Climbers Die in Iran Avalanches

Heavy snowfall in Iran has triggered avalanches that have killed at least 10 climbers in the Alborz mountains near Tehran. Search efforts are still underway for a further seven who remain missing.

The region, north of Iran’s capital, hosts several popular ski resorts and peaks up to 5,671m. A major blizzard on Friday set off multiple avalanches. Nine people died instantly and one succumbed later in hospital. So far, 14 survivors have been pulled from beneath the snow.

In the wild weather, a cable car ceased to operate near the top of one mountain, stranding approximately 100 people in midair on Friday. Thankfully, no casualties resulted.

Rescuers desperately dig for survivors in Iran’s Alborz mountains.


The Red Crescent (the Arab world’s branch of the Red Cross) has 20 search teams working the area, but their resources are stretched because of a separate rescue mission involving an Iranian transport vessel, missing in the Persian Gulf with seven crew on board.

The Alborz mountains have a history of disastrous weather. In 1998, more than 38 people died and 40 others were injured when an avalanche hit a mountain highway in the same area, sweeping traffic into a neighboring valley.

Besides those who flock to the resorts, the mountains are popular at this time of year with ski mountaineers and ice climbers.