|We drove from Tehran at five a.m. to the Mt. Damavand base camp parking,
which was at about 4000 meters in altitude. We then slept in a tent at
the base camp area.
My friend said to open the door of the tent for some fresh air. I said we
are at 4000 meters and there is no air way up here.
We had about
twenty people at this base camp. The next day we climbed with a
total of eight persons, three of us and five people from the Netherlands
group. We climbed very quickly, but the Netherlands group had an
advantage because they stayed at the 4000 meter base camp to acclimate for
I ended up climbing one hundred meters behind the group because of the
great effort required. In the morning I suffered
from the lack of oxygen. I sat on a rock and in just two minutes I
fell into a dream. I dreamt that I was by a warm heater and I felt
very warm. One man cam back to me and said, "Wake Up, Wake Up, because
of the extreme danger. I woke up and started for the top again.
At 5000 meters there was no oxygen and I was very, very tired because I was
not acclimated to the high altitude and the fact that I did not do any
exercise prior to the climb. At about this time three people
came back my way, they couldn't continue the climb, but I still tried very hard.
I was walking near the cliffs and I was alone and very tired. I
thought, Hay Siamak, I would dive off of the cliff and become free.
I continued in 100 meters from the top and there was sulfur gas shooting
out of the rocks. After the sulfur area I started having headaches due to
the high altitude and the fact that the oxygen was getting very thin.
I would take one step per minute and breathe very heavily. The last
sixty meters, which was nearly level, took me about one hour to walk.
All of the people from the Netherlands and all of us from Iran made it to
the top. One of the men from Iran waited for me at the top.
After I finally made it to the top of Mt. Damavand, I stayed only five
minutes and ate chocolate. Then we returned to base camp very quickly.
Another man and I got lost on the way back. This was because the
other man wanted to take a shortcut and that's when we got lost. It
wasn't very long before I got very ill and had problems with Dysentery very
often making the return even more difficult.
As we continued our descent, many times, we would slip on the loose
gravel. I would slip, fall down, and then, because I was very tired, I
would lay there, motionless for ten minutes at a time.
The others organized a group and came to find me, then we descended.
After getting back to base camp I slept for several hours, I felt so
hot, but I just didn't know why.
My friend was a professional climber and he said that I must return to
the cars, immediately, so my legs didn't stiffen up.
After I returned to Tehran, I had very stiff and painful muscles for
several days and I had many bruises on my ankles.. My friends put me
in a sauna for treatment.