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Mehrchal, a beautiful mountain near Tehran
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Mehrchal, a beautiful mountain near Tehran

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Mehrchal, a beautiful mountain near Tehran

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: Tehran, Iran, Asia

Object Title: Mehrchal, a beautiful mountain near Tehran

Date Climbed/Hiked: Jul 7, 2010

Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Ice Climbing

Season: Summer

 

Page By: kamran

Created/Edited: Jul 27, 2010 / Jul 30, 2010

Object ID: 642070

Hits: 4042 

Page Score: 85.87%  - 21 Votes 

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Mehrchal, July 7

I may be wrong but I think among all the capital cities in the world Tehran is the only one (with 12 million people) where you can do ice climbing in the middle of summer. It takes you only half an hour of driving (20 miles) and 15 minutes of hiking to get to the ice wall.
I was in Tehran from June 19th till July 12th, and I went to a couple of mountains. One of them was Mehrchal (3921m). Mehrchal massif includes several peaks with 8 of them higher than 3500m. There are lots of scenic routes and spectacular areas in this region. One of them is Hassandar canyon. This spectacular canyon with impressive rock-walls is one of the most avalanche-prone areas in the whole region.
Hassandar canyon
Hassandar canyon


In one area in this canyon the thickness of ice/snow can reach more than 20 meters. This is where people can do ice climbing.
Hassandar ice cave
 

Hassandar ice wall
Hassandar ice wall


The interesting thing is that it takes only about 15 minutes from where you park your car to get to the ice wall. This area is one of the places where the members of the ice climbing teams in Iran do practice in summer time.
Hassandar ice cave
Hassandar ice cave

Hasandar ice wall
Hassandar ice wall


Unfortunately, this year (2010) Tehran had a very dry winter with very low precipitation and not many avalanches. On top of that the unprecedented high temperature (above 100 for 4 weeks in a row in Tehran) caused the snowfields to be much smaller than those in the normal years.
Hassandar snow/ice field
 

Hassandar
This part of the canyon is usually filled with ice/snow early in summer


There are also a couple of nice waterfalls in this canyon.
Hassandar waterfall (1)
Hassandar waterfall (1)

Hassandar waterfall (2)
Hassandar waterfall (2)


I made some plans to go to Mehrchal with 2 friends On July 7. There are several routes going to Mt. Mehrchal. We took the one starting from the village of Zagoon (zaygan). To make the trip more comfortable my friends brought along a donkey. They filled the donkey’s pack saddle with food. The donkey was an interesting one. He had some mental problems, so that apparently a while back he bit a dog (a German shepherd one) on the back and killed him. In another incident he attacked another donkey passing through the river in Zagoon, and tried to drown him!!! However, he was nice with the human beings.
The donkey
The mentally retarded donkey!


We started the hike at around 6:00AM. First we had to hike up the Hessarak canyon. At the beginning the slopes were gentle. However, they gradually became very steep. On the way there was a farm breeding ostriches.
Ostrich farm
Ostrich farm

Hesarak canyon
Slopes are getting steep


On the way up the views are very nice.
Hessarak canyon
A nice waterfall

Hessarak canyon
 


After about one and a half hour we reached a spring called bacheh-owak. We decided to have breakfast next to the spring. The view was spectacular.
Bacheh owak spring
Bacheh Owak spring

Mt. Ashyord
Mt. Ashyord

Mt. Tochal
Mt. Tochal

Grazing horses
A couple of horses are grazing


After about an hour we continued our way towards Mt. Mehrchal. We had to pass Mt. Molarsam (3200m), Mt. Bozghaleh-chal (3550m) and Mt. Pirzankoloom (3850m) before we get to Mt. Mehrchal (3921m). The weather was unusually warm, and everytime we got close to any snow field the shepherd dogs laid down on the snow to let the heat escape from their body. The temperature in Tehran was 108 on that day.
On the way towards Molarsam
On the way towards Molarsam peak

Kholeno massif
Kholeno massif

Damavand
Damavand


After about half an hour we reached Molarsam peak. I spent some time to take some pictures, then we continued towards Bozghale-chal.
Molarsam peak
Molarsam peak

Bozghaleh-chal
Bozghaleh-chal

Towards Bozghaleh-chal
On the way towards Bozghaleh-chal


After about half an hour we were on top of Bozghaleh-chal. It took another half an hour to go from Bozghaleh-chal to Pirzankoloom. The vegetation in this area was diverse but the most important plant was thyme which is very expensive. You could find plenty of them in this area. We decided to pick some on the way back.
Pirzankoloom & Mehrchal
Pirzankoloom & Mehrchal

Mehrchal & Sai
Mehrchal & Sai


Unfortunately, the weather was hazy and the view was not very clear.
Kholeno massif
Kholeno massif from the summit of Pirzankoloom

Damavand
Damavand

Damavand
Damavand

Looking SE from Pirzankoloom
Atashkooh & Mehrchal from Pirzankoloom


After spending some time on Pirzankoloon, we decided to go to Mehrchal, and have our lunch on the way back on Pirzankoloom. We left the donkey on Pirzankoloom and started the last part of our hike towards Mehrchal. It was surprising that in the whole trip we didn't see anybody in the mountain except a shepherd near Bacheh-owak spring. Again, after about half an hour we were on top of Mehrchal.
On the way to Mehrchal
On the way to mehrchal from Pirzankoloom

Mehrchal summit
Mehrchal summit

Atashkooh
Atashkooh & Saka from Mehrchal

Lavasanat
Lavasanat and Latian lake from the summit of Mehrchal


We spent some time on Mehrchal summit enjoying the views and taking pictures. The weather was very hazy so that after 1:00PM Damavand was totally invisible. At around 2:00PM we were back on top of Pirzankoloom having lunch. We picked some thyme on our way back to Bozghaleh-chal.
We had our last stop again next to Bacheh-owak spring making tea and chatting about the trip. We were back in Zagoon at around 6:00PM.

Getting there

There are several ways to go to Mehrchal. The most popular way is going from the village of Emameh. Another way is to take the route from the village of Garmabdar. We took the route from the village of Zagoon. To get there, from NE of Tehran take the Lashgarak road and go towards Fasham. From Fasham square take the road to your right going to Zagoon. After about 6Km you will be in Zagoon. Park your car there, and start your hike from Hessarak canyon.

To go to Hassandar, about 1Km before Zagoon to your right you can see Hassandar canyon.

Images


Comments


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naderMehrchal

nader

Voted 10/10

I look forward to seeing this trip report. On the farsi climbing site I have been reading that recently a group of 80 mountain blogger climbed this peak (So-oode Ghalam). You can read about it here:

http://www.anapourna.persianblog.ir/

I wanted to climb Mehrchal back in 2005 but it seemed to have 2000 m of vertical climb and I did not have much time. I liked the pictures you took. I had climbed the Kharsang Kooh and Janestoon Peaks. It is good to see them from this angle.
Posted Jul 27, 2010 11:07 am

kamranRe: Mehrchal

kamran

Hasn't voted

Thank you Nader for your votes and comments.
I got very busy yesterday, and I didn't get a chance to work on the trip report. I will finish it today. I enjoyed the trip very much. I took the route from Zagoon with 1700m vertical climb. Most people go to Mehrchal from Garmabdar or Emameh but I like the route from Zagoon better.
Posted Jul 28, 2010 10:05 am

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