Posts Tagged ‘new routes’

topos for new wadi khab shamis additions

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Stephen Hyndman just sent me details for new stuff in Wadi Khab Shamis (Dibba Inland area). These are one new sport area with routes to F7a and one new multi-pitch E2 trad route with bolted anchors. Uploaded here.


Shannon Borowy following pitch 3 of Inshallah Crack, E2


route descriptions from the TNF team

Monday, February 25th, 2013


the TNF team on a “Sand Castles” summit © Mark Synott, 2012

Around new year, Hazel Findlay kindly sent me descriptions for routes done during the North Face team’s visit last year. More recently Mark Synnott sent me some photos that complement her work. I have combined the material in a document linked here. Mark’s National Geographic article about their trip should appear in August.

Hazel also mentioned her visit briefly in a blog post … describing the area as “one of the world’s most beautiful places”. Though the team originally set out to do new long trad routes, they ended up visiting several of the previously-documented DWS areas. In a separate email Hazel commented to me specifically on the DWS that “the established routes we did or tried – we thought were really good, super classic” but that “I think the best sort of trips to this area, are more exploratory, for people who want to see the coastline, do a bit of climbing, snorkel, climb chossy ridge lines etc. I don’t think it will be the next Mallorca or Vietnam.” Neil Gresham offered a similar conclusion in his article in the UK press in 2011.


Hazel Findlay and Alex Honnold on their Lions Mouth first ascent © Mark Synott, 2012

PS hopefully I don’t have to tell anyone that the copyright symbols here have real meaning. These images are the property of Mark Synott and should not appear elsewhere without his permission.

another new topo – “The Ranch”

Friday, December 28th, 2012


I have just uploaded an up-to-date topo for the Ranch cliff in Wadi Khab Shamis. Brian Coones and friends have been developing routes there for the last couple of years. The topo is Brian’s work.

some updates

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012


3Somes is the area midway up the gully left of centre. Viewed from the Wadi Shahah road.

Ralph Heath has uploaded details of some of the new crags he has developed in RAK over the last few years to SummitPost. A mix of trad and sport.


Zombie Skull


Birthday Crag

I repeated some of the 3Somes routes about a year ago: some good stuff there.

Maurizio Piccoli has been busy repeating routes in Wadi Ghalilah, including Acquiescence and Exit Surprise (maybe the third ascent – I blogged about the second ascent last year). He sent me a hand-drawn topo for Exit Surprise that may be useful for some people. Again it seems the guidebook’s E2 is a very low grade estimate for the route … it sounds like E3 at least.

I also now have a written account of routes done in Musandam by the TNF/ Nat Geo team. I am hoping to obtain some photos to go with it. Then I will upload it.

mystery Cleavage route and other RAK notes

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Yesterday Dave Watson, Paul du Toit and I did a midsummer tour around the Roadside and Wadi Shahah area. I redpointed the mystery bolted line left of Hanging Haemorrhoid at the Cleavage. Unless anyone else claims it and has a name, I am calling it Lidocaine (*). The grade is F6c or F6c+. Hanging Haemorrhoid is slightly harder than it used to be since the removal of the cheat blocks underneath, maybe F6b+ or F6c.

Dave Watson on Hanging Haemorrhoid. Lidocaine is the line to the left.

A few other notes:

- the excellent Thug Monkey at Roadside needs a proper lower-off.

- Dave managed an almost-redpoint of Pokemon at Roadside despite the heat. Grade estimates for this route continue to vary wildly. Dave thought the guidebook grade F7b+ seemed about right.

- Crackrocksteady (Andy La Bonte’s E3 + F7b right of Tim’s Tipple) at Nearside is no longer climbable in its original form as a huge starting block has been removed by the Shahah road crew.

- I plan a topo for John Gregory’s Transition crag in Shahah when he has reached a suitable stopping point – October?


(* I have changed my mind on the name a few times, but I think this is my last edit. 14 Aug 2012)

mid-summer bolting at Wonderwall

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Circus Sands and the Gutter project (new bolts in red)

Some bolting work has been done in the Circus Sands/ Central Wall sector of Wonderwall. Circus Sands itself has six new bolts, four on the first pitch and two on the top pitch. This makes the route significantly safer, especially on the easy initial slab, where 20-30m ground falls were previously possible. Hypothetically this might be considered retro-bolting as the slab has been climbed many times without protection. However consensus has swung firmly in favour and everyone who has completed first ascents in this area either gave their blessing or actually placed the new bolts. The route still retains some run-out flavour. In its new form it is highly recommended to anyone climbing around F6a or above, who has multi-pitch and abseil experience, as it crosses very spectacular and exposed terrain en route to a cool summit.

In the new route category, Theo Giani has bolted the whole of the Gutter project, which had previously been looked at and partially-cleaned, but abandoned. When complete this will give a classic sustained 40m pitch in the F7s, similar to, but possibly slightly steeper than, Exile.

Read Stack topo

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Just uploaded a topo for the Read Stack, a DWS sector just past Gen’s Cave. It is a companion to the Shark Bay topo uploaded a couple of days ago. The available topos for DWSing now comprise: the chapter in the 2009 guidebook, the major DWS update from 2011 and these two new topos. Enjoy!

The Read Stack (left of centre) © Theo Giani

Tawiyan PDF update and a new open project

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

I am using the free time I have right now to tidy up a few things in the guidebook coverage. Just uploaded is an update PDF for the popular right side of Tawiyan, since the guidebook was published.

Also an announcement: I am abandoning my rights to the Caracal Tree Extension project. It should now be regarded as an OPEN PROJECT. But if anyone does it, please tell me!

Toby on the lower 7a+ section of Caracal Tree in 2011

Shark Bay topo

Monday, June 4th, 2012

I have just put together a topo for Shark Bay, a DWS area quite close to Dibba. It was actually the location of the first ever DWS route (*) on that coast in 2006, but until now I had forgotten the location. A good range of routes from F4+ to F6b+. There are also several unclimbed projects.

A few photos:

Dave Watson on Insouciance F6b+ © Vanessa Becker

Mohammed the boatman contemplating the jump from Mohammed’s Route F4+ © Theo Giani

Emily Manuel on Whitewash F6a

A similar topo is in production for the Read Stack, further up the coast.

* EDIT: Alan Stark reminded me that the Cook brothers did some DWS in 1999/ 2000 ish near Dibba. From Damian’s article, which I will upload shortly, it sounds like they looked at the coast from a “serious rip-off” boat, but didn’t climb, but did traverse a bit along the coast from Zighy Bay.


NPZ Update

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Theo kindly contributed this update for Abu Dhabi emirates’ only substantial sport climbing area. I am quite amused by the TLA names.