On the crest of the ridgeline south of the Kholeno Peaks (Kholeno the Great & Kholeno the Small) in the Central Alborz Mountains of northern Iran, you will find two rocky peaks. The north peak is known as Borj. The south peak is not mentioned in any source that I am aware of. Even the 1:50 000 map, which is the most accurate map of the area, fails to show the south peak. The elevation of the north peak is 4325 m. The elevation of the south peak is not known but it seems to be slightly lower than the north peak. Due to its sharp appearance from some angles, the south peak is sometimes confused with the nearby Jhandark Needles. In this discussion, I will refer to these peaks as the North Borj and the South Borj Peaks.
In Persian "Borj" means "Tower". These peaks are so called because from certain angles, they appear as rocky towers. This is most notable from the west where the slopes of the Borj Peaks make walls that drop more than 200 m into a fairly large alpine cirque. The cirque sits at an elevation of 3800 to 4100 m and houses a seasonal lake known as Kholeno Lake. To the north, the Borj Peaks connect to the 4350 m Kholeno the Small Peak (via the Jhandark Needles). The eastern slopes of the Borj Peaks are scree covered and go down to a 3970 m saddle that connects to a series of high points known as the Varzab Peaks (4036 m). To the southwest, Borj is connected to the 4268 m Harzeh Kooh Peak.
Borj can be climbed via 3 different routes (Roundtrip for the first two routes is one to one and a half days. The third option is multi-day). Some scrambling might be needed below the summits but no technical skills are required.
|Directions to Varengeh Rood Village||From downtown Tehran drive the Tehran-Karaj Freeway 40 Km west to the town of Karaj and take the Chalus Road exit. Drive the Chalus Road up the mountains roughly 70 Km till the junction of the road that goes to Dizin Ski Area (2250 m). Turn onto this road and follow it a few Km till you see a side road on the left that goes to Varengeh Rood Village (2325 m). Turn onto this road and follow it a few Km till the end of it at the village (2450 m).|
|Directions to Laloon Village||From northeastern Tehran, take the Babai expressway east and then take the Lashgarak expressway north up to Ghoochak Pass (1950 m). Follow the road north down the many switchbacks to the bottom of the Jajrood River Valley (1700 m). Drive 20 Km north to the main square in the village of Fasham (1950 m). Left (west) will take you to the ski resorts of Shemshak and Dizin. Turn right (east) and drive 7 Km to the village of Zaygan (2250 m) and then turn left (north) and drive a side road about 4 Km to the village of Laloon (2400 m).|
|Directions to Shemshak Village||From northeastern Tehran, take the Babai expressway east and then take the Lashgarak expressway north up to Ghoochak Pass (1950 m). Follow the road north down the many switchbacks to the bottom of the Jajrood River Valley (1700 m). Drive 20 Km north to the main square in the village of Fasham (1950 m). Right (east) will take you to Laloon & Garmabdar Villages. Turn left (west) and drive 13 Km past the Meygoon Village to reach the village (and ski resort) of Shemshak (2600 m)|
|The Alborz Mountains are a protected area. Huntimg and fishing are prohibited|
|No fees or permission is required for climbing or camping|
|You can camp anywhere|
|Best||Late spring and early autumn (June, July, September and October)|
|My Favorite Time||Mid to late June when there is still much snow at the higher elevations, the grass in the valleys is green and flowers are in bloom|
|Summer (June-October)||The weather is generally clear. Isolated thunderstorms do occur. Precipitation at higher elevations can be in the form of snow/sleet.|
|Winter||Cold, heavy snow, unstable snow-banks, danger of avalanche, strong winds .|