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The highest lake in Iran !

The highest lake in Iran ! Sabalan lake 4811m

an article by : Hamid Shafaghi , IFMGA mountain and ski guide

Hamid Shafaghi , IFMGA Mountain and Ski guide

How will you feel if you trek up a huge mountain and reach to the altitude of 4811 m at the top . on the last steps to the summit , something blue and big starts to appear ! A lake ! yes , that’s true . In Sabalan you could see something like that . Sabalan lake located on the crater of the summit . It’s huge and amazing and gives wonderful feeling to climbers on the highest point of this summit  .

Sabalan lake freezes in cold months of the year

This amazing lake was known as a mystery for many years and many locals believed it’s connected to the center of earth . The cold water on this inactive volcanic crater didn’t let people to dive in and search for many years while on recent years a group of divers measured the exact depth of the lake which is 16 meters in deepest part . Lake dimension is 140 * 80 meters and is located exactly on the crater of the summit .

Sabalan summit

The south part of the lake is mostly frozen even in summer time as it doesn’t see the sun that much .

The water of the lake fed by the snow  in the area and nobody found till today a spring or source of water at the bottom of the lake  . Also no living creature found in the lake till today  .

Why Sabalan is very important in Persian culture ? 

Sabalan also known as Savalan is the third highest summit in Iran ( 4811m  ) . It’s also known as a sacred place and in old persia , people believed it’s the place that Zartosht ( Zoroaster ) lies .


How to get to Sabalan ?

A drive from Ardebil in North west of Iran to Meshginshahr city and then it’s possible to use the old local 4wd cars to reach to the hut at North East ridge ( From Shabil and this is the most popular ridge on  the summit ) . The hut is normally crowded and busy and there is not a hut keeper there so it would be available for first climbers who arrives to the area . It’s much better to carry your own tent to the area . From the hut to the summit , it’s around 4 hours of trek and then you could see this wonderful view of the lake . Be aware that Sabalan has great potential for danger of falling if you get lost specially on the northface there is a huge steep glacier .

Eagle rock

Eagle rock !

What else you could do in the area ?

More than climbing mount Sabalan from normal route , there are lots of technical glacier climbing available in the area and lots of hot springs in the area ( like Shabil on the base of the summit ) . There are also many other famous summit in the area like Heram , Kasra … which are quite high and has great view as well .

I will discuss Sabalan more in another article soon .

If you have any questions write to us :