Best of the best – five routes not to miss

Action Asia - - JORDAN -

• 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.

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