From Peaks to Podium
Located 60 km northeast of Tehran in the Elburz Mountains, Shemshak is a popular and well-frequented ski resort among locals and tourists alike. Shemshak sits at an elevation ranging from 2550 to 3050 meters. Another ski resort named Dizin, established in 1969, is situated 10 km away from Shemshak. The mountains around Dizin reach heights of up to 3600 meters, making it the largest ski area in Iran. The ski season in Dizin runs from late November to early April, featuring ski competitions annually. During the summer months, skiers can traverse not only on snow but also on grass.
While tourists typically visit Shemshak for skiing mostly on weekends, locals have the opportunity to enjoy the ski resort almost every day during the winter season. Local children, like Sahel, a 9-year-old girl living in a small family house right by the ski slope with her parents, start learning to ski at the early age of 3-4 years. In contrast to her sister Sogand, Sahel spends every free moment on the slopes.
Sahel learned to ski at the age of 3 from her grandmother. Sahel’s family not only lives by the ski slope but also makes a living from it. Her mother, grandmother, and uncle are ski instructors, and her grandfather runs a ski rental. These conditions provide an ideal environment for learning to ski. This year, Sahel is preparing for her first competition. Her uncle trains her as often as time and school permit. Her school, located near the ski slope, starts at 8 am and ends at 1 pm. She dreams of becoming a math and ski teacher in the future. During the peak ski season, homework is often done in the evening, as she can’t wait to put on her ski suit and hit the slopes, especially this year with the upcoming competition. The intensive preparation pays off, as Sahel secures the third place in her first official competition and later clinches the first place in a subsequent competition.
23. März 2017