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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
Simon3, you're suc.. by kernowclimber   (Show all posts)
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kernowclimber
2011-04-01 15:13:58
"Bivy en route" from kernowclimber Contract pics
Picture: Bivy en route (Contract 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 donít encroach on peopleís 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. Itís 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, Omanís 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 ĎOman Off-Roadí 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 enthusiastsí world: cheap and totally safe to visit.
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Track
Arona to Parador Hotel via Valle de Ucanca
GSheehy 7 hours ago.
Sticking the boots in the bag, when the intention was to go and have a rest. Justifying a walk, that?s predominantly a walk, Len: 30.8km, Climb: 2274m, Area: Spain, Canary Islands ()

  
Summit Summary
Slieve Main: Inishowen's second mountain.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 a day ago.
Parking in a small quarry 3km to the east at point C444 372, cross the smaller top of Damph and then head north, curving around the valley until you cross a fence at C425 380 then begin to ascend ...

  
Track
Inishowen Slieve Snaght from the north.
simon3 a day ago.
This linear walk route starts from the north and includes the two Arderins and one Vandeleur-Lynam in the area. It sta... walk, Len: 9.3km, Climb: 515m, Area: Slieve Snaght, Inishowen (Ireland) Sliev

Summit Comment
Castlemahon Mountain: My outing to Castlemahon summit.
Ulsterpooka 5 days ago.
I followed Peter Walkers route and asked permission to walk to the summit mast. The person was very friendly and accommodating. I parked at the last house in what is a four house dwelling lane. Th...

  
Summit Comment
Caoinkeen South-East Top: Caoinkeen
davsheen 6 days ago.
View of Caoinkeen from Gougane Barra Horseshoe walk

  
Track
Cruach Eoghanach
Peter Walker 2 days ago.
Cruach Eoghanach is a handy outing on the days when you get out of the car, feel the force of the wind and rain, look... walk, Len: 10.4km, Climb: 329m, Area: Cruach Eoghanach, S Donegal/W Tyrone (Ir

Bibliography
High Mountains of Britain and Ireland, The by Butterfield, Irvine
Peter Walker 3 days ago.
Long out of print, but well worth seeking out by the serious hillwalker (especially if they visit Britain as well as Ireland), this is a gloriously impractical guide to all of the 3000ft mountains...

  
Summit Comment
Knockatee: October Cahas Walk
davsheen 6 days ago.
View over Kenmare Bay from Knockatee Summit Co. Kerry

  
Track
Pics de Batoua
David-Guenot 4 days ago.
walk, Len: 18.3km, Climb: 1672m, Area: France, Occitanie ()

Summit Summary
Mullagh More: Iconic hill with waymarked ways.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 6 days ago.
There is a way marked route up this iconic mountain. To get to the start drive out of Corofin in the direction of Kilfenora. After less than 2 miles turn right at a sign for 'Kilnaboy Church and S...

  
Track
Amalfi: Ravello to Minori
Onzy 5 days ago.
walk, Len: 3.5km, Climb: 12m, Area: Italy, Campania ()

  
Forum: General
Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder
CaptainVertigo 5 days ago.
I did my last walk in April and between work and family have not been out since.. I feel my absence from the mountains like a dull ache, a loss, a bereavement. Meanwhile everyone tells me that I a...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 24 Next page >>