/ Oman- Single & Multi-pitching trad areas
Hi guys, after some help. Myself and a few friends are trying to plan a trip to Oman next year for some (predominantly) single pitch trad routes, maybe a multi pitch or two. Anyone been? Or heard of any good areas I should check out?
Do you have the guidebook?
> Do you have the guidebook?
No! Is there a Pdf version?
Hi - I lived there for a while - down in Sur, but did a bit of climbing.
The best crags to visit will largely depend on the time of year you visit.
Hadash has probably the pick of the single pitch sport routes, in a fairly amazing location. Great rock. quite high up above Wadi Mistal and the Al Ghubra bowl (around 1500m if I recall correctly) so stays climbable for more of the year than some other places...
Wadi Daykah. Single pitch sport in a canyon, with some amazing pools nearby at the camping spot. There are a few multi-pitch routes too, in the lower grades. Again - some great rock, but different style to Hadash and there is a lot more in the lower grades.
Wadi Bani Khalid - Disclaimer - I never climbed there. We visited the wadi before it was developed and I remember saying to my wife that the climbing potential on the steep walls above the cave was incredible. Lo and behold, a few months later I heard that a visiting team along with some locals had put up a few (mostly 7b-7c) routes. They must be amazing, and just a few mins walk from some of the best desert swimming spots you'll ever see
Depending how adventurous you want to be there are some BIG multi-pitch adventures on Jebel Misht. There are also a couple at the head of Wadi Tiwi . Wadi Fins has a couple of multi-pitch routes that rarely get done, but are in a really "Out-of-the-way" location. Brilliant walk-in with some real wow-factor situations. https://27crags.com/crags/wadi-fins
There are loads more spots too, but I'd recommend getting the online guide (I'll see if I can find a link and post it later - developed by some of the guys in Muscat).
Another thing i would definitely recommend is DWS. If you rock up in Qantab, head to the beach and ask around the locals for a fisherman to take you out to the DWS crags. Just South of Qantab there is some of the best beach camping I have experienced, in small bays with great coral just offshore.
On arrival in Muscat there is also a really easy-access DWS crag at Ras Al Hamrah. Head for the public beach and walk around the headlands until you see the rock below. Find some good-looking lines and climb. Look out for turtles!
For bouldering, you simply MUST visit the Valley of Giants, up on the Salmah plateau. The drive up is an adventure in itself and bouldering in a location like that is quite something. There are a few bolted routes too.
Overall -it is an amazing country with some of the nicest, most welcoming locals I have ever met. Make sure you check out the marine life too - the Damaniyat islands just off the Muscat coast have some of the best snorkelling I have experienced. Literally hundreds of turtles, sharks etc.
The guidebook detailing trad climbing in Oman is available here: http://www.panico.de/kletterfuehrer-oman.html - I would think it is pretty much essential for any trip there.
I have been climbing in Oman several times in the last few years, although primarily sport climbing. My few occasions trad climbing have been some very easy new routes whilst in Musandan, a failed attempt on the French Pillar (link above), and a great multi pitch near to Jebl Misht (Jebl Kawar?).
There are some great sport climbing locations in Oman, with Hadash a highlight. This app has all the details you need (https://rakkup.com/guidebooks/oman-muscat-sport-climbing/) although I originally found pdfs for them on line.
I think that multi-pitch trad would be a highlight of any trip to Oman, as it takes you into amazing positions - however, rock quality is variable, and situations are always serious due to the remote locations and lack of any organised rescue services. The linked guide book contains the required details but if I remember rightly there is very little single pitch recorded - I may be wrong.
One thing about Oman is that you could drive up any number of Wadis in the Hajar mountain region and find things to climb if you want a bit of adventure. Just depends on what sort of trip you want.
It's a brilliant country, but not always easy to just rock up and get climbing. Please message me for any other information.
Next team to attempt the French Pillar (E3) - look behind the dry stone wall to the right of the first pitch - you should find a free ropeman/screwgate and (probably long gone) bag of peanuts.
On the second to last, E1 5c? chimney pitch you'll also find a jammed DMM dragon.
Expensive day out! Brilliant route though, thoroughly adventurous
> ...............a failed attempt on the French Pillar
I wonder if the 4 litres of water I stashed on the summit is still there and drinkable! Hidden in a little rock crevasse not far from the top of the route if any parched ascentionist wants to look for it!
Climbing has hardly scratched the surface of the potential in Oman, except in one or two obvious places - e.g. Jebel Misht and some sport climbing in the most easily accessible wadis. I lived and worked there from 1978 to 1981 and did a fair amount of easy trad climbing, both on crags alongside wadis and on the big mountains. On recent visits, I have been impressed by how *little* climbing has been done since those days. Most of the routes we did were unrecorded, but the British army/SAS had done some of them before. (Ludicrously, some of those old routes were claimed by Harwin in his relatively recent guide.) Some of the old routes seem to have been completely forgotten, because they don't seem to be mentioned anywhere. There is enormous potential on the relatively remote faces and ridges - there are many big, steep ridges of around 1000m that have not been attempted at all, as far as I am aware.
The long trad routes can be pretty serious and effectively remote. When one is picking the easiest way one is surrounded by much harder rock, some of dubious quality. Carrying enough water is a major problem - usually the big faces and ridges are completely arid. We had to turn back many times through running out of water. Some of the limestone is of very good quality. Be aware, though, that some of the weathering in the desert climate leaves a pitted surface like a very coarse rasp with upward pointing spikes, which is great for upward progress but it would be quite horrendous to fall on or against!
Thanks for all the advice and steers guys! I’ve seen alot of the Single pitch sports stuff, but I’m ideally looking for somewhere we can top out, walk off and go again. Is there much of this out there? Or is it a case of pick a decent looking line somewhere in the desert and go for the FA!?
Thanks for all the links too everyone!
We did some stuff on the NIzwa Towers which was much shorter (3-4 pitches) which should now be included in jakobs guidebook ... beautiful setting, a little less serious, but incredible rock ... and sharp.
Other than that we also had a dag in kubrah canyon, we did sport, but there should be a few trad lines as well.
And I second you should take snorkel gear.
"And I second you should take snorkel gear."
I'd third that. After some long and thirsty desert climbs, it'll hit the spot (there are scuba shops in Muscat - can rent and/or sign up for a boat trip w. them). Also, there's a brand new guidebook out/coming out by Italian climbers...have not been able to find a place willing to ship it so far.
Really want to go back - friendly, easy, yet still exotic.
Useful resource. I used to live in Sur, 20 mins from Ras al Hadd and it's incredible how good the snorkelling and diving is there. I used to go down there a couple of times a week to swim with huge eagle rays, turtles, sharks and cuttle fish. Amazing place.
Lots of downloadable topos on the above link. We used the Oman Climbing guidebook on our trips, but the downloads were so much better. Oberhausers guide was good for getting to the crags, but very difficult to follow once there. Best use a combination of both.
Wadi Daykah, Hadash, La Gourgette, Kubrah Canyon were all wonderful places to climb single pitch sports routes. I'd love to return to try out the DWS, but struggle to find the time.
whats the best time of year to go? are shady crags still climbable in the heat?
Definitely a winter destination. Most of the climbing is in the north of the country and it gets pretty roasting in summer.
Had a family trip in mid-November 2012. Routes in the shade were okay, but routes not in the shade were not. I think we were pretty early in the season, and waiting a couple more weeks would have been a good idea (but the timing was determined by other factors as well as the climbing...)
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