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Monday, 1 July 2019

Snowboarding in Iran’s Dizin

Yes, I know, I know. We’re barely standing our daily heat and I’m talking about snow! ❄️
Don’t you think it’s time we cooled off? :D

One of my biggest wishes was to snowboard in Iran. Not Austria, Italy, or Switzerland. Iran.
I bet you have a pile of questions, so here are some answers to the possible FAQs--
Snowboarding in Dizin, Iran

Why?
I have a thing for high, but rounded mountains – and I’ve mainly seen them in Central Asia.
I wanted to experience Iran without the hijab – and on the slopes, I knew that I could do that; only a beanie or a buff are part of the ski resort etiquette in Iran.  
Following a Globe Trekker episode on Iran starring Ian Wright, this wish of mine to travel to Dizin skyrocketed.

Is it easy to get to Dizin?
Yes. We drove there ourselves, via the scenic Chalus Road, but a taxi can also be a solid option.
On the way to Dizin Ski Resort, Iran
Expect lovely views, turquoise water in the river bed (Chalus) and in the dam (Amir Kabir), plus plenty of roadside shops and restaurants.  

When did we go?
At the end of April 2019.
I contacted the resort via e-mail and they were a bit skeptical regarding the skiing conditions that late in the year. Luckily, we were told that they had had a 7-metre snowfall throughout the Alborz mountain range a few days before our arrival.  
Marcel snowboarding in Dizin, Iran

Where did we stay?
There is a serene atmosphere in Velayat rud (Dizin village), only 5 kilometres away from the ski resort. The village roads are trekkable and there are plenty of opportunities for stunning views.
Around Dizin village, Iran
We were happy to see ibexes on the mountains beside the road – grazing, climbing, jumping.
Ibexes in Dizin, Iran
Joyja Hostel is such a wonderful place to sleep and dine in (the food is very tasty and you are offered dinner and breakfast for the price paid)! Shookoo and Abbas were wonderful, they helped us a lot and treated us with so much friendship!   
Marcel, Abbas, Shookoo, and I saying goodbye

Were we able to rent snowboarding gear?
Yes. Shookoo and Abbas called a friend of theirs and we were able to rent snowboards, boots, pants, helmets, goggles, and gloves for EUR 27 (together).

How much does it cost?
We paid IRR 1100000 for a day pass, namely EUR 7.30, at the exchange rate of April/May 2019.

How was it?
Although I did suffer a bit that day – the slope was quite icy in the lower part (although we went snowboarding close to noon), I got sunstroke (don’t forget your sun lotion, like we did when we left it in the car), I realised that I am prone to altitude sickness, and I had a severe cold waiting for me ‘round the corner – and fought a bit with Marcel, looking back, it was one of the experiences of my life that I am most grateful for.
Being among the 40 highest ski resorts in the world – and the largest in Iran –, the closeness to 4000m offers fantastic views, which were actually the most beautiful snowy mountain views of my life! Mount Damavand looked impressive! And the slope conditions in the upper part were very good! 
Snowboarding in Dizin, Iran
As there are no trees and everything is so wide, you simply ride down and adapt along the way. I was nearly tricked by some valleys and routes, but there’s always time to recover.
The drinks and food served at the resident café are inexpensive and breaks are a nice way to enjoy the mountain air.
I will always remember the ‘I love you’s we’d shout to each other from different chairlifts or the small cable cars that made us smile.
Snowboarding in Dizin, Iran

We are planning to return to Iran on a snowboarding trip.
And we can’t wait! 

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