See "Getting There".
10 km Roodbarak to Vandar Bon (via a dirt road)
13 km Vandar Bon to Camp 3800 m in Hesar Chal
4.1 km Camp 3800 m to Menareh via Gardooneh Kooh Peak
27.1 km Total
From Roodbarak (elevation 1400 m) hike or drive a dirt road (passable by most/any car) about 10 km to a “village” known as Vandar Bon (2300 m) where the stream branches. Turn left and follow the banks of the Sardab Rood River to Hesar Chal. A Four Wheel Drive road follows the river from Vandar Bon to the “Tange Galoo” Narrows (3250 m). If you hire a vehicle to take you to “Tange Galoo” (available with the tour mentioned on the main page), you will significantly decrease your hiking time. When we were there in late June, the road could be driven up to about 3050 m only. Patches of snow blocked the rest of it.
At “Tange Galoo” you will have to hike up relatively steep snow banks in a somewhat rocky area. This should not be too difficult for a hiker but in early summer, a pack-mule may have a hard time going over the deep snow. At about 3600 m, the valley opens up and the slopes become very gentle. This is the beginning of the Hesar Chal Plain. The peaks that surround Hesar Chal begin to come into view. You can camp anywhere in Hesar Chal. We found a nice spot by the stream, at just below 3800 m, where rocks had been piled into a wind breaker wall.
From Camp 3800 m, your first objective will be to gain the top of the ridgeline that connects Gardooneh Kooh Peak to Menareh and then go to the southern base of the summit horn. You could either climb Gardooneh Kooh and hike the ridgeline or directly go up the slopes of Menareh from Hesar Chal (The ridgeline drops to a minimum of roughly 4275 m. Should you chose to do the later, in early summer, you might encounter steep and potentially unstable snow banks just below the top of the ridgeline).
From the southern base of the horn, go up the rocky slopes and bypass the summit to the west of it until you reach an area to the west/northwest of the summit where a cable has been installed in the rock. Turn back east and do some class III scrambling about 35 vertical meters to reach the top.
If you wish to continue north to the Setareh Peak, you must go back to where the cable was. From there, the way north will be obstructed by a series of cliffs. To go around the cliffs, you should enter a scree-filled narrow couloir on the west side of the ridgeline and begin to descend. In late June, there were at least two areas of icy snow where the use of an ice axe became necessary. After going down about 25 vertical meters or so, you will be able to head back north doing some class III scrambling over a rocky area a short distance until the rocky area ends. You can then hike back up to the top of the ridgeline and follow it toward Setareh Peak.
In summer nothing more than good hiking boots and camping gear.
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