Alam Chal Glacier

Alam Chal Glacier

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 36.38330°N / 50.96220°E
Additional Information Route Type: Hike/scramble
Additional Information Time Required: A few days
Additional Information Difficulty: walk-up
Sign the Climber's Log


See Getting There.

Route Description

My guide and I climbed Shaneh Kooh as part of an 8 day trekking tour of the Takhte Soleyman Massif. We obviously did not take the most direct route to the summit of Shaneh Kooh. From Haft Khan Glacier, we climbed the western slopes of Shaneh Kooh to its summit and then traversed the ridgeline to Mian-Se-Chal, descended to Alam Chal Glacier and hiked to Sar Chal Shelter. I did not hike the distance between Vandar Bon Village and Sar Chal Shelter. The portion that I did not hike is the main access route into the Takhte Soleyman Massif. It apparently has a well-established and well-signed trail.

From Roodbarak village (1400 m) drive or hike a dirt road (passable by most/any car) about 10 km to a “village” known as Vandar Bon (2300 m). Follow the sign and hike up the Barir drainage roughly 4 hours to Sar Chal Shelter (3750 m).

Sar Chal Shelter is a multi-room stony building that is full of bunk beds (metal frames and wooden slats). It can probably house 100 or more people. Running water is piped from a nearby stream into a small pool (The shelter is first come first served, no fees).

My GPS measured the distance from Sar Chal Shelter to the summit of Shaneh Kooh at 5.3 km. From Sar Chal Shelter follow the trail south and go between the base of the Mian-Se-Chal Peak to the west and Chaloon/Siah Kaman Peaks to the east onto the low end of the Alam Chal Glacier (this portion of the glacier does not present any problems to the hiker. By late summer, the snow here may even melt away). As the valley gradually turns southwest, the north wall of Alam Kooh comes into view. You are now at the base of the southern slopes of Mian-Se-Chal. You can either go up the slopes to climb Mian-Se-Chal and then traverse the ridgeline to the base of Shaneh Kooh or you can bypass Mian-Se-Chal altogether. These slopes are covered with boulders/large rocks and should not be slippery. The last 50 meters below the summit of Shaneh Kooh are very steep. In late June, there was a large snow field here and an ice axe came in handy (but was not “required”). The pinnacles on the very top of Shaneh Kooh require class III or IV climbing.

Essential Gear

In summer, nothing more than hiking boots. An ice axe may come in handy on the steep snow slopes just below the summit.

Miscellaneous Info

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