My GPS/altimeter showed the elevation of this mountain to be 14360 ft (4377 m). The 4348 m figure is per the 1:50 000 map listed below.
Left to Right: Siah Sang Peak 4604 m (15105 ft), Mian-Se-Chal and Alam Kooh 4850 m (15912 ft).......................North Face
A strategically located peak that provides great views of two glaciers and many high mountains.
Mian-Se-Chal is one of the many peaks that surround the 4850 m (15912 ft) summit of Mt. Alam Kooh in the Takhte Soleyman subrange of Central Alborz Mountains in northern Iran. Mian-Se-Chal, which literally translates as: "among 3 pits", is the northeastern high point of a one Km (0.65 mile) long ridgeline that separates Alam Chal Glacier to the south from Pa Takht Glacier to the north. These two glaciers join to the northeast of Mian-Se-Chal. The ridgeline connects Mian-Se-Chal (to the NE) to the 4465 m (14649 ft) Shaneh Kooh Peak (to the SW).
The southern slopes of Mian-Se Chal are covered with scree/boulders and are easily accessible from Alam Chal Glacier. The last 15 m (50 ft) of the summit of Mian-Se-Chal form a small "tower-like" structure that requires class III climbing.
Climbing Mian-Se-Chal will take 3 or at least 2 days. The starting point is the 1400 m (4700 ft) village of Roodbarak to the northeast. On day one you will hike from Roodbarak to the 3750 m (12300 ft) Sar Chal Shelter (see route for more info). On day two, you will climb the mountain and descend to Sar Chal or Roodbarak. From Sar Chal Shelter, you can bag Mian-Se-Chal along with Shaneh Kooh and the 4659 m (15285 ft) Takhte Soleyman Peak in a single day. You are not likely to see much traffic on Mian-Se-Chal. Most of the people who come to this area go to climb Alam Kooh.
From downtown Tehran drive 40 km west to the town of Karaj and take the Karaj-Chalus Road north (This road crosses the Alborz Mountains taking you through the Kandovan Tunnel to the Caspian Coast). 30 km south of Chalus, you will reach the town of Marzan Abad. Turn left and follow a side road into the Sardab Rood River drainage and to the town of Roodbarak. Distance from Tehran to Roodbarak is roughly 200 km.
I am not aware of any permit or fee requirement. Hunting will require a license.
When To Climb
June to October is the ideal season. Climbing in winter will obviously be much harder due to extreme cold and heavy snow cover.
Accommodations are available at the Iran Mountaineering Federation Hotel in Roodbarak (call Mountaineering Federation at 98 21 8839928).
Sar Chal Shelter (3750 m, 12300 ft), or camp anywhere.
In summer, the weather is generally clear. Unexpected thunderstorms do occur frequently. Precipitation at higher elevations will always be in the form of snow/hail.
If you are not familiar with these mountains, you will greatly benefit from the presence of a guide. I worked with Araz Adventure Tours and was very satisfied with their services. They were flexible, courteous and knowledgeable and were able to custom design an 8 day trekking tour allowing me to climb the lesser known peaks of the area. My guide: Mr. Rasool Naghavi was a kind man who was a native of Roodbarak and knew the mountains like the back of his hand. Having climbed Everest and several other Himalayan giants made him, in my opinion, one of the most qualified guides for these mountains.
1) The most accurate topographical maps of the area are those with a scale of 1:50 000 (contour lines of 20 m) provided by the Iranian Armed Forces. You will need sheet #6162 I "Shahrestanak" for Mian-Se-Chal and Alam Kooh (To fully cover the entire Takhte Soleyman Massif, you will also need sheet #6262 IV "Rudbarak"). These maps are available in Tehran at the Geographical Office of the Armed Forces on Moalem St. (98 21 8408088) for the equivalent of $3 per sheet (in 2004). Outside of Iran, the same maps can be purchased at www.cartographic.com for the exorbitant price of $150 per sheet (in 2003). These maps are in Farsi. While they give the exact elevation of most of the peaks, they do not give the names of the individual peaks.
2) Soviet Military Maps sheet # J-39-126-G available at www.omnimap.com. I do not recommend this map. It seems as if the creators of this map lacked detailed info and eliminated many of the lower peaks.
3) Different schematic maps available in Iran. My favorite is the "Guide Map of Takht-e-Soleiman & Alam Kuh Region" by Iran Kuhro Co. available at Varzesh Kooh store, Ferdowsi Sq., Tehran (98 21 8826642).