Mount Damavand

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Damāvand
Damavand in winter.jpg
Damāvand during winter
Elevation 5,670 m (18,602 ft)1 2 3disputed 4
Prominence 4,667 m (15,312 ft)5
Ranked 12th
Listing Volcanic Seven Summits
Country high point
Ultra
Location
Damāvand is located in Iran
Damāvand
Damāvand
Location in Iran
Location Amol, Māzandarān, Iran
Range Alborz
Coordinates 35°57′20″N 52°06′36″E / 35.95556°N 52.11000°E / 35.95556; 52.11000Coordinates: 35°57′20″N 52°06′36″E / 35.95556°N 52.11000°E / 35.95556; 52.110006
Geology
Type Stratovolcano
Last eruption 5350 BCE ± 200 years
Climbing
First ascent 905 by Abu Dolaf Kazraji7
Easiest route Hike

Mount Damāvand (Pronounced /dæmävænd/) (Persian: دماوند ‎), is a potentially active volcano or Stratovolcano and the highest peak in Iran, and has a special place in Persian mythology and folklore. It is located in the middle Alborz Range, adjacent to Varārū, Sesang, Gol-e Zarddisambiguation needed and Mīānrūd and is the highest volcano in all of Asia. It is a potentially active volcano,8 since there are fumaroles near the summit crater emitting sulfur, which were known to be active on July 6, 2007.9

The mountain is located near the southern coast of the Caspian Sea, in Āmol county, Māzandarān, 66 kilometres (41 miles) northeast of Tehran.

Symbolism and mythology

Damavand is a significant mountain in Persian mythology. It is the symbol of Iranian resistance against despotism and foreign rule in Persian poetry and literature. In Zoroastrian texts and mythology, the three-headed dragon Aži Dahāka was chained within Mount Damāvand, there to remain until the end of the world. In a later version of the same legend, the tyrant Zahhāk was also chained in a cave somewhere in Mount Damāvand after being defeated by Kāveh and Fereydūn. Persian poet Ferdowsi depicts this event in his masterpiece, the Shahnameh:

بیاورد ضحاک را چون نوند
به کوه دماوند کردش ببند

He brings Zahhak, himself a mountain
to the peak of Damavand and binds his neck.

The mountain is said to hold magical powers in the Shahnameh. Damāvand has also been named in the Iranian legend of Arash as the location he fired his arrow to mark the Iran border. The famous poem Damāvand by Mohammad Taqī Bahār is also one fine example of the mountain's significance in Persian literature. The first verse of this poem reads:

ای دیو سپید پای در بند
Ay dīve sepīde pāī dar band,
Oh white giant with feet in chains
ای گنبد گیتی، ای دماوند
Ay gonbade gītī, ay Damāvand
Oh dome of the world, Oh Mount Damāvand

Mount Damavand is depicted on the reverse of the Iranian 10,000 rials banknote.10

Thermal springs

View of Mount Damavand from Larijan road.
View of Mount Damavand from Haraz road.
A fumarole near the summit of Damavand, emitting sulfur

Mt Damavand has some thermal springs (Abe Garm Larijan)11 with therapeutic qualities. These mineral hot springs are mainly located on the volcano's flanks and at the base, giving evidence of volcanic heat comparatively near the surface of the earth. While no historic eruptions have been recorded, hot springs at the base and on the flanks, and fumaroles and solfatara near the summit, indicate a hot or cooling magma body still present beneath the volcano, so that Damavand is a potentially active volcano.

The most important of these hot springs are located in Abe Garm Larijan in a village by the name Larijan in the district of Larijan in Lar Valley . The water from this spring is useful in the treatment of chronic wounds and skin diseases. Near these springs there are public baths with small pools for public use.

Routes to the summit

Damavand volcanic crater in August

The best major settlement for mountain climbers is the new Iranian Mountain Federation Camp in Polour village, located on the south of the mountain.

There are at least 16 known routes12 to the summit which have different difficulties. Some of them are very dangerous and require rock climbing. The most popular route is the Southern Route which has step stamps and also a camp midway called Bargah Sevom Camp/Shelter13 at 4220 m (about 13,845 ft). The longest route is the Northeastern and it takes two whole days to reach the summit starting from downhill village of Nāndal and a night stay at Takht-e Fereydoun (elevation 4300 m - about 13,000 ft), a two-story shelter. The western route is famous for its sunset view. Sīmorgh shelter in this route at 4100 m (about 13,500 ft) is a newly constructed shelter with two stories. There is a frozen waterfall/Icefall14 (Persian name Ābshār Yakhī)about 12 m tall and the elevation of 5100 m is the highest fall in Iran and Middle East.

Geographical location

Map of Māzandarān province showing the location of mount Damāvand in the south
Map of central Alborz Peaks: 1 `Alam Kūh
  -25 to 500 m
  500 to 1500 m
  1500 to 2500 m
  2500 to 3500 m
  3500 to 4500 m
  4500 to 5671 m
2 Āzād Kūh 3 Damāvand
4 Do Berar 5 Do Khaharan
6 Ghal`eh Gardan 7 Gorg
8 Kholeno 9 Mehr Chal
10 Mīšīneh Marg 11 Naz
12 Shah Alborz 13 Sīālān
14 Tochal 15 Varavašt
Rivers: 0
1 Alamūt 2 Chālūs
3 Do Hezār 4 Harāz
5 Jājrūd 6 Karaj
7 Kojūr 8 Lār
9 Nūr 10 Sardāb
11 Seh Hazār 12 Shāh Rūd
Cities: 1 Āmol
2 Chālūs 3 Karaj
Other: D Dīzīn
E Emāmzādeh Hāšem K Kandovān Tunnel
* Latīān Dam ** Lār Dam

Wildlife

Damavand rivers and slopes are famous for the beautiful Brown Trout (Salmo trutta),1516 Red Sheep (Ovis orientalis), Wild Goats (Capra aegagrus), and many singing native and migratory birds. Leopard (Panthera pardus) and Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) live in this region. Some smaller mammals are Snow Vole (Chionomys nivalis), Mouse-like Hamster (Calomyscus bailwardi) and Rufesent Pika (Ochoton rufescens).171819 The very attractive and unreachable Caspian Snowcock (Tetragallus caspius) lives in high altitudes. Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) breeds in this are. Griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) are common. Chukar Partridge (Alectoris chukar) has a high population and nests between stone and shrubs. Gold-fronted Serin (Serinus pusillus), Linnet (Carduelis cannabina), Snow finch (Montifringilla nivalis), Rock sparrow (Petronia petronia), Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia) and Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) are native; in winter they come to the lower hill sides. In each spring Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe), Rock Thrush (Monticola saxatilis), and Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) come from Africa for breeding. Grey-necked Bunting (Emberiza buchanani), Black-headed Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala) and Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus) come from India.20 Lots of Marsh Frogs (Rana ridibunda) lives in Lar riversides. Meadow Viper (Vipera ursinii), Blunt-nosed viper (Macrovipera lebetina), Iranian Valley Viper (Vipera latifii) and Caucasian Agama (Laudakia caucasia) are among the reptiles of this mountainous region.2122 In the southern slope of Damavand , there are remnants of Wild Pistachia Tree (Pistacia atlantica) ; In its riversides different kind of Salix trees like Willow (Salix acomphylla) and Oleaster (Elaeagnus angustifolia) are found . Greek Juniper (Juniperus excelsa) is common all over the higher altitudes. In Northern slopes, because of higher humidity there are wild oak, beech and hazel trees like: Persian Oak (Quercus macranthera), Eastern Hornbean (Carpinus orientalis), and Oriental beech (Fagus orientalis).23 There are also many beautiful wild flowers like: Mountain Tulip (Tulipa montana) and Stone cress (Aethionema grandiflorum). In higher altitudes , shrubs tend to be sphere and cushion like , examples are : Astragalus species (like Astragalus microcephalus), Mountain Sainfoin (Onobrychis cornuta) and Prickly (Acantholimon erinaceum) ; Different kind of grasses between them , complete this alpine scene .24

Nomination as National Heritage Site

An anthropologist of Mazandaran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department, Touba Osanlou, has said that a proposal has been made by a group of Iranian mountaineers to register the highest peak in the Middle East, Mount Damavand as a national heritage site. Mazandaran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department has accepted the proposal, the Persian daily Jam-e Jam reported. Osanlou noted that the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization is presently in the process of renaming an upcoming ancient festivity after Mount Damavand. "We have proposed Tirgan Festivity, Tabari Nowruz, to be named as Damavand National Day," he added. Tirgan Festivity is held in Amol County’s Rineh region in Mazandaran province.25

Cultural references

Mount Damavand is featured twice as an online multiplayer map in the game Battlefield 3. In the game it is featured in Damavand Peak and Alborz Mountains.

Mount Damavand featured in a photo release by Iranian state news. The photo, purporting to show a new stealth jet in flight, has been accused of being a fake as the image of the mountain appears to have come from a stock wallpaper site.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=5267
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/p1386g/iran.pdf
  3. ^ https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ir.html
  4. ^ U.S. military topographic mapping gives 18,365 feet (5,598 meters). A summitpost map based on local 1:50,000 mapping gives 5,628 metres. This is supported by GPS evidence and SRTM data.
  5. ^ "Kuh-e Damavand" - Iran Ultra Prominence peaklist.org. Retrieved 16 October 2011
  6. ^ "Damavand, Iran". Peakbagger.com. 
  7. ^ "SummitPost: Damavand". Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  8. ^ "Damavand". Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian Institution. http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/volcano.cfm?vnum=0302-01-.
  9. ^ "Volcanic Hole on Damavand". Retrieved 2007-08-23. 
  10. ^ Central Bank of Iran. Banknotes & Coins: 10000 Rials. – Retrieved on 24 March 2009.
  11. ^ http://damavandmt.blogspot.com/search/label/Thermal%20Spring
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ [2]
  14. ^ [3]
  15. ^ Mohammadian, H. Freshwater Fishes of Iran. Sepehr Publishing Center. Iran. 2000.
  16. ^ Yazdani, A. Lar the Paradise I Knew. Payam Resan Publishing Institute. 2010.
  17. ^ Lay, D.M. A Study of the Mammals of Iran ( Resulting From the Street Expedition ). Field Museum of Natural History. Chicago .1967.
  18. ^ Mohammadian, H. The Life of Alborz Red Sheep. Shabpareh Publishing Institute. 2008. ISBN 978-600-5038-00-2.
  19. ^ Mohammadian, H. Mammals of Iran. Shabpareh Publishing Institute. 2005. ISBN 964-94487-9-9.
  20. ^ Mohammadian, H. Mountain birds of Tehran. Shabpareh Publishing Institute. 2008. ISBN 964-96358-9-0.
  21. ^ Shahbazi, Y. Lar National Park Management Program. Natural Environment Department Library. 2004.
  22. ^ Mohammadian, H. Reptiles and Amphibians of Iran. Shabpareh Publishing Institute. 2004. ISBN 964-94487-2-1.
  23. ^ Mozaffarian, V. Trees and Shrubs of Iran. Farhang Moaser Publishers. 2005. ISBN 964-8637-03-2.
  24. ^ Mozaffarian, V. Lar National Park Management Program. Natural Environment Department Library. 2004.
  25. ^ [4]

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