Posts Tagged ‘internet resources’

One new topo

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Aiden has sent me this description for his late December 2011 route “The Gambler” in Wadi Ghalilah.

In case anyone is wondering, this is what I know to be missing from the topo archive (and not in the guidebook) at the moment:
- John Gregory’s routes at Transition in Wadi Shahah
- various new crags and routes (trad and sport) of Ralph Heath’s around the RAK area
- some bouldering areas developed by instructors at Al Shaheen in RAK
- no doubt some routes by the same guys around RAK as well
- Good Morning Helena crag in the Buraimi area
- some routes of Theo Giani’s at NPZ near Al Ain
- some routes of mine at Tawiyan
- a few DWS routes done since the update last summer
- about twenty routes in a secret location near Dibba
- Strip Club near Wadi Hilti

new topos

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

I have just uploaded five new topos to the new route page. Here is a list of the new stuff with direct links:

Beyond RAK
- Aiden’s Snakecharmer, the huge Ghalilah face of Jebel Ras Al Qays

RAK Inland
- a 3D (yes: 3D!) update to the Cube boulder
- the Little Princess on Red Wall mentioned yesterday

Dibba Inland
- the Blindspot crag

Al Ain
- Paul’s (no longer) Secret Boulders. Be discreet at this one.

Barun Wall topo

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

I just stumbled over a very detailed updated topo for Barun Wall, assembled by the team who did the second ascent in January, which I mentioned in an earlier post. It claims Barun Wall (600m) is the second longest route in the UAE and the longest continuous route – sounds correct to me.

Shark Fin topo online

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Out of curiosity I set up Shark Fin at 27Crags, a global route database/ logbook site. It took about an hour’s work. One of the efficient aspects of the site, which I didn’t appreciate until I had part-finished my topo, is that you can upload an un-annotated photo then draw lines on it within the web application. Clever stuff.

Shark Fin is one of the best sport cliffs within the guidebook region, though it is a shame it isn’t 5km west (ie on the UAE side of the border). And it needs more routes! However, even as it stands, its three grade 7 routes are must-do classics. Lactic Labryinthe, which was done just in time to make the guidebook’s “recommended” list, is truly awesome, unique and world-class.

The Shark Fin approach is the same as Wonderwall (see the Al Ain chapter of the guidebook) until point (c), where you don’t turn into the “narrow gap” but instead drive 1km south on the truck road until the cliff is visible. Then drive to the obvious giant “parking boulder” under the cliff.

From UAE Climbing
From UAE Climbing

review at

Monday, October 18th, 2010

A blatant plug at “my” forum. Many thanks to Greg (and Dan)!

Nearside/ Junction miniguide 1.0

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

It’s finished (well more-or-less … there might be a 1.1 with more photos). Nearly fifty new cleaned trad routes, by the road, and in the UAE! Two years of work by the tradistanis! Get it here.

the end of the (travel) guidebook?

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Excellent article on this theme at the FT. Discusses augmented reality, phone apps and the timetable for the end of print publishing.

UAE climbing page on YouTube

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Aiden Laffey just emailed me to say he is collecting UAE climbing videos on YouTube.

Nearside/ Junction miniguide v0.9

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

I have been working on a PDF guide for this extensive trad area up Wadi Shahah for a while. I still need some additional photos and guidance on the lines of some of the newer route. But I thought I’d “pre-release” an incomplete version so people have a chance to sample some of the routes before the season ends. I’ll try and get a version 1.0 complete over the summer.

nearside topo

The routes are all trad, about 50m long and were properly cleaned from abseil before the first ascents. So this is a new rival to the Roadside area for people seeking a Brit-style trad cragging day. Anyone wanting more information on the area (ie what else has been done/ what is unclimbed) should consult John Gregory.

An internet investment

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Simon Lee, in Sheffield, and I have bought two web forums from their owner, Mike Annesley: (“UKB”) and Several people have asked me “why?” and I do struggle for a persuasive answer. At the price we are paying there should be scope for a decent return, but there are less complex investments we could make to achieve that. For me, I think it is primarily: 1. curiousity about the way the web is unfolding and 2. an ongoing project to make climbing more central in my life (there is a theoretical, if tenuous, connection between climbing guide publishing – a business into which I seem to have fallen – and climbing web forums).

Appropriately, Simon and I have never actually met. We know each other primarily from the forum. Simon is a much better climber than me but I guessed years back that we might have something in common as we both listed Darkinbad, at Pentire, and Rainbow Bridge, at Berry Head, both in the under-rated south west of England, amongst our favourite climbs on our forum profiles. We have exchanged a long string of email down the years on topics as diverse as investing, faux-natural chockstones in famous gritstone routes and training.

I have never posted much on UKB, being too much a punter, but have started reading it actively in the last few years, especially since trying to train more intelligently. The training sub-forum there has some outstandingly well-informed contributors. My most substantial input to the site so far has in fact been a spoof banner ad which is currently heading up the main forum. It references a nice bit of vitriol levelled at UKB by guidebook writer, Chris Craggs, on a thread. I don’t think anyone is taking it too seriously. I have only met Chris once – he seemed like a good guy. His Lofoten guidebook is outstanding.

No doubt I will be writing more about UKB in due course …