Some call it THE AXIS OF EVIL, for me it’s the country with the most hospitable people I’ve ever met, Iran. And it hides one of the highest descents on this planet, the altitude difference from the summit of Mount Damavand is greater than from Mount Everest to its Valley…
Would you have the balls to ride there? On a Unicycle?
In the Persian mythology, Zahhāk the dragon guards over Mount Damavand, in real life the Dragon Mountain doesn’t need a guard – the high altitude, slippery volcanic dust and extreme temperature changes are taking their own toll. Even Reinhold Messner had to turn around once and still it’s one of the few very high peaks on earth that can be ridden on one or two wheels from top to bottom. After three years of planning and over 10 years of extreme unicycling, Lutz Eichholz succeeds as the first unicycle descent of the 5671m high Damavand in Iran.
Our little expedition lost members rapidly and like in a relay race the camera was passed on to the remaining members. A broken leg knocked out camera man one (me) and all I could do was explain my gear to the rest of the crew while a bunch of super helpful Iranian hikers were carrying me down the mountain. Sherpas and friends became filmmakers and hidden talent (our mountain guide, Mohammad Hajabolfath) was discovered and promoted to head of photography. The film camera once more shifted hands on the way up when cameraman two suffered from altitude sickness. Sometimes working from 9 to 5 in a protected office has its appeal… But you can’t have an adventure without it being just a little bit dangerous, I guess.