Video: Unicycling on Mount Damavand in Iran

Jan 15, 2015 at 12:49
Jan 15, 2015
by Sebastian Doerk  
 
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Views: 20,928    Faves: 52    Comments: 23


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?

Getting used to the altitude at Mount Damavand Base Camp

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.

Getting used to the height

Finally. 5671m Pic by Mohammad Hajabolfath

Summit Plateau Pic by Mohammad Hajabolfath

Summit Plateau


Sulfur fume doesn t really help getting up there Pic by Mohammad Hajabolfath

Sulfur fume doesn't really help getting up there


Riding high Pic by Mohammad Hajabolfath

More info about Lutz here.

Huge thanks to Mohammad Hajabolfath, Johannes Schnebele and Fabian Schroer
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97 Comments

  • + 52
 He does look very happy on just one wheel. For me two wheels is double the pleasure, but i have big respect for what this guy does and enjoy seeing his passion!
  • + 8
 Why not i say.
  • + 25
 Don't care how many wheels. Great video. I think its awesome when people challenge themselves to ride really badass technical lines.
  • + 2
 Unless it's no wheels @konarider112
  • - 7
flag MrAroth (Jan 17, 2015 at 21:27) (Below Threshold)
 first its 29ers... then fatbikes.... now unicycles??? come on.
  • + 1
 I'm a 2 wheeler rider myself. I kind of look at the unicycle as more of a handicap rather than an extension of myself, which is how I see a 2 wheeler. No disrespect. This guy's doing amazing things and seeing beautiful places. He's enjoying himself and harming nobody. Keep it up!
  • + 2
 IIve ridden unicycles before and from experince its hard to go downhill. I can barley go down my driveway so going down this must be insane . This guy deserves a lot of credit. Cheers
  • + 34
 Two wheels...One wheel...No wheel. Meet soon some man madly running just by legs down the mountain with the full helmet on his head.
  • + 8
 yeah... this looks like it'd be more enjoyable on 2 wheels. but if this is what he likes to do then... i guess??
  • + 8
 That might be me.
  • + 7
 isn't there already downhill running? we should all give it a try!
  • + 16
 Just to nit-pick: The nice star movement scene is running backwards. Unless they moved the mountain to the southern hemisphere, you'll never see stars move from right to left in an arc like that. (Yes, I know. Clearly, I have no life.)
  • + 3
 If they're going right to left just turn around and, what do you know, now they're going left to right!
  • + 6
 But they won't be going in that arc that you see. Instead, looking north, they will be circling Polaris in a counter clockwise direction at a rate of 15 degrees per hour. (And yes, this is further proof of my lack of a real life. Being a science geek can be so lonely especially when I venture into pedantic obnoxiousness.) This otherwise gorgeous sequence is the visual equivalent of playing a record backwards. It is naked-eye astronomical finger nails on a blackboard. (Great... now I have dated myself. Twice. I am an OLD scientific geezer with no life. Sheesh!)
  • + 1
 Haha thanks for pointing that out, it's a filmmakers thing, we don't give a damn about science Wink Well spotted anyway...
  • + 17
 Would love to see a full documentary on the whole trip. Is one being made? Iran is at the top of my list to visit!
  • + 11
 the FBI is now officially watching you Wink
  • + 3
 Here in Canada we don't care if the FBI is watching. we say and do what we want. despite many countries claiming to be free, we actually are.
  • + 4
 And Iran looks like a beautiful country, I know many Iranians and none of them are extremists or jihadists or whatever it is the government of the United States of CNN might have you think they are.
  • + 2
 Sorry Rover but we're not "actually" free & we don't say & do what we want. We say & do what the Muhricvnts want. Canada ceased being consistently ranked the #1 country in the world to live in as soon as Dubya took office in 2001. The US threatened trade sanctions when we were going to legalize weed. A neighbor of mine has had his farm expropriated for the sake of an air base expansion that Canada does not need. Who needs/wants it? The Muhricvnts do. They say "jump" & we don't even ask "how high?", we just start jumping because the last thing we want is to be on the wrong side of those sneaky, vindictive, religious, genocidal military maniacs. Yeah we have all the right ingredients to be the best & if not outnumbered 10:1 we probably would be the best still. Defy them & the next jumbo jet "attack on the US" will be with a plane "hijacked" by Canadian "terrorists". Even their greedy entertainment media industry has their corrupt hands all over everyone else's business, even going so far as to try to police the entire internets to the point of killing someone (Aaron Swartz) when he tried to protest in favor of freedom. :s We try, but totally free, from a policy point of view, no we sure as shit are not.
  • + 6
 How could you possibly question the greatness of the American Government? They make dictators and then kill them some years later. They fund ISIS when it fights in Syria and denounce it in Iraq. They poke bears and then wonder why they get bit. Some may say only a foolish man would poke a bear, well, they are probably right...
  • + 0
 Dont worry ff, Stephen will get his ass kicked out soon enough. if he doesnt get assasinated first!
  • + 12
 Huck almighty @ 32 secs, i wanna see the landing
  • + 2
 Fvck me word up!!! WTF was all the rest of that shit supposed to matter after seeing that?!!! Where the fvck do I get the landing to that sumbitch?
  • + 1
 @scottwilton, nice one, but how is that even possible? nah, it's not right !!
  • + 12
 Now that is skill and dedication!! Respect fella
  • + 8
 WTF did I just watch ??

okay serious man, you WIN!! you are the best unicycler ever. Salute
  • + 4
 One wheel is pretty amazing with no suspension. Can you imagine the amount of strength and stamina that guy has to have to maintain that kind of control the whole time.
  • + 6
 You gotta be hardcore to enjoy riding unicycle down such mountain.
  • + 5
 this guy has got pure talent there is no other way of explaining it...sick video
  • + 4
 Welcome to Iran my friend Lutz. I hope you had good cycling in our country.!(-:
  • + 4
 never thought i'd ever use the words persian and unicycling in one sentence.
  • + 2
 That's probably why we went there Wink
  • + 1
 My answer to the proposed question is NO I do not have the balls to unicycle....my question is regarding the opening monologue where he says this is the most challenging whatever of his unicycling career...unicycling is a career option?
  • + 4
 It's an unioption.
  • + 2
 Who'd have thought mountain biking is a career option?
  • + 3
 Why is he not juggling flaming bowling pins at the same time. Barnum & Bailey's circus would be disappointed.
  • + 3
 Just looks like they are riding around holding on to their rocks! Like they need the toilet really badly!
  • + 1
 Always think it's hilarious to watch them pedal their ass off when speed picks up, but i guess a free wheel hub doesn't really work when going slower. At least it's easy to carry!
  • + 2
 I'm surprised no one's come up with some sort of clutch system for uni hubs.Just a little leaver under the seat. I'm a carpenter, so i can say with authority, it should be simple.
  • + 1
 Freewheeling hubs have been made for unis but they are incredibly difficult to ride!
  • + 1
 thats great carpenter boy, make us on out of wood. it will be simple.
I make airplane parts all day long out of titanium and aluminium and precipitation hardened stainless steel. It would be a rather daunting task to make it light and reliable. Ever ridden Trials and had a chain snap or freehub explode? I have a permanently f*cked up roight kneecap that would like to tell you about the importance of driveline parts not failing during big moves.
  • + 1
 Don't worry, someone will come along shortly and explain sarcasm to you
  • + 1
 Well, awesome on the one wheel!! I have a unicycle , had it since I was 14 , pull it out of storage in the summer when I've downed a few whiskeys, not the best time to ride, but it's amazing how muscle memory works. ,!
  • + 3
 Super cool video, looks like quite the adventure. I was just waiting for an adidas logo to pop up, haha.
  • + 1
 Wow, can't imagine one getting much better at this than this fella, but wouldn't it be easier to have a fatbike tyre on such a trip?
Lack of size or what?
  • + 3
 or at least an enduro unicycle.
  • + 1
 The sidewall on most fat tires are not stiff enough on a unicycle. Also they have too much bounce which throws you off balance. You want some suspension/shock absorption in the tire but not bounce.
  • + 0
 Gotta love all the haters who didnt enjoy this for what it is just because it wasnt a "Banging" DJ/enduro edit. yet most of these haters rarely ride anything other than their keyboards!
  • + 2
 good luck brother.

ایران بهترین کشور برای ورزش است
  • + 2
 i thought I was bad ass being a dh mtber... this is just next level bruuuuh
  • + 2
 Put on the benny hill film song whilst watching this, its 10x better. But respect for the unincycling bro.
  • + 3
 1 wheel 1 planet
  • + 2
 Awesome video and riding. Much respect.
  • + 2
 Awesome video and very good job! Congratulations man!
  • + 2
 Just awesome riding!!!!!
  • + 1
 Anyone know what car that wagon is?
  • + 4
 Its a type Jeep Cherokee Wagoneer from 1960s called Ahoo in Iran, still working in pefect shape.
It was from the time that America was proud and were making things to work forever; not for a while like what P.R.C is making now. Wink
  • + 1
 gotta love the plastic disposable crap the pass off as a "Modern Automobile" these days. My 1987 LandRover makes most new 4x4s look like childrens toys. I have driven a few old Wagoneers that would still be around if it werent for road salt and rampant consumerism driving the desire for planned obsolescence of the new car.
  • + 1
 super sick, but i wonder if he's ever gonna have kids...
  • + 1
 Wow, amazing, but I prefer two wheels...
  • + 1
 what is the wheel size? Razz
  • + 1
 24 inch
  • + 1
 Looks like balls get smashed each jump
  • + 2
 Tat ist genial!
  • + 1
 Thats mad! props to him but an avid break?!
  • + 1
 He doesn't need nearly as much braking power as a mtb. He doesn't go as fast as mtb's because he has his maximum spinning speed. And also his legs already provide for a lot of braking power, so the disc is just a bit extra for comfort and to take some stress off his legs.
  • + 2
 i was only joking but you make good points
  • + 2
 hahaha,

Avid Breaks, are awesome

Disclaimer: not as awesome as using you legs, and using the break only to hear the comforting sounds of wild turkey calls. Smile
  • + 1
 he should totally switch to 1 x 11....its the "enduro thing"
  • + 1
 "Hilarious joke here"
  • - 1
 What's the hardest part about unicycling?????



pedaling with rollerblades on.
  • + 0
 who farted?

sulphur plume.

sulphur plume who?
  • + 1
 Ha ha loony!!!!!
  • + 0
 Two wheels yeah pinkbike!!! Come on.
  • + 0
 this is way better then the garbage "drift" video
  • + 0
 He had have nutted himself off that first drop
  • + 0
 looks like a session
  • + 0
 Just........no
  • - 3
 unicycling - ghey
  • - 2
 cocks not rocks
  • - 3
 Doesn't uni-cycling have their own page?
  • - 3
 Yer a goof!
Get a f@cking life.....it's got a wheel doesn't it?
Therefor it's considered a bike!
And......that would be why its on...
PINKBIKE!
  • + 3
 Bike-short for bi-cycle meaning two wheels - so who is the goof now?
  • + 3
 No it's not a bike. Bike is short for bicycle, bi (from Latin origin) is referring to the two wheels. This has one wheel, uni (also Latin) refers to one wheel, unicycle.

It's on pinkbike because it's cycling related awesomeness.
  • - 1
 and his balls disappear.
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