Climbers die in blizzards and avalanche in Iran

Rescuers in the Alborz mountain range, Iran. Photo: 26 December 2020
Rescuers have so far managed to save 14 climbers

At least 10 climbers in Iran have died in mountains north of Tehran in an avalanche and blizzards, officials say.

The Alborz mountain range that towers over the capital city is popular with climbers and skiers but the past few days have seen treacherous weather. The Red Crescent has deployed 20 teams who have rescued 14 climbers – but at least seven others are missing, the search operation had to be halted at nightfall, and is now expected to resume on Sunday morning. Among those who died are a political activist, an academic, a doctor and a mountaineering instructor.

Alborz mountains. File photo
The Alborz mountain range stretches from the border of Azerbaijan along the coast of the Caspian Sea

At one point on Friday, about 100 people were stranded high up at a ski resort when the cable car broke down, there had been earlier warnings of bad weather and possible avalanches. On social media, some people reported malfunctions to GPS systems, which climbers rely on in the mountains, but it is unclear if those caught up in the blizzards and avalanche were affected.

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