaps most famous for her sharp small tablets

When we think about skiing, Iran doesn’t usually come to mind. And yet, Iran is 2.5 times bigger than France, and is mostly covered with snow during winter.

Our guest post this month is from Baptiste of Ski of Persia; he takes us on a tour of Iranian ski resorts and looks at the potential of these unknown mountains.

Iran : A Mountain Country

shemshak-ski-resort

Located half-way between Europe and Asia, Iran is a country rich of an old history and culture.

Known for its political divergence with the West, it is less known for its two huge mountain ranges which cover a big part of the country:

  • Alborz Mountain Range: in the North of Iran; located alongside the Caspian sea for about 1000km. The highest summit in the country is in this range; Mt Damavand at 5,610m.
  • Zagros Mountain Range: Going from the North to South (Persian Gulf), it too has a length of 1000km. Its highest peak is Zard Kuh at 4,548m.

During winter, mountains are covered with a heavy snow layer and offer great opportunities for skiing.

Skiing History in Iran

tochal-ski-resort

The first ski resort in Iran was created in 1958, in the small city of Shemshak (60km North of Tehran) in the Alborz mountain range.

A few years later, with support from foreign investors, other ski resorts started to develop. However, after the Islamic revolution in 1979, all development projects were stopped.

During subsequent years, skiing in Iran slowly developed on its own, far from the eyes of the rest of the world.

Nowadays, the country counts about 15 ski resorts. Iranians enjoy going up in the mountain to breathe fresh air during their week-ends (Thursday and Friday) and practice or learn how to ski or snowboard.

Where to Ski in Iran

dizin-ski-resort

For those looking for the best ski resorts and best snow conditions, it is better to go to the main ski resorts located North of Tehran. Dizin, Shemshak and Darbandsar are the three biggest ski resorts in Iran and just a few kilometers from one another. A rather ‘interesting’ road connects the resorts to the capital, Tehran.

These three Iranian ski resorts have a total of 27 ski lifts and more than thirty pistes. They are all above 2,500m, which guarantees 100% natural and quality snow all ski season long. The highest lift goes up to 3,600m in Dizin.

Ski Touring

fereydunshahr-ski-re...

Iran is a dreamland for ski touring!

With about a hundred peaks higher than 4,000m and its high plateau; the Zagros mountain range is known worldwide among skiers. Numerous guides and agencies from Europe offer ski touring tours here.

Mount Damavand is a popular challenge for ski touring. It is relatively easy to climb (it is a volcano), but is  a great challenge in winter due to high winds and extreme cold.

Ski in Iran; The Facts

  • Ski pass: From 3,5$ up to 30$ per day
  • Ski season: End November to May
  • Accommodation: You can easily find hotels and apartments in most ski resorts. In the big ski resorts it's about 50$ per night for a room.
  • Getting to the ski resorts: You can reach all the ski resorts by taxi for a few dollars per trip.
  • Food : You will find restaurants and fast foods in all ski resorts - Between 4$ and 10$ for a meal.

About Ski of Persia

Baptiste is a French man who spent 11 weeks on the road in Iran. He travelled over 15,000km on the road and visited 13 Iranian ski resorts. ‘Ski of Persia’ is the result of that trip and aims to:

  • Show Iran and Iranians as they really are.
  • Promote Iran, its culture, mountains and its strong ski history.
  • Contribute to the old cultural bond that exists between Iran, France and Europe.

pop trivia: the lyric is from ‘I Remain’ by ‘Alanis Morissette’ created for the 2010 movie ‘Prince of Persia; Sands of Time’.

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