Route to Kholeno Glacier

Route to Kholeno Glacier

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 36.07046°N / 51.56229°E
Additional Information Route Type: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Summer
Additional Information Time Required: A few days
Additional Information Difficulty: Hike
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Getting There

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).

Route Description

All distances are per my GPS


Varengeh Rood
Village…………..2450 m……………….Zero

Of the
Stream to
Kholeno Lake…..3100 m……………….16.5 Km

Of the
Stream to
Meeshchal……..3300 m…………………2.5 Km

Tail end of
Glacier………….3900 m…………………3.0 Km

Total…………………………………………22.0 Km

Get on the trail at the north end of the Varengeh Rood Village (2450 m). This trail soon crosses (via a bridge) to the northwestern side of the River (The river is too large to cross on foot). You will have to follow the river-side trail 16.5 Km to reach the junction of the branch that goes to Kholeno Lake. The trail is, for the most part, fairly well-established. We did, however, lose it at times. We were in the area in mid June. Avalanche remains covered the river frequently and provided convenient ways of crossing the river. Later in the season, when the snow has melted away, crossing the river will become a problem.

16.5 Km after Varengeh Rood Village, at an elevation of 3100 m, you will reach a major split in the river. Right goes to Kholeno Lake. Take the left branch and stay on the left (north) side of a stream where you will find a faint trail and follow the stream upstream. Be ware that in many place the trail fades away and the slopes above the stream become steep and slippery, so “following the stream” may not be as easy as it sounds.
From Varengeh Rood ValleyFrom Varengeh Rood Valley

At 3250 m you will reach a fairly large and flat area by the stream that is ideal for setting up base camp. A little after base camp at 3300 m, you will reach another major split in the stream. Right goes toward Meeshchal Peak.
From Varehgeh Rood RiverCamp Site

Turn right and follow the right branch as it slowly turns south. Here you can look south to see the pointy tip of Mt. Kholeno the Great. You may want to stay away from the banks of the river and instead head up the “hilly” landscape on the left (east) side of the stream. As you go higher, Meeshchal and Sarkharsang come to view to the southeast. You will soon note the steep hill that forms the terminal moraine of the glacier (3800 m). At the hill, the valley splits: right goes to the glacier and left to the valley between Meeschal and Kholeno the great. Turn right and go over the field of crushed rock until you reach the snowy part of the glacier.
Kholeno, Siyoonza & AsbichalKholeno from Varengeh Rood Valley

If you plan to climb Sarkharsang and Meeshchal, you will want to veer east at an elevation of 3700 m or so and start going up the slopes of Sarkharsang to its summit and then following the ridgetop to Meeshchal. The ridgetop appears rocky and will probably require scrambling.

Essential Gear

In summer, only camping equipment. An ice axe might come in handy in early summer but is not necessary.

External Links

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