26-Sep-2014 -- This is the 5th out of 12 confluence reports, reaching 10 and attempting 2 confluence points in Iran and Turkmenistan. The story starts at 36°N 51°E and continues from 36°N 50°E.
After visiting the sites in the city Qazvīn (120 km from CP), we started our approach to this Confluence at noon time. We knew that this point would not be an easy one with its location in the rough terrain of the Alborz Mountains. In the town Manjīl (44 km) we left the main road to the Caspian Sea and headed further to the town Āb Bar (9 km), which sits right at the foothills of the Elbrus Mountains in a fertile valley.
Shortly before reaching Āb Bar (آب بر), we turned into a dusty side road that serpentines up into the mountains. After some turns, the
view into the valley becomes spectacular.
It took another hour until we reached our final parking position at a distance of 1.6 km. Such distance doesn’t sound as a lot, but when you see the terrain, it looks impossible to traverse. There is an extremely steep valley in-between. For Elionora it was out of question to do this hike. So she waited in the car at this very nice place with great views, while I was going to make an attempt.
It was a challenging hike. The trick is to avoid too steep grades and dense thorny vegetation. Going down turned out to be more difficult due to loose rocks that give no friction on the grades such that I almost slid down. Down at the bottom I crossed a little stream and then began a climb of 400 m upwards. I made a mistake by not following the valley a bit, instead I climbed first upwards and then faced the problem of traversing several steep side canyons.
After a little more than one hour I had reached the confluence point – a really great spot! There is a magnificent view into the valley and beyond to several mountains. The slope at the Confluence is relatively mild compared to the otherwise steep terrain. There are fig trees, pine trees, and scattered bushes.
I ran back a smarter route by first going down into the valley bottom, then following the valley quite a while before climbing up to our car. We drove back to Manjīl (منجیل) and then we took the motorway to the Caspian Sea, staying at the harbour town Bandar-e Anzalī (بندرانزلی).
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to a road: 1.5 km
- Distance to a track: 1.5 km
- Distance of car parking: 1.64 km
- Time to the CP from the road: 70 minutes
- Time at the CP: 3:00 PM
- Measured height: 1585 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy: 6 m
- Topography: steep mountain terrain, on a slope half way up between valley and mountain chain
- Vegetation: fig trees, pine trees, scattered bushes, and grass.
- Weather: sunny, 27° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Fig Canyon Confluence
The story continues at 37°N 50°E.