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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
Mountainviewers, p.. by Bleck Cra   (Show all posts)
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 .. 28 Next page >>
Summit Comment
Carronadavderg: Very unremarkable.
TommyV a few minutes ago.
Not much to add to the comments here except that there appears to be some maintenance work being carried out on the access road so there is a mound of gravel at the access gate so parking is a bit...

  
Summit Comment
Carricktriss Gorse: Looking for a trig in the trees.
TommyV less than an hour ago.
Followed the directions provided by wicklore and jackhil. Happy to report that there is no sign of the rottweiler but the house does have a beware of the dog sign. Just to mention it's possible to...

  
Summit Comment
Knocknamuck: Usain Bolt.
TommyV less than an hour ago.
This is purely for a quick bag. Accessed via the road mentioned in other comments. The area is now a small windfarm and there are signs at the access gate stating no unauthorized personnel. As the...

Summit Comment
Clomantagh Hill: The Kilkenny Burren.
TommyV less than an hour ago.
Eamonoc's directions are spot on on but there is an obvious track made by a tractor so following this will also take you close to the summit. It's a lovely little walk but very obviously on farmla...

  
Track
El Hierro - Island Traverse
GSheehy 6 hours ago.
Getting There :I took the (2h 45min) ferry from Tenerife/Los Cristianos to Puerto de la Estaca. I believe there may also walk, Len: 35.9km, Climb: 1455m, Area: Spain, Canary Islands ()

  
Summit Summary
Benbulbin: Remarkable mountain, watch out for access.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: Peter Walker, simon3, wicklore 11 hours ago.
There have been access difficulties regarding this summit. A simple approach to Benbulbin is to start at G684 451 however some have found difficulties here. A track leads to fields below a steep, ...

Summit Comment
Breesy Hill: Easy Breesy for a 6yr old
bertandally a day ago.
Thanks so much to sandman for the parking spot - it was ideal but the road in here is not for everyone and it might be best now to park at G9808064843 and walk the road in to your starting point a...

  
Track
Clogherhead Circuit
Onzy a day ago.
Slightly lenghtened version of an earlier Simon3 track... walk, Len: 4.3km, Climb: 117m, Area: East Coast (Ireland)

  
Summit Comment
Cort-ma Law East Top: Not the summit
jackill 3 days ago.
Unusually this is not the summit of Cort ma law East top.It is the summit of Cort ma Law.After swimming the bog to pick this up I find its not even listed.... Grr!!, prominence comes back to haunt...

Summit Comment
Meikle Bin: Murky Scottish Hills
jackill 3 days ago.
When you're surrounded by murk and mediocrity it doesn't take much to stand out.Meikle Bin is such a hill sitting in the more or less flat upland bog that make up most of the Campsie Hills.

  
Summit Comment
Slievemaan: Vandalised by quadbikers
quarryman 3 days ago.
A potentially brilliant mountain for walking destroyed by quadbikers; the summit cairn is surrounded by a sea of mud thanks to our considerate friends on 4 wheels. The col between Slievemaan and L...

  
Summit Comment
Camaderry Mountain: One hike two valleys
TommyV a week ago.
There are quicker ways to bag Camaderry but this route is more of a day hike exploring the area. Starting at the Glendalough Youth Hostel, a great place to stay if exploring the area as from here ...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 28 Next page >>