Sabalan, a Heavenly Source (Part II)
The brilliance of the rays of the rising sun on the rocks of Sabalan offers to our eyes a magnificent painting drawn by the hand of the Creator.
Many ponds surround Sabalan and other parts of the region. They work together to create dream habitats for birds, but also for fish farming. Maybe the word "Sabalan" comes from these ponds, being made up of two words "Su-Alan" which means pond. Master Dehkhoda defined "Sabal" as the rain that has left the cloud, but has not yet reached the earth. It is possible that Sabalan takes root in this word so that a celestial aspect is associated with it. In the "Anannderaj" culture, it is said that Sabalan is an imposing high mountain, where many men of God have devoted themselves to prayer and mortification.
After about 4 hours drive, we arrive at the refuge, located at 3500 meters above sea level. From the refuge, we can see the north face of Mount Sabalan and its eternal clouds. To the south, we can see the thick cloud mass that covers the region, and that we contemplate under our feet.
The shelter has four small rooms, each of which can hold about 8 people. There is also a large living room with bunk beds, holding about 100 people. The refuge's water is provided by the snows of the mountain and emergency electricity and telephone are available. There is also a buffet to satisfy the first needs.
Preferring the open air to that of the refuge, many climbers mount their tent, individually or in groups, around the enclosure. It must be said that hygiene is hardly better.
The evenings are lively and everyone is enthusiastic. The different groups of mountaineers from all over the country, and sometimes from abroad, get ready and collect their equipment for climbing the summit. In the refuge, at night, in summer, the temperature can reach 0 degrees. So, it is essential to have warm clothes. Admiring the starry sky, which we have been deprived of for years in the big cities, transports us literally. To save our strength, we must go to bed early; but some have trouble containing their agitation.
At dawn and after prayer, we leave the shelter and continue our ascent through the East Pass. On our right, on the northern flank, are the pastures and the vast plain of Chabil and "Qutur Sui" as well as the slope of "Dareh-Si". On our left, on the southern flank, are the steep and stony slopes of the valleys of Sar'ein and "Alvares" that we see.
The brilliance of the rays of the rising sun on the rocks of Sabalan offers to our eyes a magnificent painting drawn by the hand of the Creator. From the beginning, the steep slope of the trail warns mountaineers that Sabalan is not kidding with beginners and that without a good preparation you can not conquer its summit. Thus, after about an hour's drive, we find mountaineers, pale and exhausted, victims of mountain sickness and lack of oxygen, turn around. The immense cliffs of the mountain, because of the excessive cold of the winter, are broken and carry many cracks. Since their general structure is hollow, it would not be prudent to rely on it or use it as a catch.
During the ascent and descent, the presence of a guide is not necessary because there are many beaten tracks and signs. It is therefore unlikely to get lost. As you gain altitude, the vegetation becomes scarce. So that from 4200 meters, due to the presence of natural glaciers, the persistent snow cover all year long and the air cold and dry, the vegetation disappears.
On Mount Mehrab, at an altitude of 4700 meters, we catch our breath, and after spending 4 hours by winding paths, we arrive at a steep slope, named the glacier "Talckeh Guli". We also leave the glacier behind us. The leader of the group orders us to hold hands and close their eyes and he alone ahead, his eyes open. After several meters, he asks us to open our eyes, and we find ourselves in a dream.
According to a story about the prophet, after reciting a prayer, he told his followers that whoever would recite this prayer would receive from God a reward equal to the snows of Sabalan. As he was asked what Sabalan was, he replied: "It is a mountain between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and at its summit springs a spring from paradise, and within it, it collects a grave that is and from this spring flows an infinitely cold water, and in the neighborhood the springs of water are hot and hot.”
The reflection of the rays of the sun, on the surface of the lake, is a real image that only imagination can contain: rocks of light; a source of the sky whose water evokes the tears of paradise; the extent, the goodness of God; and snow, his infinite mercy. And we, amazed by all these images, prostrate ourselves in thanks, with tears of fervor.
The lake extends over approximately two hectares. Its water is extremely healthy and limpid and no living being lives there. The surface of the lake is covered with snow and ice, most months of the year. But now, in the middle of summer, most of the snow has melted, increasing the volume of the lake. Even though in many cities of our country, people suffocate with a temperature of 40 degrees and more, a cold and pleasant air forces us to cover ourselves by using all our warm clothes.