The adventurous tours of trekking in Damavand are the most popular tours for trekking in Iran. If you are preparing yourself for a Damavand tour in Iran, you could use some interesting facts about Mount Damavand! Taking a look at the back of the Iranian money, the picture of Damavand might have caught your eye. Perhaps this can be a sign showing how important Mount Damavand could be for the Iranian nation. There are plenty of natural and cultural interesting facts about Mount Damavand. Who was the first person who conquered Damavand peak? What natural wonders does Damavand have? What role does it play in Iranian culture? Damavand has a great significance for the Iranian people. You can find the answer to these questions and even more if you continue reading this article!
Damavand Height Ranking
The first interesting fact about Mount Damavand that you might know of is it’s the highest peak in Iran. Also, it’s the highest peak in the Middle East and the highest volcano in Asia. The height of Mount Damavand is 5610 meters, and it’s the 12th most prominent peak in the world. In the list of the 100 most prominent mountains in the world, Damavand is after Gora Elbrus and Mont Blanc mountains. The prominence of a peak is the minimum height necessary to descend to get from the summit to any higher land. Also, Damavand is the second most prominent peak in Asia.
The First Ascend to Damavand
The first attempt to climb Mount Damavand dates back to more than 1000 years ago. Abu Dolaf, an Arab Geographer, tried conquering Mount Damavand. However, he could only climb part of this magnificent beauty. But, as he said, he found a massive lake with sulfur stones around it in Damavand. The Europeans started to attempt to climb Damavand in the 1970s. Olivier, a natural scientist from France, had the mission of climbing Damavand 1798. Although he tried really hard, he didn’t succeed in conquering Damavand. A British diplomat, William Taylor Thomson, was the first person who conquered Damavand peak in the documents in 1837. He was the first person who spent the night on the Damavand peak. After that, Iranians could conquer Mount Damavand in 1857 for the first time. The first experience of spending the night in Damavand peak dates back to 130 years ago!
Volcanic Crater of Damavand
Mount Damavand’s last eruption dates back to 6-10 thousand years ago. The yellow sulfur stones cover all around the crater of the Mount Damavand. Damavand’s crater’s diameter is almost 400 meters. Moreover, an icy lake covers and snow typically cover the 30 meters’ deep crater. Also, on the northern and southern sides of Damavand, you can find traces of two older craters.
The Ice Waterfall
When climbing Mount Damavand on the southern route of Damavand, you can see an 8-12 meters tall ice waterfall. Its name is Yakhi Waterfall. Moreover, there is a pit at the top of this waterfall that is full of snow in the winters. The snow in the pit starts melting in summer and flows down. This way, the melted snow forms a waterfall. Then, when the weather gets colder, the waterfall freezes. Unless in the summer, when a small portion of water flows in it, the waterfall remains frozen throughout the year. Moreover, Yakhi Waterfall is 5100 meters above the mean sea level. This means Yakhi waterfall is at the highest altitude among waterfalls in the Middle East as well.
Cloud Cap on Damavand Peak
Looking at Mount Damavand, you can see a mass of clouds covering the top of Damavand Peak. As is it’s a helmet protecting Damavand from any harm that could come to it from the sky! Furthermore, the scientific reason for the clouds shaping like this over Damavand is the sudden cooling of the air. When the fast airflow climbs the mountain, the drop of temperature causes the moisture in the air to turn into clouds.
Moreover, this phenomenon happens only in the mountains higher than 5000 meters like Mount Damavand. Also, this cloud can remain for a short time. Cloud cap can stay longer if the weather in the mountain is not windy.
The Fake Summit
Other than the Ice waterfall, there is another thing that might catch your attention on the southern route of Damavand. When you are in camp 3 of the Damavand Mountain, you think you can see the peak of Damavand. But you don’t! What you can see from the camp 3 of Damavand Mountain is a fake summit. This summit is at least 200 meters (almost an hour of climbing) lower than the real summit of Damavand. Moreover, the name of this fake summit is “Snag-e Mosalasi” which means the “Triangle Stone”.
The Nature of Damavand
One of the questions that come to mind about Mount Damavand is that “are there any animals living on it”? The answer is yes! Many animal species live on Mount Damavand even to the 4000-meter point of Damavand. Bears, foxes, jackals, wolves, and dogs are some of these animals. So, they usually do not harm humans, but you should be aware of them anyway. Also, there are different types of bird species living on the Damavand Mount. Some of them are birds of prey such as the golden eagle. Owls and bats are other flying animals you could see on Mount Damavand. Other than animals of prey, herbivorous animals live in Mount Damavand as well. Rams, hogs, and rabbits are examples of them. Unlike rams that climb up to 5000 meters of this mountain, rabbits and hogs stay at lower heights.
Moreover, one of the unique features of Damavand slopes is its red poppy flowers. These flowers are one of the natural attractions for many Iranians. The slopes of Damavand are full of these poppy flowers on the height of 2000 meters and 3500 meters.
The National Day of Damavand
The 13th of Tir (3rd of July) is the national Damavand day. Iranians have been celebrating this day for thousands of years. The of the celebration on the national Damavand day is Tirgan. Furthermore, many know the reason for choosing this day to celebrate Damavand is related to Arash, the Bowman. Arash the Bowman is one of the characters related to Damavand mythology. He is a hero who saved Iran from a continuous war between Iran and Touran. In his story, Arash goes on top of the Damavand Mountain and releases his arrow. The place where the arrow lands became the border of Iran and Touran. Moreover, the national Damavand day is the day in which Arash released his arrow.
Damavand Mountain in the Iranian Literature
The interesting facts about Damavand are not limited to the natural aspects of it. Damavand is not just a simple mountain with natural attractions or just a destination for trekking in Iran. Damavand is a national symbol, and you can see traces of its importance in the Iranian culture. You can find a lot about Damavand in the Iranian epic literature. Damavand is a symbol of unity and resistance for Iranians. So, it wouldn’t be uncommon if Iranian poets used it for showing their protests in their poems.
Mohammad-Taqi Bahar, a 19th-century poet, has one of the most famous poems about Damavand. Moreover, he used Damavand as the symbol of resistance and protest to injustice. His poem begins like this:
O’Shackled white demon!
O’dome of the world, Damavand!
You have a helmet on your head of silver
And a belt on your waste of iron
Shahnameh (Book of The Kings) by Ferdowsi (Iranian Poet) is another place where you can find poems related to Damavand. You can read more about it in the Damavand mythology article.
Why You Should Know These Facts
Mentioning the interesting facts about Mount Damavand on the text above, I tried making you more familiar with this Iran nature attraction. But, this doesn’t mean that there is nothing more to know about this valuable mountain. You can see Mount Damavand from the cities of Tehran, Qom, Varamin, and the shores of the Caspian Sea. As I mentioned above, Damavand is a national symbol for the Iranians. In the Iranian public culture, Damavand is a symbol of staying strong and having resistance. Also, for thousands of years, Damavand has been a holy mountain for ancient Iranians and the people living in the Alborz mountains. Moreover, Damavand is the symbol of national unity and you can see its pictures on the walls of cities in Iran. This mountain’s name is the first name on the list of national natural monuments of Iran. Also, one of the valuable Iranian frigates in the Caspian Sea was called Damavand Sheep.
There is a big difference between when you are visiting a place with and without information about it. By telling these facts, I’m trying to help the mountaineers improve their experience when climbing Mount Damavand. This way, you can feel the significance of this big beauty for Iranians when stepping on it.
If you are interested in climbing Mount Damavand read more here: Damavand Tours