Tochal Ski Slope & the Longest Gondola Ride in Asia:
Out of the three main Iranian ski resorts of Tochal, Dizin and Shemshak, Tochal ski resort is the least developed, offering fewer runs than the others. In its favor, Tochal is the closest ski resort to Tehran and it is possible to catch a cable car to Tochal from the northern suburbs of Tehran, making it popular with daytrip skiers based in Tehran. Four ski lifts are waiting to take to up the slopes from where you disembark from the cable car. At over four miles long, the cable car from Tehran to Tochal is one of the longest and highest in the world. It has a huge vertical climb of 6,036 feet and reaches a height of 12,270 feet. There are seven stations on the cable cars route; Tochal ski resort is at the seventh station. The longest ski run at Tochal ski resort is a long U-shaped slope that goes from the last station to the fifth station. To the north of the seventh station there are two ski slopes served by chairlifts that reach to just below the summit at 12,795feet high. Behind the Tochal Hotel there are another couple of slopes served by T-bars. Due to the altitude, the ski season at Tochal is longer than at most resorts and thanks to the dry atmosphere, the quality of the snow here is good. It is often clear and sunny here, allowing visitors to enjoy spectacular views of the 18,605-foot high extinct volcano, Mount Damavand and the Alborz Mountain range.
- There is no snowboard park at Tochal, but snowboarders are welcome and make up 30 per cent of skiers on the slopes. Facilities at Tochal are limited to one hotel and two restaurants. Many people decide to stay in Tehran, where there is a wider range of accommodation and restaurants. In Tehran there are plenty of alternatives to skiing, including art galleries, museums and places of historical interest. Skiing in Tochal lasts from early December until April and sometimes until June. The easiest way to get here is to fly to Tehran Mehrabad International Airport, from where you can catch a taxi to the cable car to town.
- Transportation to Tochal Tochal ski resort is the closest resort to Tehran. It is situated near the summit of Mount Tochal, the 13,005-foot high mountain that dominates Tehrans skyline and rises up from the northern suburbs of the town. The easiest way to get to Tochal ski resort is to catch the cable car that leaves from Velenjak avenue. At over fourmiles long with seven stations and reaching 3,740feet high with a vertical height of 6,036 feet, this is one of the worlds longest and highest cable cars; it is also one of the cheapest. The easiest way to get to Tochal ski resort is to catch a plane, train or bus to Tehran and then take a taxi to the first cable car station. It is also possible to catch a local bus.
- The resort is only six miles from the city and it is easy to drive to the resort or catch a taxi. The train service in Iran is fairly basic, though most major towns are served by a single track railway. Trains are relatively comfortable and some have sleeping cars. A faster option for travelling around Iran is by coach. Most coaches between main destinations have either heating or air-conditioning. Tehrans international airport receives many flights from major European cities, India, China, Japan and neighbouring Persian Gulf countries among others. The easiest way to get into Tehran from the airport is to catch a taxi, while it is also possible to catch a shuttle bus.