Tehran - Dizin
Dizin is the largest ski pist in the Middle East and is situated in the Alborz mountain
Dizin is the largest ski pist in the Middle East and is situated in the Alborz mountain range, near the peak of Damavand. This resort is situated near Tehran, only two hours, although there is a shorter route which brings you in 1 hour, which may be closed in some seasons. The good thing about Dizin is its size. It has several varied pists and you can ski in many different styles during the same day. It has more difficult patches with moguls and little hills for jumping. It also has a pist with a straight steep, like a free-way! There is also a beginner’s pist where you can watch interesting acrobatic skills from newcomers to the sport. With the purchase of a ski pass one can make use of all the pists, telecabins, telesieges and other facilities for 1 day, and the purchase of the ski pass apparently also provides insurance for you.
If you don’t have ski gear there are stalls next to the pists which rent out ski equipment. You can obtain all types of ski equipment and skiwear in these stalls, Alpine skis Snowboards, Monoboards, Cross Country Skis and all the accessories which go with it. Usually after a bit of expert bargaining you can get a very good price for a full set of gear. Always try to determine price and make payment after you have skied for the day, that way your bargaining position is much stronger. Also take good care to make sure that you hire good equipment so that your enjoyment for the day is not spoilt. Don’t let a small problem in your ski boots or your ski bindings ruin your day.
If you are a beginner or you require some training in either Alpine skiing or Snowboarding, you can work with a coach from the ‘Ski School’ which is located next to the pist. You can either get a coach on an hourly basis or you can get one for the whole day. The rates are quite reasonable but try to determine them beforehand. Also next to the ski school is where you may end up going if you are unlucky enough to have an accident. The emergency medical facility is where you should go if you feel you have a strain, fracture or other injury. Of course if you get badly injured, you will be carried off the pist on a stretcher by a ski rescue team. But let’s now dwell on that!
The ski coaches and experts in the Dizin Resort are mostly residents of the village of Rudbarak, which is located 10km from Dizin. They start to ski shortly after they have learnt to walk and if while you are skiing you suddenly notice a child, whose height doesn’t even reach up to your waist, hurtling past you, don’t feel too depressed, because that kid despite his or her young age has probably skied much more than you have. These young kids ski on the same pist in the summer, on the grass rather than the snow. They are also pretty good at that as well. Although skiing is a specialized sport, Dizin can get very busy during the weekend and it’s good to avoid it on Thursdays and Fridays (Iranian weekend) if possible, otherwise you may end up spending more of your time in queues for telecabins than skiing on the pist.
On Saturdays, embassy staff and many non-Iranian residents in Tehran turn up at the pists. Women also like the ski slopes as the restrictions on dress code are much more relaxed on the pists. The usual headscarf can be replaced by headwear of various . In the middle of the pist there is also a restaurant known as ‘Nim Gholeh’ meaning ‘Halfway to the peak’ which is a place where young boys and girls usually meet up. You will see a lot of young people just hanging around this restaurant, or chilling out on the deckchairs outside. Many of them don’t even ski during the day, some don’t even know how to ski. They just come to make friends in a relaxed and uninhibited way. Some of the crowd have chalets near the resort and come and spend the night or a few days at their ‘winter home’. They are usually warm people and can speak a bit of English and enjoy meeting foreign tourists; if you also act in a friendly way who knows you may just get an invitation to a party in the evening.
Shemshak Resort is only 12 km. from Dizin and is host to the hardest and steepest ski slopes in Iran. You will find Iran’s best skiers in Shemshak. It also allows you to ski at nighttime as well under floodlight.