Arc'athlete Luka Lindič has climbed all over the world, including a couple of trips to Iran. Here's his report from those expeditions.
"Two years ago, I was in Iran for the first time, taking in the Bisotoon Climbing Festival. During the week that we spent there, Manu Pellissier, Marko Prezelj, and I climbed a new route called Persian Cat (7a, 1,000m). It was a really great trip, however we knew that Iran has more to offer.
This year, the same team, plus Sam Beaugey, returned to Iran with the objective to climb in Alam Kooh. A few hours of driving from Tehran, followed by a day of walking, brought us to the bottom of the apparently totally dry 800m north face of Alam Kooh.
Manu and Sam immediately started with a new route on the left side of the face. Marko and I decided to warm up on a German-French route that looked so dry we decided to go with running shoes. We hit the obvious pillar with the first rays of sun, moving fast until steep icy rock forced us to belay. After three pitches of this, we soloed again until snow and ice stopped us once more. At this point we realized that running shoes were a stupid idea. Armed with one ice axe each, we 'mix climbed' to the top.
Without knowing the route, we ended up descending the wrong valley. It was a very long descent, shortened by the view of the right part of the north wall of Alam Kooh. On this part of the wall, invisible from base camp, was a line we wanted to climb. That evening, all four of us were back at base camp. We took a rest day and packed for the climb. Sam and Manu wanted to finish their route and we wanted to climb in the right part of the face, but a strong wind came up overnight, and with the falling snow, blew away our plans.
We escaped to Polekhab where we climbed for three days on perfect rock. Then we moved to Bisotoon for the festival. In the first two days, we climbed a new 1,000m route with difficulties up to 6b. We named it Golden Spatula after the tool we used the most on this trip. For the next few days, we repeated some nice routes, and on the last day I soloed Eagle route V+, 1,000m.
We all enjoyed our stay in Iran. After two visits, I can say that you should be careful in Iran. People will attack you – with kindness!"