Iran ranks near the top of any adventurous ski tourers wish list. Historically and culturally a ski trip here in on a par with Greece. What’s more, like the Greeks the Iranians one meets whilst travelling are universally friendly and most welcoming.
We went to the Azeri north-western part of Iran which has a real ethnic and linguistic mix and is rarely visited by westerners. The Sahand mountains and Iran’s third highest, 4 811m Mt Sabalan are well suited to ski touring though we had difficult snow conditions and a high avalanche risk. Just look at the photos. Each mountain shot shows a shallow snow pack, old, cold snow and all heavily windblown. Care and discipline were required.
Prior to skiing some of us fulfilled a longstanding desire to visit the ancient cities of Esfahan, Shiraz and Persepolis. We weren’t disappointed. The magnificent Sheikh Safi od-Din mausoleum in Ardabil where the eponymous carpet originated was the final cultural highlight; or was it the packed offal restaurant for dinner where we did our best with heart, lungs, kidney and tripe?