/ Sinai Desert - Team of climbers needed

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Dave Lucas - on 04 Jun 2013
Yes there is climbing in Egypt and no it is not on the pyramids. 2 hours up from the tropical water of the red sea and the hippy hangout of Dahab are great granite walls hundreds of meters high.

I need a team of 20 climbers to join me in the high mountains of The Sinai Desert this November for 2 weeks. The purpose of this trip is to repeat all the existing routes in the area so as to tidy up a load of very messy route descriptions. These route descriptions will then be included in the first climbing guidebook to the area that is due to be published in September 2014.

There are 108 routes that need to be re climbed. We also have to try and find a couple of routes climbed by E. Comici 4 years after his first ascent of The North Face of Cima Grande. I believe that these are still waiting for second ascents 76 years after the first ascents.

The routes are:
All on granite rock of varying quality.
Vary in length from 120m to 400m
Vary in grade from UIAA III to UIAA VIII.
They are all within a short walk from the village.

The climbers I am looking for are those who are happy to climb in areas without a guidebook. Hopefully climbing E4, but also experienced climbers that know the difference between a Diff and a VDiff.

The link below will direct you to a PDF that shows images of the rock, dates, estimated costs etc.

http://expeditionconsultancy.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/The-Sinai-Desert-guidebook-project.pd...

Please email me if you have any questions regarding this trip.

Many thanks

Dave Lucas

PS UK Climbing have asked me to move this from the standard forum to Premier as their is a link to my business website. I am not running this trip to make profit, but to just get climbers out to help me with a massive task.
Mike Hutton - on 04 Jun 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas:

yes might interested in this.

For others who haven't been

Have been on 2 previous trips to the Sinai and both were excellant adventures.

Nights under the stars, great granite and the Bedouin people are very friendly
MattH - on 04 Jun 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas:

Sounds awesome. November is my Birthday too. Wonder if I can wangle it as a birthday trip. We'll see. Keep me posted Dave.
Dave Lucas - on 04 Jun 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas:

Many people have been emailing me asking about the political stability in the area. The link below is the current FCO advice.

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/egypt

To quote:
"The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the Governorate of South Sinai, with the exception of (i) the Red Sea Resorts including those in the entire region of Sharm el Sheikh, Taba, Nuweiba and Dahab; (ii) the St Catherineís Monastery World Heritage Site; (iii) road travel between the Red Sea resorts; (iv) road travel from the Red Sea resorts to St Catherineís Monastery approaching from the east; and (v) transfers between the resorts and the airports of Taba and Sharm el Sheikh. See South Sinai and Road travel."

The exceptions include the areas where this trip will travel to. Do not hesitate to email me if you still have questions regarding this.

Dave
JonZBentley - on 04 Jun 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas:

I hope to be able to make the return visit - our Spring trip was truly memorable. I'm sure that some new routes might also be on the cards? For example, will you be able to stay away from "The Full Monty" or whatever you are calling the 'main event'?

Like Mike H, I would really recommend the Sinai to anyone who loves adventure, wilderness and granite trad climbing. Go for it!
Stone Muppet - on 04 Jun 2013
Might be keen on this if I can get a climbing partner - will ask around. Anyone viewing who might be interested in pairing up though, drop me a line.
Dave Lucas - on 04 Jun 2013
In reply to JonZBentley:

Jon

I would love to return there if we have time. The lure of such a striking unclimbed line is very tempting. But the primary reason of getting these routes re-climbed so as to get the guidebook done is the more important. Once thats done I am sure we will be bale to new route loads of lines around the village.

Hope you can make it.

Dave

Dave Lucas - on 04 Jun 2013
In reply to Stone Muppet:

Do not worry too much about getting a climbing partner. As of yet I do not have one and I am sure there will be many others in a similar position.

Once the team is confirmed we will then do the finer planning of sorting out whose is bringing what kit and who is climbing with who etc.

Dave
JonZBentley - on 04 Jun 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas:

.... but you might as well start to buy / borrow as many large cams as you can find!
fresh - on 05 Jun 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas:

My trip with you in Sinai was the last proper climbing that I did before Calum was born! I call that going out with style ... I have such amazing memories of the rock, the desert, and the people. Perhaps I'll be able to kickstart my climbing again on another visit to the Sinai. I'll look into it. Best get to the gym though!
Hans - on 05 Jun 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas: So tempted by this. Does it matter if you don't climb anywhere near E4? (HVS best so far). I'm free as of August so time is no issue....
How do you get there?
Dave Lucas - on 05 Jun 2013
In reply to Hans:

Have you had a look at the link?

http://expeditionconsultancy.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/The-Sinai-Desert-guidebook-project.pd...

There are more details in there. But in general you will be getting a flight to Sharm El Sheikh airport and then I will be sorting out transport to get everyone up into the mountains.

Not climbing E4 is not a big one, as there are also lots of easier climbs that need someone who knows the difference between HVS 4c and HVS 5a and the difference between a 4a and 4b. The most important aspect is having common sense and a drive for adventure. It will often feel as though you are new routing even though you will mainly be repeating routes.

Why don't you email me your number and I can call to discuss the finer details of the trip.

Talk soon

Dave
BenHeason - on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas:

I was only able to spend a couple of days climbing on Jebel Naja and unfortunately we didnít manage to climb the main event, but we had a great time trying, also putting up a shorter route on the side wall. Fantastic rock in a great setting.

With Daveís unparalleled knowledge of the local area, and links with the Bedouin people, it would be a great opportunity to get out there and experience some (relatively convenient) adventurous climbing, and be a part of something which is likely to develop into a regular destination for trad climbers in the years to come. Iíll try and come out for a bit.
Frank the Husky - on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas: Oh go on then, I might be keen. I need to get back for my 5th visit...so many unclimbed faces and uncharted wadis. So much babaganoush to smear over each other...

OK Dave, you can most likely count me in. I'll get some leave booked and get back to you. I met an Israeli guy on the BMC international meet who has sent me a load of stuff from the archives of the Israel Apline Club which might be of use.

To anyone else, climbing E4 isn't necessary, but you need to be self sufficient and experienced with trad climbing; you need to be know when to say "let's back off". If you can climb HVS competently you'll really enjoy your time, and if you can climb harder then more power to your elbow. This is proper adventure, and the food is always good and the complany excellent.

howifeel - on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas: Is this for a new episode of Star Wars? The scenery looks very similar.
Mike Hutton - on 10 Jun 2013
Dave Lucas - on 12 Jun 2013
In reply to Mike Hutton:

Thanks Mike. Hope you are able to make it. We will be needing your photographic skills.

Dave
climb.jlr - on 15 Jun 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas:

Yes, I would be interested in helping and have worked with a local guidebook in Boston hidden crags of the northeast for our mountaimetering club. It would be great to assist!
Dave Lucas - on 17 Jun 2013
In reply to climb.jlr:

Good to hear you are interested.

If you could email me, then we can start the process of how you may be able to come and join us to help out.

Talk soon

Dave Lucas
tlm - on 18 Jun 2013
In reply to Hans:
> (In reply to Dave Lucas) So tempted by this. Does it matter if you don't climb anywhere near E4? (HVS best so far). I'm free as of August so time is no issue....
> How do you get there?

We climbed there for a week, and we don't climb anything like E4! We were also the only 2 climbers there when we went - the locals thought it was very strange that we were staying for a whole week, not just one day like the people who walk up Mount St. Catherines.

There was quite a bit of loose rock, ledges were covered in ball bearings of granite, and we had no descriptions of how to decend as we were using an online Israli guidebook.

It was magical to be the only 2 people on a whole mountain, with eagles soaring overhead and a desert fox padding past. It felt very adventurous and quite intimidating, knowing that no one really knew where we were and that we didn't really know how to get back down!

We stayed at the Desert Fox camp - the local people were very friendly and helpful.

Duncan has a few photos on his profile:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=64010
tlm - on 18 Jun 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas:

I tried to find the original online israli guide that we used, but I couldn't find it. However, I do have it downloaded as a Powerpoint, somewhere, I think, and I do have it printed out, if it would be useful to you at all? (I'm imagining that you actually already have this information?)
tlm - on 18 Jun 2013
Dave Lucas - on 18 Jun 2013
In reply to tlm:

Glad you found the route info. There are three PDFs that you can download from my site. This is the same info as can be found on the Israeli site, it is has just been organised into a more user firendly style. The link you have shown is just for one of the three. If you go to the following link and scoll down to the bottom of the post you will see 3 pdf links on white squares.

http://expeditionconsultancy.com/wp/2011/12/egypt/

Dave
vertigo714 - on 18 Jun 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas:
Definitely interested in this, hopefully I will be able to scratch some money together to afford it!
Dave Lucas - on 18 Jun 2013
In reply to vertigo714:

Thats great. Send me an email so we can talk more and I can give you all the finer details of the trip.

Regards

Dave
quickdrawmcraw - on 22 Jun 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas: Sounds cool I,ll come if possible...
Maggie B - on 24 Jun 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas:
I would have been keen to go - the last trip was excellent. If only it was a week earlier. Unfortunately now tied to school holidays as my partner teaches
Have a good one
Maggie
Dr Toph on 25 Jun 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas:

Would be very interested in this, love desert climbing (Jordan, Morocco) and sounds a good project! Photos look lush ;)
Im finishing some work in Abi Dhabi at the end of November, so if its not too late, then keep me in the loop re plans! I waw planning a Mid-east or North African climbing adventure after that contract anyway. If I miss you lot, any chance I could get some info so to put up some new routes before said guide is written?

Cheers,
Topher
Duncan Bourne - on 25 Jun 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas:
If you are climbing in the St Katherine's area I hope that the routes won't be retro bolted.
My wife and I spent a very enjoyable time there in March 2007. There was only an old Israeli topo to guide us and we spent a day in re-consonance finding out how to get off our chosen climb.
Our first route was "Pharaohs Chimney" a grade IV according to the topo. First pitch was a little friable but protection was reasonable if spaced. I would have given it about english 4b. Second pitch took you under a large loose boulder and was possibly 4a. Third pitch was best a great "open corner" and a gritstone like treat, excellent protection throughout, about 4b. The final pitch was a nightmare though. Two cracks one dangerous and crumbling the other about 5b or 5c but protectable.

Our second climb was "Fistuk Halabi" can't remember what grade it was given but I think it was the equivalent of HVS. 1st pitch about VDiff up a narrow chimney. Second pitch harder about 5a but with good pro. third pitch was the hardest about 5a again but with an interesting traverse over a hanging slab with poor gear till one could reach the chimney once again. Oh and a nice leaning out move on a suspect flake! Final pitch a scary 4c due to some balanced boulders that one had to move around (I honestly thought that they might go cascading down into the valley taking me with them). Loose abseil down the gulley at the back of the climb.
The main thrill for use was the remoteness we were literally the only climbers in the valley at the time and none of the locals could get what we were about they all thought that we were there to join the hundreds of tourists walking up to the summit of Mount Sini.
Have a good trip and don't believe what the taxi driver and there touts tell you about the buses crashing ours was fine.
spudlet70 - on 01 Jul 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas: Hey mate. I am definately up for this trip! I have been climbing for about 6 years up to E3 and have climbed on similar rock in the UAE and Turkey both repeating routes and putting up first assents on varying rock quality over a variety of route lengths.

Would love to be part of this team. Will send you more info via e-mail. :)
Pete - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas: I am very interested in the trip. Will email you.
MischaHY - on 05 Jul 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas: Wow, this sounds pretty amazing, and for around £600 all in... I might have to put some serious thought into this one.
django5 - on 08 Jul 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas:
It's a good thing there's no political upheaval going on in Egypt at the moment with people being murdered in the streets.

....

Oh wait.
Dave Lucas - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

Many thanks for your info on the route you climbed. I will add it to my file.

We will not be retro bolting any routes. All routes will be kept in the style as the first climbed.

Many thanks

Dave
Dave Lucas - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to spudlet70:

Have you emailed me yet?

Dave
Dave Lucas - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to django5:

Egypt is an enormous country and the area that we are climbing in is a long way from Cairo. The FCO have not changed their travel advice (09/07/2013) and the area we are climbing in falls into the exceptions as shown below:

In the governorate of South Sinai the FCO advise against all but essential travel, with the exception of (i) the Red Sea Resorts including those in the entire region of Sharm el Sheikh, Taba, Nuweiba and Dahab; (ii) the St Catherineís Monastery World Heritage Site; (iii) road travel between the Red Sea resorts; (iv) road travel from the Red Sea resorts to St Catherineís Monastery approaching from the east; and (v) transfers between the resorts and the airports of Taba and Sharm el Sheikh. See South Sinai and Road travel.

I am keeping a close eye on the FCO advice as well as talking to my contacts in the area.

Many thanks for your concern

Dave Lucas
MikeTS - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas:

I'd be interested (I live in Israel) The news here is that the Sinai is pretty lawless right now, with Egyptian troops fighting it out with Bedouin and terrorists from Gaza firing in all directions.

Mike
Alasdair88 - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas: Hi Dave, i'm definitely interested in the trip if i can get away for the fortnight. I have sent you an email.
Cheers,
Al
cripper - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas:
Hi Dave,
I would be very interested in joining this expedition. I can climb to around E1/2 and pushing towards E3 and would be available for the whole 2 weeks. If you could let me know about me joining the team by e-mailing me on christoripper@hotmail.com then that would be fantastic.
Many thanks,
Chris Ripper
wolverine - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas: Hi dave - I'm keen and a pretty experienced climber up to e4. Do I need a partner?
My email is mhayes@slrconsulting.com
Dave Lucas - on 30 Jul 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas:

The team for this trip is shaping up well. It will be great to get all the research for the guidebook completed so that the book will be on the shelves in a little over a years time.

For those of you that would like to learn more about my expeditions and stay in the loop with everything expeditions then you can follow me on Twitter @Expeditiondave https://twitter.com/ExpeditionDave

You can also like my face book page at: https://www.facebook.com/TheExpeditionConsultancy

Many thanks for your interest.

Dave Lucas
Dave Lucas - on 08 Aug 2013
In reply to MikeTS:

That is probably true, but only in The North Sinai. This trip will be taking place based in the south. The news from St Katherine's Village is that the only thing that has changed is the number of tourists.

To everyone else interested in this climbing trip:

I have posted a photo album showing The Sinai Desert of mine and Mike Hutton's on The Expedition Consultancy's Facebook page. You can see them here:

https://www.facebook.com/TheExpeditionConsultancy
zalta1980 - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas:
The team for this trip is shaping up well. It will be great to get all the research for the guidebook completed so that the book will be on the shelves in a little over a years time.
tony howard on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas: Hi Dave, we found those Comici routes many years ago, and some Italians went to check 'em out along with Mirella tenderini. It turned out they were not in Sinai (unless he did more?), they were on the other side, not too far from Hurghada. I'll try and dig my notes out for you. Good luck with the project (I think we will be elsewhere at the time).
bobjohnston - on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas: Really interested in your project could you email me some more information. Leading E1. Cheers Bob
Dave Lucas - on 06 Sep 2013
Hi.

The political situation is still ok for us to visit the Sinai, but for us the damage has been done. The majority of interested people have now decided that the risk is too high for them. Originally there were over 40 people interested in coming along and only a fortnight ago we still had a promising team of 20. The best the team will be now is 5 people for the full two weeks and then a couple of others for only 1 week. This is too small a team to complete the research or at least one I can afford.

The guidebook has been an ongoing project for me for many years and one that is very important to me. So I am now making the hard decision to cancel this trip.

To hopefully solve the problem of researching the book my wife and I are planning to spend the winter in the Sinai from the start of December. I would really appreciate it if people could come out during this time and climb with me to continue the research for the guidebook.

So what are the options?

I will hold the first two weeks in December free for those who have their flights and would like to still come out.

If you can not make December but feel like coming out any other time during the winter then please do contact me.

Hopefully this delay may allow Egypt to settle or at least show which direction It is heading in. We will also be able to make much more of an informed decision with regards to risk as we will be living there.

It is a shame that this has happened, but this is a risk of going to the more weird and wonderful countries of the world.

Please contact me if you have any questions or I can assist further

Regards

Dave Lucas
Red Rover - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas: I'd be well up for it if Egypt gets safer. I know the FO says that area is OK and all but for now I'd rather just go somewhere where you dont have to think about that kind of thing. Next time though!
j0ntyg on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Lucas:
I don't like your post. It is well known that problems exist in that area which have forced Egypt to send their army in to fight Jihadists. You want our lads to go there, & die? Then the Arabs are wrong? Good propagander. Are you an agent provocateur? We have had too many Israel is perfect posts on UKC most have been removed by the management.









Blue Straggler - on 17 Sep 2013
In reply to j0ntyg:
> (In reply to Dave Lucas)
> I don't like your post. It is well known that problems exist in that area which have forced Egypt to send their army in to fight Jihadists. You want our lads to go there, & die? Then the Arabs are wrong? Good propagander. Are you an agent provocateur? We have had too many Israel is perfect posts on UKC most have been removed by the management.

I don't understand how a single sentence of your post relates to anything Dave has written or that he is trying to achieve. Could you clarify it please? Thanks
Frank the Husky - on 17 Sep 2013
In reply to j0ntyg: Buddy, you're a complete knob. Dave has lived in the Sinai for years, is good friends with the locals in St Katherine's and knows more about the reality of the situation there than you probably know about your own front room, judging by the bullshit in your post.

Your "Israel is perfect" thing is just bizarre and indicative of mental illness.

Seriously Dave, if you read this ignore it; the guy is probably a Daily Mail reading nutter with a limited grasp of reality. He will surely come to a hilariously sticky end, insha'Allah!
Dave Lucas - on 17 Oct 2013
We will be out in The Sinai Desert for most of the winter climbing to our hearts content. We are trying to repeat all the existing lines ready to submit to the publisher at the end of February. If you feel like coming out to join us then please send me an email.

If you fancy something more tropical rather than Middle Eastern then click here to see how you can become a part of our Vietnam expedition.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=566068

Kind regards

Dave Lucas
Dave Lucas - on 03 Jan 2014
In reply to Dave Lucas:

Update to the Sinai climbing guidebook project:

We are now back in the St. Katherineís village in the Sinai mountains in Egypt and busy repeating the existing routes for the guidebook. We are happy to report that the weather is perfect as usual with comfy temperatures and sun shining from clear blue skies and to our great pleasure there are climbers from four different countries here at the moment, enjoying the magic of the area.

If you would like to join us on this project, we would be very happy to have climbers to come out. At the moment there are timeslots available from the end of February until the end of April. If this is something you are interested in or would like to have more information on, please send us an email at lucas@expeditionconsultancy.com

To get a taste of the excitement of Sinai climbing have a look at our Facebook page where you can see posts from the last few weeks: https://www.facebook.com/TheExpeditionConsultancy


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