Adventure | Unicycling at the “Axis of Evil” at 5671 m Altitude
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 of the summit of Mount Damavand is bigger than from Mount Everest to it’s Valley…
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 it’s 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.
Our little expedition lost their 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 cameramen two suffered from altitude sickness. Sometimes working from 9 to 5 in a protected office has it’s appeal… But you can’t have an adventure without it being just a little bit dangerous, i guess.
After three years of planning and over 10 years of extreme unicycling Lutz Eichholz succeeds in the
unicycle descent of the 5671m high Damavand in Iran. Despite enormous problems with the high
attitude, injuries in the team and weather fluctuations between 40° and -7° celsius Lutz Eichholz
succeded in the record breaking mountain descent.
Never before has a unicyclist attempted to
descend such a high mountain. “At some points I felt so bad that I thought I would have to give up.
However, this project is so important to me that I managed to push my limits further than expected.”
Here are some impressions of the climb and the breathtaking downhill on a unicycle.
Pictures: Mohammad Hajabolfath, Johannes Schnebele and Sebastian Doerk.
Video: Sebastian Doerk, Johannes Schnebele and Fabian Schroer.
More Info about Lutz and the project: lutzeichholz.de/about-me/