Someone forwarded an anonymous document to me containing an astonishingly-grand vision for the, er, region. Here are a few extracts:

AscendME (Ascend Middle East): is a large scale long, term project; which contains many small pieces of a much larger puzzle. It will start with the UAE and Oman and as a growing sandstorm will spread to all Middle Eastern Countries. Mission/Objective: to build, develop, promote and teach safe climbing and mountain sports; while helping to support the local communities/business around the climbing areas, to support the climbing community, to help the local children’s charities, and to clean up the climbing areas first in the UAE and Oman then other Middle Easter Countries.

“AscendME is broken down into 5 main parts that all tie together to complete the objective: 1. UAE Rock Trip (Oman in October 2014) 2. AscendME Access and Bolting Fund 3. MEMGA (Middle East Mountain Sports Association) 4. 5. NEW UAE and Oman Guidebook 6. Charity …

“On a National Level this work includes advocating for climbing issues in Middle Eastern Countries: Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Northern Cyprus, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen …

“ will be the data base for all mountain sports in the Middle East. The website will be modeled after and function similarly to the following website:,,, …

Cultural Impacts are often caused due to climber being attracted to the same geologic formations that Middle Eastern Locals identify as traditional cultural and religious places. Cultural resources include, but are not limited to, Native American sacred sites, archaeological sites, petroglyphs and pictographs, ancient and historic trails, historic mining areas, cabins, springs, and landscapes that may include a mountain or a river …


EDIT: a PDF of the full original ~4000 word document is hosted here.

A few days after it was published here, Brian Coones, a US expat in Dubai, admitted authorship. Fans of his frequent clumsy plagiarism may be amused by the large amounts of text copied from places like the Access Fund website. For example, see the reference to “Native American sacred sites” above! I guess many people will doubt Brian has either the required range of skills or credibility as a climber to follow through on this complex agenda, but no-one should underestimate his aggressive self-belief. From his Facebook page:

“What you do not know is that I am a Freight Train in the sense that my resolve is steadfast yet also flexible I might bend but will not break; that my dedication and commitment is unwavering, I do what I love and love what I do, I live an inspired passionate life. So you have a choice; either you get on board the train to help, step aside as you are passed by and if you are on the tracks and in my way I won’t stop, I will keep going, I will run you down.”

Shorn of all the other nonsense, the idea of a regional climbing organisation is not completely stupid. However it would seem more appropriate that it be driven by climbers actually from the region as an Arabic language venture.



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