Spillet (Band-e-Yakhchal)

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Tehran, Iran, Asia
10236 ft / 3120 m
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Spillet (Band-e-Yakhchal)
Created On: Oct 8, 2005
Last Edited On: Jan 12, 2006


Spillet summit

Introduction to Tochal massif

Tochal massif or the mass of mountains covering north Tehran, actually compacted with the city, are a vast east-west sub range of the Alborz mountains which build one of the most south ridge lines of Central Alborz, including some distinct peaks with the highest point (3964m) called Tochal peak or Sar Tochal.
These mountains build a big wall at the north part of Tehran. Being a part of the city, giving a great site and view to the capital of Iran.

Bases to south faces of these mountains are one of the north Tehran regions like Velenjak, Darband, Darabad, Golabdarreh, Darakeh... the slopes rise up fairly steep from this regions with about 1800m altitude.

Tochal slopes are always full of people sometimes to much crowded, there is no record of the number of trekkers and climbers but I'm sure it's one of the most climbed and trekking mountains in the world.

The main east-west ridge line of Tochal holds this peaks:
Shahneshin(King's seat) 3850m
Hoomand 3900m
Tochal 3964m
West Lezoun 3600m
East Lezoun 3500m
Darabad 3100m
The sub east-west ridge line south and parallel to main Tochal ridge line  holds this peaks:
Ossoon wall peak 2760m  
Spillet 3120m Es-pi-let Espilet, Espillet or Spilet
Kolakchal 3300m
Unamed peak east to Kolakchal 3340m

Click for Introduction to Central Alborz Mountains
Click for Map of Central Alborz
Click for Nader's Tochal page
Click for Nader's map of Tochal massif

Spillet / Band-e-Yakhchal / Shervin / Ossoon walls

Spillet and Kolakchal

South-east to Tochal summit, east to Kolakchal summit and above Pas-ghal-e village is the most rocky, ragged and technical part of the Tochals making six or seven narrow lower peaks having about 3000m height and the heighest peak is named Spillet(3120m).

This extremely rocky crest is limited to Abshar-do-Gholoo waterfall and Darband river from west and ends to a 3000m saddle from east after the saddle the narrow ridge rises up and connects to Kolakchal peak.
South and north faces are solid 5m~20m~100m~200m blocks of walls shaped rocks good for technical practicing, the amount of broken blocks of rock fallen down from the south face make a big plane looking like a cemetery of rocks above Pas-Ghal-e village passing this zone needs care, the gaps between the blocks are deep I can't think of falling in them, this place is the practice zone for rock climbing schools and beginners, they work on the bigger blocks.

There are both technical and easy scrambling routes to the crest and Spillet summit. The base of this sedimentary block starts from 2100m, with a top-down height about 1000m. Rocks are commonly low.

The most impressive thing about this area is the solid vertical Shervin/ Band-e-Yakhchal wall located at the south east part, the shining wall can been clearly seen from most parts of Tehran there is a cap at the top. There is a hut at the base of the wall called Shervin hut. Shervin was a climber who has died on this wall, the wall and the hut are dedicated to his name.

Also there is a wall in northern part with 120m height, about 20 to 25 meters of route had been already set up by fixed protection like rolls.

The wall and the cap

Shervin wall needs a technical climb, but I have climbed to the top by passing the wall from the right ragged edge, the rocks are stable and no technical equipments needed at summer, anyway the scrambling is crazy and I didn't see anyone crazy enough as me to climb that part !

Where is Ossoon ?
Ossoon is the valley west to Darband river Ossoon route at this valley is a beautiful but longer route to Shirpala shelter and Tochal's Gooll-e-band ridge, the rock wall north to the route and valley are named Ossoon walls, these are actually the west follows of Spillet and Band-e-Yakhchal block.

The weather is mostly like north Tehran, almost moderated but being unsheltered under the sun hurts at mid summer, the snow melts faster than the other parts of Tochal and hard mountain conditions usually don't  exist.

Anyway if the other peaks of Tochal massif are a walk up or a hike, this zone of the massif gives a chance to the rock challengers.
About Iran and Tehran

Tehran from Tochal summit

[I added this section to give a small glance to people who want to travel to Iran]

Iran is high plane hosting two vast ranges of mountains Alborz and Zagros including hundreds of 4000+m summits. Even taught there are two big deserts in the middle of Iran still it's been said 3/4 of the plane is covered by mountains, there are still lots of 4000+m and 3000+m outside the Alborz and Zagros ranges scattered all over the Iran plane like Kerman mountains and Taftan volcano, the weather varies from dry hot to mountain conditions and to the thick green lush and humidity of the north Caspian sea coast.
The behavior of Iranians is friendly and they are helpful to foreign people from Europe and America (this friendly behaves may no be applied to Arabs), you can quickly make a friend who would be glad to guide you and stay beside you and invite you to his/her home.

The pipe-supplied and mineral water and food served in restaurants and supplied from stores is safe (avoid food from road sellers in downtown).

Security is granted by the police, there are two kind of polices in Iran the green ones and the blue ones, blue is only for traffic control, greens are for security and criminal matters.

Alcoholic drinks are forbidden in Iran, Christians won't be punished for carrying, anyway most people use drinks in their house and parties illegally and they have their own illegal alcohol suppliers who supply drinks from Iranian native drinks to Russian and western drinks, if you needed drinks you can easily find it illegally.

Tehran is like a slight slope for Tochal, the down town 1200m to the north 1800m, downtown ends to central desert planes so there is no high zones to dump Tochal's view that's why Tochal can be seen from miles away. Even the weather differs about 5~10 centigrades north Tehran to South Tehran, it might be snowing in Velenjack while raining in city center! the air is cooler and cleaner at north. The city area (buildings and roads) suddenly end at a 1800m~1900m border where the mountain slopes rise up steeply from there, this is the placement of the north Tehran fault which may causes dramatic earthquakes.

Tehran has four distinct seasons, summer is dry and hot 26~40 centigrades (almost clean air), autumn is moderate half dry half rainy (polluted air), winter is cold with snow falls specially heavy at north Tehran -10~10centigrades (almost clean air), spring is moderate and rainy (cleanest air).

Tehran is Secure, too much crowded, heavy traffic, people drive in a bad and madly mood, friendly to foreigners less friendly to Iranians ;) try to stay in north parts of the city.
60% of the water supply of Tehran is from the pure water sources of the northern mountains (too pure and poor of minerals), the water supply is pure and clean anyway use bottled mineral water.

One of the hobbies for people specially those who live in north Tehran, these days is trekking on the lower slopes of Tochal at night, Bame-Tehran is the trail from Velenjak st. to Tochal Telecabin's first station, there are some restaurants, coffee shops, a gym and a pain ball ground by the trail, lot's of boys, girls and old people trek the trail, anyway I'm not too proud seeing a gym and cars driving often in the mountain area  and a paint ball ground located at the base of a secret route I used to climb.


Getting There

Darband-Sarband route to south/north face -> Amateur/ practise/ beginears / low rocks / Shervin, Band-e-Yakhchal wall:

The most obvious, simple and straight forward main starting point to Tochal, Kolakchal, Spillet and Lezoun peaks is Darband st - Sarband SQ.

Go to Tajrish SQ. at north Tehran, the north street from Tajrish SQ. reaches Sarband SQ. via Darband road (take a cab shouting "DARBAND DARBAND").
Hike to Pas-e-ghal-e village1900m or bypass the boring and crowded hike using the big elevator+chair lift (for 500tomans or about half a $).

North face:
At the end part of the village there is a 3way go in to the middle branch and reach Shirpala shelter2750m by the steep but guarded rocky route.
From Shirpala shelter looking to east you can see the rocky mass of Band-e-Yakhchal and Spillet(3120m), you should go through the valley between north face of Spillet and south face of the Tochal main ridge-line.

South face:
At the end part of the village there is a 3way go in to the very right  branch and keep right (you may see
people climbing the route to Shirpala shelter at the left side of the river).
You have to climb up a zigzag route by the trees on a hilly park looking zone. When you reach the top:

(Case 1)  you will see a plane full of huge blocks of black rocks and Band-e-Yakhchal solid wall shining in front of you, walk on the rocks with care. (this is the amateur zone)
The last part gets so steep on screes, then you will reach the base of the Band-e-Yakhchal  wall.

(Case 2) The easier route to Spillet summit is obvious at right, there is a thick short ridge, keep right and hike to the summit, the upper parts needs some scrambling.

Golabdareh valley:
Go to Tajrish SQ., go to Golabdareh street (take a cab shouting "GOLABDARE GOLABDARE"), hike the route until you reach a two way, keep left soon you have to scramble the east/ south-east route to Spillet summit.

Red Tape and Regional Hints

The whole Alborz mountains area and it's wild nature is a protected place, hunting, fishing and abusing the nature is prohibited
No fees of permission is required for climbing or camping
Before performing a climb on Tochal peaks from south first make sure that the air is clean, an air inversion in Tehran, would only bring you hell on the mountain, ... climbing with headache ! all spring days, most winter days, some summer days and few autumn days are clean
All parts of north Tehran mountains become too much crowded on holidays and Fridays, people come there to hike. I don't recommend climbing in these days. if you are serious to do it start before 5am.

When To Climb

Best October to May
Photography October to May
Summer Unguarded work under the extreme sun beams and there is no way to find a shadow! I do hate climbing at summer.
Winter I believe climbing any of Tochals at a clear winter day is the best "when".

Mountain Conditions

In General:

Summer Hot and dry.
Winter Better to climb when the mountain is not under fog and snow falls.
Avalanche danger after heavy snowfalls on the steep slopes before the rocky sections.

Snow Forecast:
There isn't a direct forecast for Spillet peak on this site but the weather is mostly to be like the Tochal, the peaks on Tochal massif are close to each other and likely have the same conditions at the same altitudes. for Kolakchal summit you can think of something between 1832m and 2897m:


Nader's snow melt-off reference:
Note that the second right doted lower peak in front of the others is Spillet.

April 15, 1981.
April 26, 1981.
May 11, 1981.
May 23, 1981.
June 3, 1981.
July 11, 1981.
August 7, 1981.