Posts Tagged ‘repeats’

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.

Second ascent of Exit Surprise

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Last Friday Aiden Laffey and Philippe Delaunay made the probable second ascent of Exit Surprise on Shady Circus cliff in Wadi Ghalilah. Superficially climbing a six pitch E2 may not seem very remarkable but this route’s reputation has been rising after multiple abandoned attempts. Aiden had retreated off it four times previously: twice with Gen Boni, once with Andy LaBonte (Andy got offroute beyond the 4th pitch crux traverse and took a long fall on to old pitons), and once with Philippe (having solved the crux traverse they realised they needed larger cams for the 5th pitch).

Current thinking is that the first ascentionist Antoine Fabre probably used some aid on the traverse and so far it hasn’t been possible to climb it 100% free.

Philippe at the exposed stance before the crux traverse

The 5th pitch was found to be climbable in line with the guidebook description, though apparently the “Surprise” exit hole at the top of the pitch is quite tight and intimidating to reach.

Aiden at the steep move on pitch 5 before the chimney leading to the exit hole

With hindsight it would have been better to qualify some of the long trad routes described in full in the guidebook with a symbol to indicate that the the first ascentionists’ description had not yet been checked. Some UK guides use a dagger mark for that purpose. Something to consider if there is ever any momentum for a second edition. At least the book gives Exit Surprise E2 rather than the E1 in the previous PDF guide! And the three star quality rating seems to be correct.

Both photos © Aiden Laffey