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climbing

From last week’s kerry trip. Happy to be back. #blog

 

 

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2020 Hemsedal climbing

Hemsedal Day 3 – sun troubles

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2020 Hemsedal climbing

Day 1 in Gol/Hemsedal

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Non classé

This time of the year again! #climbing

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Non classé

One of the best meets of the year, where everyone is welcome and have a great time, climbing or otherwise. #fairheadmeet #climbing

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Non classé

Donegal. #climbing

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Non classé

True Grit Jamming #climbing

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Jordan 2018

2018 Jordan – Part 3 – Wadi Rum

The thing with Wadi Rum is that while it is remote desert location, it’s actually surprisingly close to civilization (1h drive to Aqaba, which has airport, hospitals etc).

Generally speaking I think that by general population sees Wadi Rum  as 1 or 2 day adventure destination. People want to see the desert, be guided around by ‘the locals’, maybe spend a night in the desert camp,  but with all the comforts of modern, western hotel.

 

I’ll try to describe it form a climbers perspective, people who  generally are independent, don’t need much beside a bed.

Location:

Wadi Rum is located in southern Jordan. You can get there by number of ways – we opted to rent a car and just drive – it’s a long one – over 4h if to be done in 1 day.

Other methods are a bus from Amman, taxi from Aqaba, or an organized tour by your hotel.

The area can be divided into 2 main categories:

Wadi Rum Village – which is essentially a town of couple hundred huts where locals live. It has very basic facilities, with 1 place where you can eat, and 1 or two mini shops.

Wadi Rum Village

Wadi Rum Desert – It is vast area of sand and stone – it is around 720km2, where 40km drive through the desert (no roads!) will eventually get you to Saudi Arabia Border (not recommended!).
Some 30+ commercial camps have been setup, and every local will try to ‘recruit’ you to stay at their site. Those things cost more than a hotel room in a city.

There are no hotels, b&b’s, hostels  or other organised accommodation in the Wadi Rum Village – so you have 3 options for accomodation.

  1. camp (wild in the desert)
  2. stay with a local family
  3. stay in a luxury camp

There is nothing stopping you from just driving to the desert yourself and setting up your own camp in the shade of one of many high mountains that are out there. Locals don’t seem to like it though – they seem to be under the impression that it’s their ‘turf’ and one should be using their ‘guiding’ services.

Now, it is the desert – it is VERY easy to get lost or  get stuck (driving in sand is hard, there are no roads!), and it would be costly to get rescued.

Either way those are the choices. For serious climbers specifically, I feel the best no hassle approach is to have your own tent, food and water supplies for few days – and just get driven to the area of your choice, climb, and be picked up after few days.

Now, our group was definitely not of the ‘hardcore’ climbers types so we picked middle option – stay with a local family.

Dinner time

Initially I was planning to bring the camping gear and just go to the desert (like we have in Oman), but the group decided we will stay in the village and make our way from there.

It was probably a good choice, since there is plenty to explore on foot, without having to go deep to the desert. On top of that the immense heat meant we couldn’t really climb any way and we cut our visit to Wadi just to 5 days.

Looking into the desert

 Having said all of that, the views are absolutely stunning, but again – it’s not for everyone.

If the weather is not cooperating, there isn’t much to do – its sand & rock everywhere.

On top of traditional climbing, mostly long multipitch , there are plenty of ‘Beduin Routes’ – which is the local name for scrambling to the top of surrounding walls. Those can be all completed in runners and with no rope – mostly run at M with occasional S.

Rock everywhere
Another Bedouin route.

Sport climbers won’t find much – its all about that trad on questionable rock – we did though find 2 spots with bolts, but honestly, they were poor.

One of few sport climbing slabs – just 4 routes with 5 bolts each.

 

The draw is with sense of adventure, breathtaking views and humus. Humus for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

 

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Jordan 2018 Uncategorized

2018 Jordan – Part1

For holidays 2018 we decided to go back to the Middle East and this time around visit country of Jordan.

This place seem to be one of the less popular destination for climbers (or tourists in general), probably most due to the fact that there are so many other places that don’t neighbour states that are currently at war…

I did my research and all reports make it safe enough for a visit (especially if you stick to the sourthern parts of the country).

And that is exactly what Peter, Phil, Monika and I are planning to do.

The rough plan for two weeks is:

  1. Visit Madaba & Dead Sea (lowest point on Earth)
  2. Visit Petra (main tourist destination)
  3. Visit Wadi Rum (main climbing destination)
  4. Visit Aqaba (main scuba destination)
  5. Visit Jerusalem (main weird access destination)
  6. Visit Amman & go home

 

While I was hoping for this trip to be focused mainly around climbing (Wadi Rum is world class trad climbing spot) – it seems that on the very first trip to the country it’d be a shame not to visit at least some of the world famous tourist attractions – hence the list above.

Since we are equipped for both sport and trad climbing (both gear and skill), we decided to see how it goes and climb when possible (we are a bit early as far as climbing seasons go, as It’s still a bit hot).

In this series of blogs I’ll write every couple of days on how the progress go.

 

Part I – getting in & around

We arrived on Sunday morning, after quite interesting flight with connection in Istanbul. It’s a very odd  setup with Dub flight departing at 4.30pm on Sat, and with 3h layover in Turkey we were in Jordan Capital city at 4.30am.

Phil’s bag came out VERY last, so it took a while at the airport, but after that we picked up few sim cards, got the car sorted (again, big 4×4 since we have tons of bags) and were on our way to the hotel in Madaba. Luckily enough they let us check in early (7am!, for a small fee) – so we were able to get quick nap (not much sleep on the plane) and make our way to Dead Sea.

Our ride for next 2 weeks.

The problem with The Dead Sea is that while its public, the best spots are all taken by resorts, so you have to dish out between 20 and 40 JOD to get access (you kind of want to do it anyway, since the supersalt water ruins everything if u don’t shower straight away.

After some floating around and mud baths and lunch we wen’t towards nearby JC Babtism site, however we were to late for 4.30pm tour, and to early to wait 40 mins for next one. Oh well… Back to Madaba for an evening stroll.

 

Part II – due South

We hit the King’s Highway towards Petra, with a quick stop over at Kerak Castle & some climbing at nearby Weida Slabs.

On the way south

Castle was ok as far as castle go, it seemed to be restored in some places, but mostly it was ruins. Still worth a visit if you are passing by.

 

Climbing however was something else – and it wasn’t for the rock or the fact it was all bolted (pretty well actually) – It was the heat. We got there just after 1pm, which isn’t ideal, but there was no other option – we still had 2.5h drive to Petra so couldn’t wait for it to cool down. It also goes without saying that TOPOS are rare and any material on routes you find is priceless. I found THIS website –> http://tropicaldesert.me/kerak-weida-slabs

It  seems to have decent descriptions of places (other than obvious Wadi Rum) worth visiting.

With 35C heat it was impossible to do anything other than 1 or 2 climbs – the sweat was rolling in, dehydration was imminent  and all of it was attracting those nasty flies – they were everywhere – big nasty flies.  I wish I had my head net, so useful on those hot day in Wicklow or the Mournes.

Another thing is that since routes don’t get that much traffic some of it is quite loose. Monika experienced it first hand, when a handhold she grabbed (around fist size) just detached itself and went flying my way. Luckily she had strong feed and didn’t fell off.

We are in Wadi Musa now- which is the gateway town to Petra. Plan is to get there for 6.15am (it’s only 5min drive from our hotel), when they open – and start before the crowds come in. With Jordan Pass, that guarantees no queuing for tickets,  as it has  tickets to Petra included it should be a good day out.

Wadi Musa by Night.
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Non classé

2018-08 IMC Donegal Meet

As planned, the very best of IMC climbers made it to Donegal this weekend. Weather forecast was 100% accurate, meaning we got dry, sunny Saturday, and washout Sunday.

Between the 20+ Members, some guest visitors from Belfast Climbing Club and Youth Section of Fermanagh’s Hanging Rockers club (big thanks for letting us use your abseiling ropes) Malinbeg was quite a busy place!

This was truly one of the best events of the year. We were climbing on all sectors of Malinbeg, where some of our new members took on their leading skills to the new level on some of the best Vdiff and S routes that Ireland has to offer, some were exploring majestic Main Wall and it’s glorious VS/HVS routes. The special ops team of elite climbers made a trip to Sail Rock to give “Roaring Forties, VS4c**” a go.
As they say – “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. Nobody missed on that trip!

Thanks Artem and Sarah for organizing, and everyone who made it for being there!

All the photos here!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/LP6Ks3c6PJxkJAB99