From Iceland to India, the Andes to the Atlas Mountains, feather-in-the-cap ski trips are competitive with some adventure travellers. Will skiing in Iran become commonplace on social media posts this season?
Airfare to Tehran? Cheaper than flying to Europe. Lift passes and accommodation? A lot cheaper than in Europe or North America. Big mountains? Lift infrastructure? Unique culture and history? Check, check and check. Après-ski scene? Okay, let’s not go too far.
Questions on where in Iran can be answered by Baptiste Baudier from Grenoble, France, who spent most of last winter with his GoPro and drone researching 13 Iranian resorts. The results are intriguing for the Lonely Planet crowd.
Excellent photos, maps, stats and descriptions are detailed on Baudier’s website Ski of Persia, making the road trip to end all road trips relatively easy to plan. As well, the ski-touring possibilities look endless.
The 28-year-old Baudier reports that with economic sanctions and international tourism opening up, and nuclear issues quieting down, Iran’s enormous mountains and snowfall await the intrepid. The lowest resort elevation (Khoshakoo) lies around 2,000m and the highest (Tochal) tops out at 3,800, while Iran’s highest peak, Mount Damavand, 5,610m, can be seen from several ski resorts. (In comparison, Mont Blanc, western Europe’s highest peak between Chamonix and Courmayeur, sits at 4,510m.)
Baudier describes the snowfall and “virgin powder fields” as simply “massive and mind-blowing,” its people “lovely and friendly,” and adds “Iranians love outdoor sports like skiing, paragliding, rock-climbing, trekking and so on.”Iran, Persia, Ski of Persia