Best of the best – five routes not to miss
• Wadi Rum Traverse – The west-east traverse of the Jebel Rum massif is a classic and a great introduction to Bedouin routes. A 60m rope is needed for rappels, but most sections are just scrambles in sometimes exposed territory. Start early, take enough water and marvel at the route-finding skill of the Bedouin.
• The Beauty (5.10a) – A marvel of a route and rightfully one of the most climbed in Wadi Rum. The seven pitches are very different in character with laybacks, stemming, technical slabs, and a bold off-width crack on the last pitch. From the top, scramble for 20 minutes to reach the summit.
• Pillars of Wisdom (5.10b) – Named after T.E. Lawrence's famous book, this pillar towers prominently above Rum village. The difficulties are not extreme but the trick lies in climbers moving efficiently. Don't underestimate the descent – it requires good route-finding skills and it's not uncommon for parties to get lost.
• Merlin's Wand (5.10b) – A 45-minute drive from Wadi Rum village is the Barrah Canyon where you'll find this marvel. It's a magic line – a continuously straight crack in excellent, strong rock. In 2017, French climber Arnault Petit found another two pitches extending all the way up to the high plateau of Siq Barrah.
• La Guerre Saint (5.12b) – One of the few fully bolted routes in Wadi Rum, it is also one of its most difficult. For a long time this 12-pitch route on the East Face of Nassraniya North Tower was considered unclimbable.