The history of canyoneering in Iran

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Entrance to the arduous canyons from years ago with different aims such as military use, or access to the sources of water and food…. has been done in a variety of forms. For instance, in some impenetrable castles, these canyons were used to take water or for a way to escape or pass. Among these : We can refer to castle of Malek Bahman in Shahandasht, Alamoot castle in Gazar khan and Qale Dokhtar in Mianeh.

During many years, various individuals with varied aims such as sense of adventure or searching treasure by multiple ways have been entered to these arduous canyons.

The history of entering technical and vertical canyons with technical work and accessibility by rope in 1953 was started at the same time of the construction of Karaj dam (Amir Kabir) and placing of parachutist squadron and Javidan guard of military in that place. Takavaran canyon in the area of their(their refers to Javidan guard of military) deployment was opened by Javidan guard of military. The canyon has four waterfalls that just three months of the year it has running water. Now, it is the place of practice for Takavaran brigade 65 of Noohd military. In the continuation of attempts to explore and enter the canyons, for the first time two military persons by the names of Mr. Vaziri (Vaziri nejad) and Mr. Mortazavi take action to explore Andersom canyon (Tane dar) in Chahar bagh district of mazandaran, which at the end, after the second descent, they had to get out from the canyon. In Tir of 1983 a group of two persons under the supervision of the late Reza Aghmashe and Hosein Samie succeed to open this canyon.

(year 1984, Andersom canyon. From right side Mahmoud Hashemian, Reza Aghmashe, Hosein Samie).

In the year 1994, the group of Darab gard under the supervision of Mr. Abdolmohammadi starts to open the Raghaz canyon in the province of Shiraz. In year 2001, the group of Tehran’s House of Mountaineers (khane koohnavardan) commenced to open the Camjole canyon in the district of Siah Bishe in Mazandaran. In 80s decade, many canyons were opened and every year with exploration and detection of new ways, this field of sport was growing more.
In Mordad of 2005 the greatest tragedy of canyoneering and mountaineering in Iran happened. A group of 11 from Ghazvin’s family and nature club in “Andersom” canyon in Chalous road were entangled with accident because of the outbreak of flood and all of them perished.

After that, in Mehr of 2009 the course of searching and rescuing canyon was held by the U.S search and rescue organization and hosted by Tehran’s Damavand club under the instruction of Majid Sabet zadeh in Shahandasht.

Until the end of 80s, canyoneering in Iran was performed according to the knowledge of rock-climbing with the same techniques and ropes. In this time, some groups did more specialized activities in canyoneering and tried to update canyoneering and have more exploration.


In spring of 1390, the first civil congress of canyoneering was held in Neishabour and in the summer of the same year, the second congress was held in Karaj. The accomplishment of these congresses was the necessity of training the current knowledge of canyoneering, which in this direction, the official course of canyoneering was held in fall of 12013 by the academy of America’s canyoneering (ACA), hosted by Esfahan’s delegation of mountaineering and Arad’s mountaineering group under the observation of Mr. Richard Carlson.

These trainings including two different courses of the Art of Canyoneering and Canyon Rescue technician was held in 15 days.

In summer of 2013 the third civil canyoneering congress was held in federation station of Polur. And in winter of the same year, the first joint maneuver of rescue in canyon was run by Red Crescent and ACA course participants. Canyoneering section was for the first time launched in mountaineering federation and sport ascents of Islamic Republic of Iran in 2013. At the present time in Iran , Tang Elit in Chalous road of Mazandaran with the degree of 3C4XIII is the hardest canyon of Iran which was opened by Arad’s mountaineering group in 2013. Large amounts of water in this canyon caused rocks to become slippery ,damaged and hard and created dangerous flows of water. Water’s whiteness and froth on it also has caused lack of proper eyesight under water and in basins.

The world’s greatest exploration and survey of canyoneering is in Chamje khola canyon. This canyon is between the summit of Annapurna (8091m) and the summit of Manaslu ( 8163m) in Nepal. It has 7 kilometers length and 2300 meter descent in height. In 2011, the exploration of canyon by the supervision
of Rodolophe Sturm through a group of French- Nepalese was finished. The degree of its canyoneering , in the system of European grading is v7.a7.VI.

Production and compilation: Amir Jelvani, Hosein Alvandi, Hamid Heidari.

Translator: Melika Khalili

Source: the project of the course of elementary training of canyoneering. Esfand’s edition of 93.

مجموعه دره و دره نوردی ایران با هدف گسترش دانش فنی و ارتقا سطح علمی ورزش دره نوردی با همکاری فدراسیون دره نوردی ایران با تلاش متخصصان این رشته فعالیت خود را در سال 1385 آغاز نموده است .

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