TEHRAN — The first snow of the season fell in Tehran this week, but female ski bums planning to carve fresh lines at one of the three resorts in the Alborz mountain range will be able to hit the slopes only if they are accompanied by a male guardian.
A police circular, reported Thursday on the pro-government Etedaal Web site, states that women and girls are no longer allowed to ski in the absence of a husband, father or brother.
The mandate of Iran’s morality police is currently being broadened by hard-liners attempting to roll back reforms enacted under former president Mohammad Khatami. The current government says the reforms led to a lack of observance of religious dress codes, among other things.
Iran’s ski resorts became something of a haven from the Islamic dress code — and from laws against boys and girls mixing. Young people would mix and meet on the mountains, while some women would ski without their head scarves in the resorts of Dizin and Shemshak, known for their abundance of fresh powder.
Monitoring the miles-long slopes proved difficult for the morality police. Unfamiliar with skiing, officers were often unable to pursue the affluent young of northern Tehran, with their greater experience on the slopes. It is unclear whether the police will do any better trying to check the relationships of those heading out to the popular resorts now.
Here’s a video of young Iranians talking about their love of skiing: