Click for Introduction to Central Alborz Mountains
Click for Introduction to Kholeno Massif
Click for a detailed map of the Kholeno Massif
My GPS/Altimeter measured the elevation of this peak at 13660 ft (4164 m), the same as the 4165 m that appears on the 1:50 000 map.
Sarmahoo, along with its neighbors: the 4194 m Yakhchal Peak
to the east and the 4234 m Kaman Kooh
Peak to the west, sit in a remote area of the Central Alborz Mountains about a day’s hike from the nearest villages. To the south, the slopes of these three peaks drop steeply to the bottom of the Varengeh Rood River Valley (2800 m). To the north, the peaks form what looks like a glacially carved cirque that sits at an elevation of 3700-3900 m. This cirque houses a large snowfield/small glacier that feeds a pond known as Kaman Kooh Lake. The northern slopes of Sarmahoo are rocky/wall-like and rise directly above the snowfield. These slopes make Sarmahoo appear as a fairly prominent peak although it sits between two taller peaks.
From Kaman Kooh Lake, I have found out that the easiest way to the top of all three peaks is via Yakhchal Peak (see “Route”). From the summit of Yakhchal, you can hike down an easy ridge-top to a saddle and then up to the top of Sarmahoo. The views from the top of Sarmahoo stretch from the 5671 m Mt. Damavand to the east, to the 4850 m Alam Kooh to the west/northwest. The impressive northwestern wall of Yakhchal Peak
will be directly in front of you.
See Yakhchal Peak
for more information.
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 Kalak Bala 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 95 Km past the Kandovan Tunnel (2700 m) to a place known as Poleh Zangooleh (2350 m) where you will see a side road to the right (east). This is known as the Yoosh-Baladeh Road. Follow this road 30 Km east first up the Tarkeh Bashm Pass (2800 m) and then Labashm Pass (3170 m) to the village of Minak (2390 m). Turn south onto a dirt road (passable by most/any car) and follow it a few Km to the end of it at Kalak Bala Village (2650 m)
No fees. This is a protected area. Hunting is prohibited.
When To Climb
The northern slopes of the Kaman Kooh Group. Click to see the southern slopes
Easiest in summer (mid June to early October). I personally like late June/early July when there is much snow on the mountains. The grass on the lower slopes is green and flowers are in bloom. Snow on higher slopes will obviously make the climb more difficult.
Winter climbing will obviously require special training/equipment
Anywhere. Kaman Kooh Lake is a perfect spot.
In summer, the weather is generally clear. Isolated thunderstorms (sleet/snow at higher elevations) do occur.
If you are not familiar with these mountains, you will benefit from the presence of a guide. I used Araz Adventure Tours
and was very satisfied.