All climbs to the summit of Mount Damavand have been suspended until further notice, says Ali Akbar Yadollahi, the deputy director of the Department of Environment of the northern province of Mazandaran.
“Amateur climbers are permanently banned from scaling the mountain because they litter the ground with plastic bottles, and drive their cars to the base of the mountain instead of hiking which is the standard practice in a technical climb,” Mr. Yadollahi added. “Most of these climbers do not observe safety rules and regulations. We will prosecute all violators to the full extent of the law.”
Yadollahi explained: “The Department of Environment of the northern province of Mazandaran in cooperation with the Damavand Working Group has taken steps to prevent a possible environmental disaster. Amateur climbers litter the mountainside with non-biodegradable trash and human waste which have a devastating impact on the environment.”
“We’ve also rounded up more than 70 mules that were wandering and grazing on the mountain. They belong to Iran Mountaineering and Sport Climbing Federation (IMSCF). They are used to carry equipment and supplies. It is the responsibility of the IMSCF to look after them,” Yadollahi noted.
Yadollahi said: “Despite our repeated requests, the IMSCF has not taken part in the Damavand Working Group which is responsible for monitoring and regulating the attempts at the summit.”
Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi