• Mount Tochal

    Everything about Mount Tochal, Facts & Informations, Weather conditions, Trekking Routes, Climbing Tours, Required Equipment & …

Mount Tochal

Mount Tochal complete guide: everything you need to know about Tochal mountain

Mount Tochal (3962 m) is located in the Alborz mountain range, one of the main mountain ranges in Iran that is stretched from the north to northwest of Tehran Province. Tochal is also the name of the ski resort located on Tochal summit. When the sky is clear, Tochal summit is visible from any spot in Tehran, creating a beautiful landscape for the city. The southern foothills of Mount Tochal face the grand metropolis of Tehran and the whole city is visible from its peak. Mount Tochal is considered part of Tehran province and is the tallest mountain near the city. Talking about a walk on the foothills of this beautiful mountain is one of the most exciting things to do in Tehran. The breathtaking view of Tehran, the grand capital of Iran, from Bam-E Tehran is one of the many things that make visiting Tochal a wonderful experience.
Conquering the Tochal summit is possible through multiple routes. Among these routes, the following are the most common: Darband (the old route and the new route), Darakeh, Dar Abad, Jamshidieh Park, and Tochal. The 7500-meter-long cable car line of Tochal (Tochal telecabin) is one of its main attractions. Built-in 1975, it is one of the longest cable car lines in the world and allows the visitors to have a long ride above the mountain and enjoy its beautiful landscapes. Tochal ski resort is another one of the popular attractions on Mount Tochal and welcomes many skiers every year. Since 2003, there has been a perfectly equipped and modern hotel near the ski resort (Tochal Hotel), giving the skiers a unique stay.

Tochal cable car (Tochal telecabin)

The cable car line begins at the end of Velenjak Street in Shemiran district and 3 kilometers away from Tajrish square. The Tochal complex includes 3 cable car lines, 3 chairlift lines, and a ski lift.

The first cable car stop is 2000 m above sea level and stations 2, 5, and 7 have 2300, 3000, 3700 meters of elevation. The construction of the Tochal cable car (Tochal telecabin) began in 1975 with Bahman Batmanghelidje in charge. In addition, the French Pomma and the Austrian Dopplemayer companies cooperated in the project. Tochal telecabin has been open to the public since 1979.

When the ski resort is closed, Tochal Telecabin is functional and open to the public from 8 Am to 3 PM from Tuesday to Friday, given that the weather is good.

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Tochal cable car (Tochal Telecabin), Under Station Two

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Tochal cable car (Tochal Telecabin), Under Station Seven

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Tochal cable car (Tochal Telecabin), A view of Tehran

Tochal ski resort

Tochal ski slope begins at the bottom of Tochal Peak at 3850 meters of elevation and ends at Tochal Hotel at 3550 meters of elevation. This slope is 1200 meters long; however, there is a ski lift and a chairlift available to transport skiers. Due to the height of Tochal ski resort, this resort is the first one in Iran to receive skiers and is available almost 8 months a year. 

Some of the advantages of this ski resort are as follows:

  • Proximity to Tehran city center
  • Safe route for reaching the resort
  • The chance to stay in Tochal Hotel
  • The option to rent ski equipment from ski school
  • Existence of 3 chairlift lines and a ski lift line

Tochal ski resort has three separate ski slopes that are mentioned below:

  • The peak slope (station 7): This ski slope begins below Tochal peak at 3850 meters of altitude and ends at Tochal Hotel. There is a chairlift line available on this slope.
  • The western foothills slope (station 7): This ski slope is located on the western face of Mount Tochal. It is 900 meters long and begins at 3550 m of elevation. There’s a chairlift line available for transportation.  
  • Station 7 to 5 slope: This ski slope is 5500 m long. It begins at 3750 m of elevation and ends at station 5 with 2940 m of elevation. There is a chairlift line and a ski lift line available on this slope. Note that this slope is currently closed due to the risk of avalanches.
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Tochal ski resort, DJ playing the song

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Tochal ski resort

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Tochal ski resort, chairlift

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Tochal ski resort Has two chairlift lines

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Location of the ski resort on the map

Tochal Hotel

Located at station 7 of Mount Tochal, Tochal hotel has been open to guests since 2003. This 3-star hotel is one of the highest located mountain hotels with 3545 m of elevation above sea level. The outer façade of the hotel is wooden. The northern face of Mount Tochal, southern foothills of central Alborz and Kholeno, and Kolun Bastak peaks are visible from the hotel. 

Tochal hotel was built on an area of 2430 m². It is a safe place for the skiers to rest during winter and a secluded, cool and unique place to spend the weekend in other seasons.

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View of the Tochal hotel and the ski resort

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Tochal Hotel at night

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One of the hotel rooms

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The Tochal hotel is located at an altitude of 3545 meters

Geography

The Tochal peak is located north of Tehran and its surrounding mountains stretch in the southern part of Central Alborz. This mountain is connected to Jajrood and Shahrestanak rivers in the north and to the mountains located north of Alborz Province in the west. The ridge connecting Tochal to Alborz is lower than the one connecting it to Jajrood. Mount Tochal is connected to Shahrestanak mountain pass (3700 m) and then to Shahneshin peak (3850 m) by its western ridge named Houmand (3900 m). Mount Tochal is also connected to Piazchal and Dar Abad peaks by an arched ridge.

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Map of Tochal Mountain

Tochal Trekking Routes

Mount Tochal attracts many mountain climbers due to its proximity to Tehran. Conquering Tochal peak is possible through several routes. The most important Tochal trekking routes are the following:

  • Dar Abad – Dar Abad Peak – Piazchal Peak – Tochal summit
  • Jamshidieh Park – Kolakchal camp – Piazchal valley – Piazchal peak – Tochal summit
  • Darband – Shirpala hut – Siahsang Shelter – Tochal summit ( most common )
  • Darband – Osoun crossroads – Osoun valley – Speed shelter – station 7 – Tochal summit ( oldest route )
  • Velenjak – cheshmeh stop – station 2 – station 5 – station 7 – Tochal summit ( this route is mainly a dirt road and is 17 km long )
  • Darakeh – Palangchal hut – station 5 – station 7 – Tochal summit

Note: Conquering Tochal peak is also possible through the northern foothills and Shekarab and Shahrestanak; however, this route is rarely used.

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The beginning of Darabad peak route

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The last few steps of the peak

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The path leading to Shirpala shelter

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The route of the Tochal peak in winter

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Safe path near Shirpala shelter

Best Tochal trekking routes in Tehran

Dar Abad peak route: Located northeast of Shemiran region, the route leading up to Dar Abad peak is one of the best trekking routes in Tehran. Dar Abad peak is 1750 m high and has a magnificent valley stretching for 2600 m towards the north and northwest. The springs on this route have created several beautiful waterfalls and lakes. To conquer Tochal summit through this route the mountaineers will have to conquer Dar Abad summit first which can be a separate trekking tour. A part of the rest of the route going up to Tochal summit resembles a blade known as Dar Abad blade. Passing through this part of the route requires great mountain climbing skills and proper planning, especially during winter when Dar Abad blade is covered by snow.

Kolakchal peak route: Kolakchal route is another popular trekking route in Tehran. Located north of Tehran, this route attracts many mountain climbers with its beautiful scenery and is a great choice for ecotourism on weekends. Kolackchal trekking route begins at Jamshidieh Park and reaches Kolckchal camp (2600 m). Trekking up to the camp takes approximately 2 hours and the route has a gentle slope. Despite being among the least dangerous trekking routes in Iran, it’s recommended to use mountain climbing equipment during winter. Passing by the camp, the route continues to the northwest, passes by Gorz Dareh mountain pass, and finally reaches Kolakchal summit (3340 m) from the northeastern ridge. The route also reaches Shirpala hut from the west side. It’s possible to conquer Tochal summit afterward by conquering the Pirazchal peak and then heading west on the arête.

Darband to Tochal peak route: Darband is one of the most popular trekking routes in Tehran. This region is 1800 m above sea level and this route passes SHirpala hut, Pas-E Qaleh, and Amiri Shelter. Although there may be some dangers on the way, the Darband route is the shortest and most commonly used path to Tochal summit. A part of the area near Shirpala hut is extremely steep and covered in rocks, forcing the mountaineering federation to install metal stairs and ropes. In addition, trekking on this route is rather difficult during winter as the ground is frozen in the lower parts, the holes on the ground get filled with snow and the ridge leading up to the summit is extremely windy.

Velenjak (Tochal Telecabin) to Tochal peak: Velenjak trekking route is one of the oldest and most appealing trekking routes in Tehran and is very popular among mountain climbers. This route begins at the end of Velenjak Street next to the parking lot of Tochal complex. It is an asphalt road up to the first station of Tochal Telecabin (cable car) and turns into a spiral dirt road with a gentle steep up to station 2 ( taking 1 hour). There are no facilities on the part of the route leading up to station 5 from station 2. Similar to any other trekking route, Velenjak trekking route may have a few risks during winter including the risk of avalanche in some parts. However, the existence of Tochal Telecabin (cable car), a dirt road leading up to the summit, and facilities on the way have made this route one of the safest in Iran. Several restaurants, cafes, and the food court in Bam- e Tehran, a ski resort near station 7, and a parking lot at the main entrance of Tochal complex are some of the facilities available on this route.

Darake to Palangchal route: Darake route is another one of the popular trekking routes in Iran. Darake region is 2550 m above sea level and the route goes through the stunning Palangchal valley and passes by a river. It’s also possible to get to Tochal peak by getting to Palangchal hut and then go on until station 5 in Mount Tochal. It’s best to only trek up to Azghalchal during winter as the rest of the route may hold risks such as avalanche. Note that Darakeh gets very crowded on weekends and national holidays due to the traditional restaurants located at the beginning of the route.

Many mountain climbers trek up to station 7 hoping they can descend by Tochal Telecabin (cable car); however, it’s important to note that the cable car line closes when the weather is unstable. In addition, the cable car line is only open until 3 pm during winter, and skiers are considered a priority except in case of emergencies.

The aforementioned routes are the most common Tehran trekking routes; however, there are other trekking routes in Tehran that may be dangerous.

Descending routes from Tochal peak

  • Tochal telecabin: Descending by cable car is the best and fastest way to descend from Tochal peak. After a short trek down to station 7 from the peak, mountain climbers will be able to descend to Velenjak (Bam- e Tehran) by cable car. Note that this is not recommended for stormy and foggy weather.
  • Descending to Amiri shelter then to Shirpala hut and Sarband square
  • Descending to Amiri shelter then to Osoun valley and Sarband square

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Safe path near Shirpala shelter

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The last few steps to Shirpala shelter

Tochal Trekking Routes Mount Tochal tehran iran mountain trekking tour iran travel guide attractions things to do destinations Cheetah adventures Amiri shelter (Siahsang)

Amiri Shelter

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Darband Square, Climber statue

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The route between station 2 to station 5 of Tochal cable car

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At the beginning of the Tochal route, the roof of Tehran (Bame Tehran)

Mount Tochal Shelters and huts

The most well-known huts and shelters available in Tochal region are the following:

  • Dar Abad shelter located on Dar Abad peak (3202 m)
  • Kolakchal camp is located at 2600 meters of elevation halfway through the route to Kolakchal peak (3350m).
  • Shervin or Spilet Shelter (2450 m) located in Band-e Yakhchal region and below Shervin wall
  • Shirpala hut (2750 m) located on Darband route, one of the most common Tochal trekking routes. This hut has 3 levels and includes toilets, rooms, a dining room, and a balcony. It was built north of Abshar Dogholu(Dogholu waterfall) and near the Pas-e Qaleh region. Shirpala hut belongs to the Iranian Mountaineering Federation.
  • Tochal peak (Qoleh) shelter (3962) located on Tochal summit. This aluminum shelter has an interesting and special design to protect mountain climbers during storms and emergencies.
  • Amiri shelter (Siahsang) is located at 3450 m of elevation on Darband route.  Located on the main ridge of Mount Tochal, this stone-made was built in memory of a deceased mountain climber named Ali Amiri. Amiri shelter doesn’t have any facilities. 
  • Osoun Hotel (2300 m) located on Osoun-Darband route.
  • Station 5 of Tochal Telecabin (3000 m) which is a grand complex including a restaurant and other facilities. 
  • Speed Shelter (2960 m) located south of Tochal peak and east of station 5. This Shelter is one of the oldest mountain climbing shelters in Iran. 
  • Palangchal hut (2550m) located on Darakeh route.
  • Hotel Tochal
  • Station 2 of Tochal telecabin

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Tochal peak (Qoleh) shelter (3962) located on Tochal summit

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Station 5 of Tochal Telecabin (3000 m)

Speed Shelter Mount Tochal tehran iran mountain trekking tour iran travel guide attractions things to do destinations Cheetah adventures

Speed Shelter (2960 m)

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Shervin or Spilet Shelter (2450 m)

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Osoun Hotel (2300 m)

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Dar Abad shelter located on Dar Abad peak (3202 m)

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Hotel Tochal

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Palangchal hut (2550m)

Kolakchal camp Mount Tochal tehran iran mountain trekking tour iran travel guide attractions things to do destinations Cheetah adventures

Kolakchal camp is located at 2600 meters

Shirpala hut Mount Tochal tehran iran mountain trekking tour iran travel guide attractions things to do destinations Cheetah adventures

Shirpala hut (2750 m) located on Darband route

Amiri shelter (Siahsang) Mount Tochal tehran iran mountain trekking tour iran travel guide attractions things to do destinations Cheetah adventures

Amiri shelter (Siahsang) is located at 3450 m

Peaks in Tochal Arete

Tochal arête is located south of the central Alborz mountain range and on the east to the west ridge. It reaches west Leson, East Leson (Piazchal), band-e Larkor, Siah Band, Shahrbanoo Koshak, Chanbare Band and Dar Abad peaks on the east and Humand-e Tochal, Humand-e Shahneshin, Shahneshin, Si-o-Se Cham, Bazarak, Nodeshtak, Lavarak, Se Sang, and Menar peaks on the west. Tochal arête ends at Mowrud village located 35 km on Chalus road in Pol- E Khab region.

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View of Damavand from near the peak of Tochal

Best time for Tochal trekking

Mount Tochal is almost always suitable for trekking and days when no mountain climber can be seen on the peak are few. Proximity to Tehran, simplicity of the route, and the existence of shelters and huts are some of the reasons for its popularity.

During summer (mid-June to September) the weather in Mount Tochal is extremely stable and anyone with normal physical abilities can conquer Tochal Peak. During this time days are rather long and the weather is mostly sunny or cloudy.

During fall and spring trekking in Tochal is mostly safe except when there is heavy rain in the foothills and snow at high altitudes. The mountain climbers shall conquer the Tochal peak safely given that they have suitable clothing and take the common routes.

During winter and early in the spring the weather in Tochal is snowy and cold and trekking requires winter equipment. It’s best to be accompanied by a professional mountain guide when trekking during winter. Strong winds are the main problem when trekking in Tochal during winter, as they cause snow bits to hit the face thus decreasing eyesight and real feel temperature.

Mount Tochal weather forecast

It’s recommended to check the weather conditions at Tochal Peak before winter treks. You can find the weather forecast of Mount Tochal for the next 6 days in this link.

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Foggy view of Tehran from the heights of the Tochal

Mount Tochal Wildlife

Flora

The plant life of Mount Tochal is very diverse. Many plants growing in central Alborz and other mountains in the north of Tehran can also be found in Tochal. Some of the most important ones are medlars, wild almonds, wild apples, hawthorns plums, barberries, raspberries, wild garlic, wild leeks, thymes, rhubarbs, ziziphora, spear thistles, and mushrooms.

Fauna

The number of animal species living in Mount Tochal and its surrounding area has reduced over the years due to illegal hunting and swarming of tourists. In addition, some of the remaining species are endangered. Animals such as rams, ewes, foxes, rabbits, and wolves and birds such as Eurasian eagle-owls and Caspian snowcocks are now rarely seen in the area. 

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A kind of mountain plant

Attractions and things to do near Mount Tochal

In addition to trekking and skiing, Tochal complex has other exciting experiences to offer visitors. Most of these activities such as zip line, paintball, archery, bungee jumping, Tochal mechanical sledge (like a roller coaster), rock climbing and a 4D cinema and many restaurants and cafes are available at Tochal Complex, near Tochal telecabin. Those interested in rock climbing in nature have the opportunity to experience this exhilarating activity in a beautiful region known as Band-e Yakhchal. To reach this region the mountain climbers will have to take the route from Darband to Tochal peak and turn right on the crossroads after pas-E Qaleh. The route reaches a plain at the foot of Shervin (Band-e Yakhchal) big wall and passes by restaurants, verdurous regions, and a spring. Band-e Yakhchal is filled with rocks of all sizes, allowing rock climbers to enjoy different types of rock climbing such as boulder rock climbing and using ropes. Local rock climbers have named some of the suitable rocks in this region such as Kolahak, Maryam, Albert, and Chakmeh. The rocks in this region have different levels of difficulty, allowing both professional and amateur rock climbers to enjoy this exciting sport. Band-e Yakhchal is the location of almost all mountaineering courses held by the mountaineering federation, making it a mountain climbing school in nature.

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Tochal complex, restaurants, and cafes

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Tochal complex, zip line

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Tochal complex Tochal mechanical sledge

Tochal complex, Tochal mechanical sledge’s line

Band-e Yakhchal Mount Tochal tehran iran mountain trekking tour iran travel guide attractions things to do destinations Cheetah adventures

Band-e Yakhchal, rock climbing area

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Darband restaurants

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