It all began with a spark. it was afternoon and i was confused with a hell of reasons and no reason at all!!a complete mind jam. i checked the weather forecasts :3-4 days of fine weather over the central alburz range....NICE.. i gathered my gear in about 30 min and i was on my way to the bus station .long story short, i got to the mountains base at 0200. extremely crowded roades made the trip extend so long.i was so eager to leave the urbanism that i decided to start to climb right away but the barking dogs of the village up ahead the trail made me think again..i erected my tent and slept just beside the road in a mild weather.0500 i'm awake and DAMN i couldn't sleep even a single minute!!since i hadn't unpack my sleeping bag or anything else i packed up in 5min and fell in the trail. DAMAVAND has always been a nice place for me...pretty calm,extraordinary sceneries and mount it self is a huge mass of something like a magnet .i`m on my way up and i`m getting to the mine office ,this is the place that you can fill your water supplies.it's early in the morning and no one is awake in the village, only the dogs, and i know them!!! they dont attack every one when it is morning but i`m sure that if we've met last night i would rather to meet a herd of wolves .I`'ve met wolves,despite all the tales wolves never attack humen unless extremely rare situations.actually they run away from humen but dogs and specially village dogs and shepherd dogs easily may attack you.anyways i passed the village in the morning peace and began my hike to the upper parts of the route.it's the first time that i'm climbing Damavand via this route so every thing lookes exciting to me. after gaining some altitude the pattern of the surroundings changed and the tiring humidity went away. i took my time and got to the first camp(STELE SAR spring)at about 2400-2500 m . a very nice and cozy place with some mean shepherd dogs!!!the trail gets steep and slippery below the camp site.i was able to move on but decided to pamper my self and rest for the rest of the day in there.i picked cleanest and nicest spot and erected the tent.and then the body refill began!! drinking water with a little rehydration salts and preparing a nice soup with some noodles. all these took about 2.5 houres and then i slept.
now it's afternoon and sun has just setted behind the summit ridge.one of the shepherds came to me and invited me to dinner.the normal afternoon fog is covering the whole area and honestly i'm getting a little nervous by the invite.shepherds are afgan and it worries me a little.(i`m gonna hate my self for feeling such thing for such nice people)i accepted the invite which by the way was so polite and honest that i couldn't say no! and zipped up the tent and went to their place. they gave me some tea and we prepared for the dinner.more we are talking more i`m feeling that these guys are really friendly.i learned that because this route(NE) is not so much used by the climbers, shepherds are pretty lonely in here. the dinner was an almost perfect combination of rice and meat with a pure natural taste that i`ve never tasted before.after dinner we drank a couple more tea glasses and got prepared to spend the night.i also learned that these people have learned how to survive in high altitude environment: drink alot even if you are not feeling thirsty. it's time to sleep , thats what i'm thinking! they began to put on clothes.i asked them why they are wearing them? they told me that there a lot of new borned babies in their herd so the wild animals around them are interested much more to attack the herd at night.wolves , bears ,jackals and even foxs may attack so the shepherds stay up all night until the morning.i left the place that was made of rocks with no cement or anything like that to sleep in my tent.the fog is so heavy that i cant even see my own feet.it`s like trying to walk in a dark room . finaly i got to my tent and got into it and prepared to sleep.describing all the detail may take too much so i`ll just say that it was NOT a normal night even for a mountaineering camp night!!!! personally i`m so gratefull to the shepherds and the shepherd dogs because of the safe sleep that their presence granted me...nevertheless i had to kick and punch some too curiose animals from behind the tent walls untill the help arrives((the dogs really helped me a lot)) in the middle of all these and the shepperds's screams to frighten the wild animals i could sleep a couple hours in sum.
second day of the climb began in a calm and shiney weather.i began to pack up my camp and prepare to leave.i left a small jar of jam for the shepherds and began to leave.i was pretty sure that i filled the water containers. the scenery soon made me forget about last night's lack of sleep and i was pretty proud with my body's performance in this altitude and heavy pack.now it's about 10:30 in the morning and i stoped for my first break.
i found out years before that my body works much better in altitude when i dont eat food.i just have to eat chocolate and water and i'll be great. well i ate my chocolate but when i decided to drink i reached into my pack to get the bottles.there it is the bad news...i forgot to fill the containers and had just a little bottle of water about 200cc or so.i looked at the way that i had come since morning and saw that it's not wise to return for water. drinking is one the most essential activities in altitude.i guessed that i have about 2 hours until i get to the camp2(TAKHTE FEREIDOON hut).after about 1 hour dehydration began to affect my body.i had to stop more often to take a break and i was not feeling as strong as before.i took the 2 hour trail in about 5 hours and i got to the hut in 15:30.TAKHTE FEREIDOON hut is actually just a shelter because there is no staff or comunication devices in there.the main water source is a snow pack about 50-100m in the west of the hut.getting there first thing i began to drink.i prepared my dinner soup and potato chips that i had.after a short nap (about 3 hours!!!)i got up to pee.when i got to the hut the weather was mild but not too cold, about 5-10 degrees.at night the temperature falles down dramatically to about -15 - -20. extremely cold and because during the day the temperature is above freezing level there is water every where.after sunset all this water freezes and every where turns into rock solid even the soil in the camp site is frozen. i did what i had to do pretty fast and got back into hut and my warm sleeping bag . i warmed up what was left of the soup and drank it while laying in bag.i eat a lot of garlic when i`m on high mountain so i ate garlic in there too.Now it's about 10pm and i wanna sleep.after about 30 min i felt like my heart beats are too strong.i was feeling the beats so hard that it was actually bothering me .i took my heart beats and it was 110\m.simply too high and too strong.it was starting to worry me that i`m having some kind of altitude sickness.i`ve experienced this that i`m much better when i`m active so i got up and began to do some light exercise.for about 20 min i did it and then took an aspirin and drank tea and went back to my sleeping bag. this time i slept like a baby until morning.