Farnaz Esmaeilzadeh

farfar1 ZANJAN, Iran — In the mountains of northwestern Iran, Farnaz Esmaeilzadeh clings to a sheer rock face, ignoring the dizzying height and icy wind as she searches for the next handhold.The 27-year-old, who has been rock climbing since she was 13, has distinguished herself in international competitions despite the barriers she faces as a female athlete in conservative Iran.Gyms in the Islamic Republic, including the facility where she practices on an artificial climbing wall, have separate and limited hours for women. Rock climbers, like other female athletes, must adhere to the country’s conservative dress code by wearing long, loose garments and covering their hair.