Loss of Limbs Doesn't Deter Mountaineer

Loss of Limbs Doesn't Deter MountaineerLoss of Limbs Doesn't Deter Mountaineer

Iranian mountaineer Sajjad Salarvand, 35, first felt the call of the mountains when he was 24. And during the last 11 years, he has climbed many perilous peaks like Ararat in Turkey.

In 2013, he climbed the legendary Greater Ararat (Turkey's highest peak) at a height of 5,137 meters. He has also led many expeditions to Iran's highest peak, Mount Damavand (5,610 meters).

In March, Salarvand lost both his legs in a road crash on Tehran-Karaj highway. Eight months after the accident, he started climbing again with his prosthetic legs.

Although he is unable to walk fast like before, he slowly maneuvers his way in the mountains, the Persian language newspaper 'Iran' reported.

As a rescue mountaineer and secretary of the mountaineering committee in Dorud County, Lorestan Province (the place of his birth) he has saved many people in Oshtorankuh Mountain located 40 km southeast of the city.    

Oshtorankuh means 'mountain of camels' in Persian. It is so-called because of its eight peaks which are more than 4,000 meters high and look like a caravan of camels.

Although currently he is not working as a rescuer, he still offers training to rescue teams.

"Mountain climbing is not just an adventure, it also teaches you life's lessons as you go on with your life," he said. Climbing mountains has taught me to be patient and resilient in times of difficulties, and maybe that's why I didn’t lose hope even after the loss of my limbs."

He said Iran is among the 15 top countries in the field of mountain climbing.

  Meditative Experience

Azim Gheichisaz is another mountaineer who has reached the highest peaks in the seven countries of Nepal, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. He also holds the record for the highest number of conquered peaks (14 peaks) in the country.

He is the first Iranian mountaineer who has reached the peaks of Kangchenjunga, Annapurna, Makaru and Cho Oyu (all in Nepal), and Shishapangma (China) also called the 'eight-thousander' as they rise more than 8,000 meters.

He has climbed twice Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain at 8,848 meters above sea level.

"Climbing a mountain is a meditative experience, and this is not only because of the beautiful landscape. The activity is similar to meditation because you need to be present in the moment to be successful."

The sport also helps one become kinder and more grateful "as the risks make us understand how fragile and precious life can be."


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