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Interesting Facts About Mount Damavand

Telling more about Mount Damavand through the interesting facts about it so the mountaineers can have a more complete experience when climbing Mount Damavand.

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8 mins

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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. This might hint at the profound significance of Mount Damavand for the Iranian people. Mount Damavand is a treasure trove of natural beauty and cultural heritage. Ever wondered who first reached the summit of Damavand Peak, or what natural marvels lie within? How about its significance in Iranian culture? The importance of Damavand to Iranians cannot be overstated. Dive deeper into this article to uncover these fascinating details and more!

Damavand Height Ranking

One captivating detail about Mount Damavand is its stature as Iran’s tallest peak. It also claims the title of the tallest peak in the Middle East and the highest volcano in Asia. Towering at an impressive height of 5,610 meters, Damavand ranks as the 12th most prominent peak globally. When considering the world’s 100 most prominent mountains, Damavand follows closely after Mount Elbrus and Mount Blanc. Prominence, in mountaineering terms, refers to the minimum height required to descend from the summit before ascending a higher elevation. Furthermore, Damavand is distinguished as the second most prominent peak in Asia, showcasing its majestic presence in the landscape.



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 to conquer 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 in 1798. Although he tried 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 Mount Damavand. Damavand’s crater’s diameter is almost 400 meters. Moreover, an icy lake covers, and snow typically covers the 30-meter-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 winter. 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! Moreover, the reason behind the unique cloud formations around Damavand lies in the rapid cooling of the air. As the swift-moving air ascends the mountain, the sudden decrease in temperature causes the moisture in the air to condense and form 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 caps 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 Don’t let it fool you! What you can see from 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 “Triangle Stone”.


The Nature of Damavand

One of the questions that comes to mind about Mount Damavand is “Are there any animals living on it”? The answer is yes! Many animal species live on Mount Damavand even at 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 can 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 at 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 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 to the top of the Damavand Mountain and releases his arrow. The spot where Arash’s arrow fell marked the boundary between Iran and Touran. Additionally, National Damavand Day commemorates the day Arash launched 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 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 to show 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 against 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 in 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. Mount Damavand holds the honor of being the first entry on Iran’s list of national natural monuments. Moreover, its esteemed status inspired the naming of one of Iran’s prized frigates in the Caspian Sea as the Damavand, underscoring its significance and valor.

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


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