Mount Alam Kuh (also Alam Kooh), the second high mountain in Iran is located on the Takht-e Suleyman massif in Kelardasht District, Mazandaran Province. Kelardasht and Taleghan are the nearest cities to this mountain as Kelardasht is on its north face and Taleghan on its south.
At 4,848m (15,906 ft) above sea level, Alam Kuh is the second highest mountain in Iran after Mount Damavand. Being famous as the “Alp of Iran”, this mountain is listed among the 1515 most significant mountains in the world.
Alam Kuh area has 47 summits that are higher than 4000m. The mountain range supports permanent snow and glaciers. Although the southern slopes of the range tend to be dry and barren, the northern valleys leading to the Caspian Sea (which offer the best approaches to the mountains) are wet and lush with vegetation.
If Damavand is famous as the highest mountain, Alam Kuh is most known for its Northern big wall which has a place like K2 in the world. This 800m wall starts at 4200m is an ideal destination creating world-class challenge for wall climbers as one of the most beautiful and most difficult wall in the world. This wall is porous granite and the color is light fawn.
This wall has been an attraction since 1960s for many climbers from Germany, Poland, France, Italy and etc.
Since Alam Kuh is in Alborz Mountain Range, it is connected to other mountains therefore; different climbing routes are available. The most common ones are: south route, north climbing route ,the German route and one rock climbing way.
- The south route: this route is the easiest one to trek to the peak providing numerous beautiful sceneries on the way so it has numerous fans. This route starts at “Roodbarak” where you can rest for the first night. After passing “Vandarbon”,”Tang-e Galu” and “Hesar Chal” you will reach the summit.
- The Northern Route to the bottom of the wall also starts from “Roodbark” and trekking to “Vandarbon”, ”Sarchal” shelter and finally “Alam Chah” where your climbing through different ridges starts. This route is known as one of the most difficult climbing routes in Iran and needs setting up camp for overnight stay in “Sarchal” shelter.
The scenery from the summit is wonderfully picturesque persuading any climber to rest and enjoy for hours, however due to the particular shape of the summit there is not enough space to sit or stand .
When you are on the top, do not forget that beneath your feet lies the greatest big wall in Iran. So do not get too close to the valley and be careful no stone fall from that top to the wall.
Summer, June to September is the best time for Alam Kuh when the weather is clear. However, still occasional thunderstorms may happen. The precipitation in the form of snow may cause sporadic rocks fall down.
In winter, frequent snow storms and wild wind that usually continue 7 to 10 days occurs and the temperature will decrease to -20 siliceous degree.