And it goes on...
First of all you should excuse me for delay on writing the seccond part.
third day of climb began pretty late for me.. yesterday i was planning to get a rest day in Takhte fereidoon because of my extreme exhaustion due to dehydration and heavy pack. i guess it's how you are suppose to feel when you wanna climb Damavand in alpine style. but this morning i'm feeling so good that i decided to make my summit attempt. despite the cold and altitude problems last night and high winds i could sleep pretty well and i'm totally refreshed.i packed my gear and i decided to lighten up my back pack a little bit... but i couldn't find any thing that would want to leave behind!!! so i just left one of my fuel bottles in the hut and left .. it's 06:15 now.... first parts of the route are really good not too steep and not too icy...very nice. after a while the altitude began to show effect.
i was breathing coordinated with my steps.. intake with one step and let it out with the next one...each 20 steps take a deep one....for about 2 hours i kept this rhythm. then i got to upper parts with snow and ice.
i was watching scenery and cursing my self because of NOT bringing crampons... when i was packing my gear back in home i decided not to get them with me because you simply dont need them at all in south route in summer.... but in this side of the mount and in this time of year i could see the challenging ice below a thin layer of snow. the danger is if you slip off on the glaciers it would be really hard to perform a self arrest on ice... only if it was snow that would be great. quite a lot of thoughts passed through my mind until i desided to change my route a little bit to the left
to use the rocks in the edge of the Yakhar glacier."i should have returned from there" thats what i told my self atleast 10 times that day!!! the unpleasant thing about damavand is that it's too low to arrange a long time acclimatization climb but too high if you wanna climb without it. most of the people climb on another 4000 meter summit (mostly TOWCHAL) and sleep a couple nights up there before they attempt for damavand. i hadn't done that and my mistake was simply paying off.despite my slow cimb (2 days until takhte fereidoon) i could easily see that i'm pushing my body to breath. after my rest i began the seccond part of the NE ridge.the altitude was about 5000m with a half clear but a little windy weather. the dangers were not about the exposed parts.actually there is not much exposed part but the main danger is loose rocks and i mean it .in some places i could actually hear the moving sounds of the rocks on the ridge just with my weight.the problem was that the edge parts of the yakhar glacier has about some 40-50 meter vertical and even over vertical walls with very loose stone and rocks piled on each other and they keep falling in the glacier below. it's not a problem when you are on the main route by in my case they were getting more and more risky. at a point i found my self on almost falling rocks and far away from main route. i just remebered the story about the frog and the boiling water i realised that what i was doing was some sort of a suicide. so i began to traverse to west and toward the main route.i think that i've told too much details so i can say that getting to the main route took about 4 hours and a hell of effort to dig in steps in ice .
A simple mistake in bringing proper gear was almost causing me the ultimate price.after passing the seccond glaccier i actually could sit down to take a decent rest and get the pack off of my back.when i returned to the north while resting suddenly i could see how high i got . the vallies below where below the clouds and i could see the Caspian sea shore line and blue color of the sea it self. in the first couple minutes it was kind of frightning... to see all those clouds below you and the north face was looking really steep from up there.i was so busy with climbing that i actually didn't have a real look at the long way up until then.
from there i could see the orange color northern hut (called 5000 hut)and according to the distance from it i could say that i was pretty close to summit.
the last parts were non technical or too steep but tiring due to very high altitude. and finaly i'm on the summit.
in this route you cant see the summit until you almost step on it! ooooh god what a relief..... there is no more upward way to go.i was expecting to see people on the summit but there was no one at all. now i feel like i'm done what i came here to do ...even if i have left a long way to get down i know that i'll be fine......survival is the most comforting feeling that i've ever felt.i can imagine and recall my horror moments on the route up and safety feeling of the summit and south route.
it's 15:30 and i lost quite a long time on the summit(about 1 and a half hours) and now it's time to go down.i took my last pictures from the scenery and the frozen sheeps. and began to head down.
just the moment that was leaving the summit i heared something... i returned and saw that a couple climbers are getting to summit so changed my way and went toward them in the other side of the summit cone. when i got to them they could barely talk and they where breathing too hard ..even for that altitude.on summit after taking 5 step upward i had to stop to breath a couple times before i could go on. the altitude was kicking in. anyway i asked them that where are they coming from and they answered that they are members of the Beheshti university mountaineering club and they are coming from the western route. i asked them a couple more questions and i figured out that they had made a mistake and come from west-north western.they were carring a few gears and when i asked them that where are your gear they told me : we left them on the way up in order to lighten up packs!!! turned out the gear is spreaded out all the way up!!!! and the funny thing (maybe the stupid thing) that it was their first time to attempt Damavand! no guide and via a non normal route.they asked me if i can get them to the southern shelter(Bargah sevvom)
they told me that they have left their packs below the summit and they can join me on the sufuric hill. so went down to the sufuric hill and waited for them to come. then i saw that they are sliding down the southern glacier!!! stupid .............s!then i began my way down the gravel ski path.it was about 19:30 that i got to the lower parts of the southern route and the last 200-300 meter was hard snow pack ..perfect for sliding on ... not too soft and powdery and not too hard .hard enough to get a nice grip on self arrest.....it was about 20:30 that i got to the shelter.
Bargah-e sevvom is the most urban shelter of the damavand and because south route is the normal route of the Damavand it's the most crowded one too. in my luck the shelter was almost empty! about 8 -10 people were in there .Two young guys that only one of them was gonna climb up, the shelter officer,two polish climbers and two american archeologists were in there.there was another guy who was guiding the foreign climbers.about 30 min after me the university team made it to the shelter in wet and torn clothes. the sliding in the upper glaciers was not a good idea!!! they were pretty upset about it but i told them that they should be happy they are ok and they dont have injuries. i spent the night out side on a platefrom beside the hut because the hut has an unpleasant smell inside!!! it was about morning that the clouds began to gather and it began to rain a little and after a while the rain turned into powder snow.it was not a stable weather and the snow and rain were cutting off and starting again.the polish and american climbers were waiting for the guide's decision and he told them to climb ! ! ! i was confused because i have climbed Damavand 5-6 times before and i know that this is not the weather to do it but i just told the guide in person..his response was very unpolite and aggressive so i left him and returned to my tent( i was too tired the night before to erect tent so i spent the night in open but when i felt that it's gonna rain i erected it) . the young guy and his friend that i had spent the night with them on the plateform were talking to each other when i went there. he asked for my opinion and i told him that the decision is up to him but i wouldn't do it if i was in his shoes.i was planing to go down to get to the road side to find a ride back home but the weather was not good enough to get out of camp.the university team came to me to make an offer: in exchange of guiding them down to the base camp they promised me a ride to the road side from there. i accepted and i told them to get some rest .and got back to my tent to my new friends(after rain i invited the two friends into my tent which is actually an ultra light 3 person single layer tent... i like roomy tents!)after about 4 hours the climbers began to return to the camp soaked!!! and shaking. they were lucky because we and the university team had ready hot tea to warm them up.about 1 hour later the weather began to get better and i called the university team and we left the camp .my new friend stayed in there to ettempt the summit the next day and the foreign climbers and their guides were too weak to do any thing and they decided to get rest .
after about 2 hours of spectacular and very charming scenery of the hike down we got to the mosque.we made some herbal tea and drank it until the ride came up to get us.university team drove me to the bus stop at the road and droped me there.actually they were over crowded in their car and it was really impossible to ride tehran in that car!!! i found a bus after about 1 hour and got back to tehran and then karaj and i got home late afternoon.
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