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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
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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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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 17 Next page >>
Track
Ballinagee Bridge to Hollywood (Western Half of St. Kevin's Way)
jgfitz a day ago.
This is the first half of St. Kevin's Way, but walked in reverse direction. This pilgrim route normally starts in Hollyw walk, Len: 14.9km, Climb: 195m, Area: Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland)

  
Summit Comment
Knocknafallia: Summit Found
CaminoPat a day ago.
Walked to Knocknafallia from Knockmeal on Sunday 18 February to location of stone cairn which includes a passage grave on the eastern side of Knocknafallia. The cairn is located at Irish Grid S 0...

  
Track
Lake District: Loughrigg Fell
Onzy 2 days ago.
Up and down to a solitary Wainwright above Ambleside. walk, Len: 5.0km, Climb: 278m, Area: Loughrigg Fell, Lake District - Central & ...

Track
Lake District: North Central Fells
Onzy 2 days ago.
Walk above Derwent Water taking in 5 Wainwright hills; Walla Crag (Not listed on MV), Bleaberry Fell, High Seat, High... walk, Len: 17.3km, Climb: 727m, Area: Bleaberry Fell, Lake District - Central

  
Summit Comment
Truskmore: Access update 18 Feb 2018 from carpark at IG78210 48924
ColinCallanan 2 days ago.
I had intended to summit Tievebaun and/or Truskmore, and had also hoped to check out "Eagles rock" using the car park as a start point at IG78210 48924, so I proceeded to park my car at this offic...

  
Forum: General
How's this for a mountainview?
mcrtchly 5 days ago.
The majesty of the otherworldly night sky over the iconic Vestrahorn massif in SE Iceland. The moon had just risen and illuminated the snow-crested mountains, whilst the Milky Way arched overhead ...

Track
Lake District: Above Troutbeck
Onzy 2 days ago.
Walk taking in 3 Wainwrights from Troutbeck, Sour Howes, Sallows and Troutbeck Tongue (not on this site). The extensi... walk, Len: 13.8km, Climb: 721m, Area: Sour Howes, Lake District - Eastern Fell

  
Summit Comment
Knockanaffrin South Top: Steep Ascent
peter1 3 days ago.
There is ample parking at the trailhead, where a number of circular walks start and finish. Approaching the Knockanaffrin ridge from the East, provides a number of options once Coumduala Lough is ...

  
Forum: General
Gleniff Horseshoe
Aidy 4 days ago.
Headed out last Sunday to climb Tievebaun, but the lightning put me off. Got some great views in the Gleniff Horseshoe as a consolation.

Forum: General
Meelmore the concluding argument
BleckCra a week ago.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, the case of :-Meelmore, what the place name means in English.BleckCra -v- Ptempan.Summing up for the prosecution.The defendant avers and publishes that the Mounta...

  
Track
An enjoyable route up to Tievebaun with stunning views into Donegal.
ColinCallanan 2 days ago.
This was a very enjayable walk. We started in the carpark which has an information board titled "Eagles rock". walk, Len: 6.6km, Climb: 448m, Area: Tievebaun, Dartry Mountains (Ireland) Ti

  
Summit Comment
Mount Kennedy: Find the wall going north to south (or vice versa) over the summi
Bunsen7 a week ago.
I had to laugh when I looked at the tracks on the site and compared it to my own from O2276 0476. If I were to upload it there would be three tracks all of which reached the summit but took an unn...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 17 Next page >>