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Hedonistic weather.. by dhmiriam   (Show all posts)
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kernowclimber
2011-04-01 15:13:58
"Bivy en route" from kernowclimber Expand pics
Bivy en route (Expand pics)
Oman: an outdoor enthusiast's paradise
Mcrtchly and I have just returned from Oman. We hired a 4X4 which was our largest expense at around 400 euro. Gas was a mere 22 cents a litre (!). Camping is allowed anywhere, provided you don’t encroach on people’s crops, and you can collect firewood to enjoy a hearty campfire, needed when the searing heat of the day subsides, as the nights are chilly.

After stocking up on food at a hypermarket in Muscat, we headed for the Al Hajar Mountains. Our first camp was at Wadi Bani Auf in the Al Rostaq wilayat. Here, there is a via ferrata with Tyrolean traverses and a monkey bridge over the Wadi Bimah (Snake Gorge) and a 3km route down through the limestone gorge that involves canyoning: jumping into deep water, sliding down waterfalls, swimming through a cave over 35m long and scrambling over and under huge boulders. We spent a fun packed two days here, sweating on the climbs in 38 degrees of heat and enjoying the relative cool in the bottom of the 300-400 ft deep narrow gorge.

Next we drove across the mountains and made camp at the trailhead of a route up to Jebel Shams (The Mountain of the Sun), the highest point in the Arabian Peninsula. It’s a long, high altitude trek across rocky terrain that involves some scrambling and one section of free rock climbing. The route wends its way along the rim of the Wadi Ghul, Oman’s version of the Grand Canyon, giving spectacular views. We carried our own camping gear, food and water and did the trek over a day and a half, bivying out on a ledge in a natural limestone overhang above a col 4 km from the summit. The sunset and sunrise were amazing.

The night was cold and we were mighty glad of our camp fire and down sleeping bags. I felt like Bear Grylls falling asleep under a sky misty with stars to the incessant chirping of thousands of insects. Next day, soon after dawn, we set off across a limestone plateau reminiscent of the Burren but scoured by deep wadis. We finally attained the summit at 3,075 metres (10,089 ft) that offered stupendous views. A word of caution - the distance from the trailhead to the summit is given as 9.5 km, but our GPS made this over 13 km - quite a discrepancy. The long trek back was fairly straightforward and a breeze made conditions tolerable. It is vital to take sufficient water for the climb as there are no sources en route, and we drank 8 litres between us.

The Omani Ministry of Tourism is promoting treks and climbs in these mountains; maps can be downloaded from the Internet and purchased online as part of the Explorer series. We also bought the Explorer ‘Oman Off-Road’ book to guide us through the mountains. Luckily we made duplicate photocopies of the Jebel Shams route as a goat made off with them and managed to eat one before the rest were rescued!! We plan to return in May to do some more via ferrate and trekking. Oman is without doubt one of the undiscovered gems of the outdoor enthusiasts’ world: cheap and totally safe to visit.
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Summit Comment
Farbreague: from Arderin
ewen 4 days ago.
Walked to Farbreague from Arderin. There is a track that some kind soul has marked with sticks and ribbon. When I say track, it is really a worn down trough in the bog.The multicoloured pipe at th...

  
Summit Summary
Robber's Pass Hill: Minor heathery lump. Overcivilised and underwhelming.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 2 days ago.
This oddly named hill is more a very minor heathery bump incorporated into the system of tracks laid out by the Wicklow Mountains National Park. It can be reached from any of the western car-parks...

  
Summit Comment
Tonelagee: Fore!!!
ewen 5 days ago.
Did from the Wicklow gap car park following track 2378.This starts immediately opposite the top entrance to the car park next to the main road. 5 days before there had been snow but now the path w...

Summit Comment
Brandon Hill: Grand on Brandon!
MountainBoy 6 days ago.
Me and my Dad climbed this from the farm track off the Graiguenamanagh-Instioge road on 26/11/16. Right after we got out of the car, we were faced with the dilemma of whether to go straight ahead ...

  
Summit Comment
Croaghmoyle: Easy walk up to great views
Fergal Meath 6 days ago.
Low lying cloud/mist/fog discouraged me from putting the effort into going up Nephin today. On the way home I parked at the start of the Croaghmoyle service road and followed it past a wind turbin...

  
Forum: General
Slieve Binnian - more track work ?
gernee 4 days ago.
Revisited Slieve Binnian for the first time in years on Friday - frost underfoot, blue skies and rolling mist contributed to a great walk, despite disappointment at seeing some of the track work u...

User profile
ewen
ewen 4 days ago.
Now living furth of Scotland and getting to know the Irish hills. If you come across a Scottish hill Walker with dodgy knees and walking sedately, stop and say hello.

  
Summit Comment
Ben of Howth: Loop walk starting from Howth Harbour
Joshua3 6 days ago.
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Track
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David-Guenot a week ago.
walk, Len: 23.1km, Climb: 1364m, Area: Wee Binnian, Mourne Mountains (Ireland) ...

Track
Spelga Loop
David-Guenot a week ago.
walk, Len: 12.7km, Climb: 739m, Area: Pigeon Rock Mountain, Mourne Mountains (I...

  
Summit Comment
Carrigroe: Sea of cloud
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Unusual low cloud today heading towards Carrigroe

  
Summit Comment
Stags of Broadhaven (central): Climbing
IainMiller a week ago.
The Archipelago of the Stags of Broadhaven are a group of five steep rock islands with Teach Dónal ÓCléirigh rising to a height of 97m above the atlantic. The Stags live about 2.5km north of the c...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 15 Next page >>