Ski Iran

The idea of skiing in Iran may seem a contradiction given the country’s international reputation as a regime not keen on decadent Western leisure concepts and also geographically as a hot, oil rich desert nation.

Dig below these stereotypes however and you find a nation which is keen to ski, particularly its wealthier citizens (as in most nations) and geographically with high mountains that have allowed the country to build some of the world’s highest ski lifts and slopes in its high Alborz mountains.

Iran is also blessed with up to seven metres (21 feet) of light, dry powder snow each winter and conditions between snowfalls are generally sunny.

Indeed Iran has at least 25 ski areas – more now than ever before, several of them among the world’s 20 highest in terms of their top lift heights. An extremely mountainous country, Iran has over a million square kilometres of highland terrain.

However skiing did exist in the country for nearly 50 years before the Islamic Revolution, reportedly introduced by German railway engineers working on contracts in the country in the early 1930s.

Tochal is one of Iran’s best known ski areas with a base not far from the capital Tehran (60km/37 miles) away and rising to include one of the world's highest lifts at around 3850m. An eight kilometre (five mile) long three-stage gondola lift which the Iranians say was the highest and longest in the world when it was built, the Télé Kabiné Tochal, accesses the slopes.

One of Iran’s biggest resorts, Dizin, was created by the Shah in the late 1960s on the French purpose-built resort model of the time. Located a few hours north of Tehran it has nearly 1000m of vertical right up to 3600m and the ubiquitous concrete apartment blocks. It has recently had a complete overhaul of its lifts and offers a very 21st century ski experience now.

The modern history of skiing in Iran is difficult to piece together accurately. It appears that immediately after the Islamic revolution in 1979 skiing was seen as a decadent Western symbol (the fondness of the former Shah for the sport clearly counted against it) and ski areas were closed for up to five years before another take on skiing began to be accepted – that it was an activity of human endeavour to the glory of god and not such a bad thing.

Reports of skiing in Iran through the later 1980s and 1990s talked of a people who loved to ski but where strict Islamic laws meant men and women had to ride on separate chair lifts on gondola cabins and ski on sexually segregated pistes. However Iranian skiers who know their country’s skiing have disputed whether this was ever happened and say it was more likely Western media propaganda.

The most recent reports suggest Iran has been investing in building new lifts, creating new ski areas, that the Iranian people are exceptionally welcoming and hospitable and that while there are certain standards in the relationship between men and women on the slopes which seem conservative in Western society, they are rarely if ever really oppressive or enforced.

In an unusual twist Iran has been a major venue for grass skiing competitions in the summer in recent years – an activity that was briefly popular in Europe in the 1970s and ‘80s it involves descending grassy summer slopes on kind of giant roller blades with mini tank tracks on them.

Iran: latest snow conditions round-up

Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in Iran. Fresh snow is forecast at 11 resorts. Powder is reported at 0 resorts and 0 are reporting good piste conditions.

All resorts

Ski resorts of Iran, alphabetically

snow depth
top and bottom



Last Snow

Next 9 Days
0–3 | 3–6 | 6–9
snow (cm)
Next 5 days weather forecast.
Freezing level (m)
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri

(2399m — 2649m)

clear clear clear clear clear
Mid station 2524 m
4700m 4650m 4700m 4750m 4800m

(3055m — 3195m)

clear clear clear clear clear
Mid station 3125 m
4400m 4250m 4350m 4500m 4400m

(2638m — 3558m)

clear clear clear clear clear
Mid station 3098 m
4650m 4600m 4650m 4700m 4750m

(2649m — 3599m)

clear clear clear clear clear
Mid station 3124 m
4700m 4600m 4700m 4750m 4800m

(4147m — 5671m)

snow report 21 days ago

2 cm
21 days ago
clear clear clear clear clear
Mid station 4909 m
4700m 4600m 4700m 4700m 4750m

(2810m — 3231m)

clear clear clear clear clear
Mid station 3020 m
5250m 5200m 5100m 4950m 5000m

(2915m — 3295m)

clear clear part cloud clear clear
Mid station 3105 m
4450m 4400m 4450m 4350m 4350m

(2374m — 2655m)

clear clear clear clear clear
Mid station 2514 m
5250m 5200m 5100m 4950m 5000m

(2549m — 3049m)

clear clear clear clear clear
Mid station 2799 m
4650m 4600m 4650m 4700m 4750m

(2594m — 2979m)

clear clear clear clear clear
Mid station 2786 m
4700m 4700m 4800m 4850m 4800m

(1771m — 3901m)

clear clear clear clear clear
Mid station 2836 m
4700m 4650m 4700m 4800m 4850m