Fabian Lentsch, an Austrian freeskier, is not unfamiliar with the unknown.
He has traveled all over the globe in search of powder, from the pristine Alps pistes to the unique peaks of Georgia.
His most recent adventure may be his best. The professional skier was tired of spending weeks here and there and decided to make Tehran his home. It is the capital of Iran and “one the most underrated ski areas in the world”.
Lentsch, who grew-up skiing in the Alps near Innsbruck, says: “This time I really wanted my role as a visitor to be lost.”
“I realized that I didn’t have enough time after all the trips. It was too short. It was too short. So I made the decision to stay for one year and be fully committed.
It involved learning Farsi, as well as familiarizing himself with the nuances and cultures of Iran.
Lentsch says that Tehran is Iran’s skiing capital and there are four top-quality ski resorts within an hour of Tehran.
Tochal is also available in the northern outskirts, which climbs 3,800m to reach an alpine ski area. You wouldn’t expect such easy access in a megacity.
Iran has a total of 87 kms of ski trails and 66 lifts.
Iran has a total of 87 kms of ski trails and 66 lifts. But it is Iran’s unspoiled powder skiing that has been attracting the most people. Unlike the Alps, where powder is bought like gold dust, Iranian ski touring is practically endless with as many unspoiled descends that can be imagined.
“I have stopped counting how many people asked me why Iran?” Lentsch continues, “Why not Iran?”
“In the end it was the culture, the landscape and warm-hearted people who fascinated me from the beginning.” I learned from this experience that we are all human beings with the same fears, joys and experiences. We just grow up in different environments and have different perceptions of the world.