Valley of the Moon
In recent years, there’s been a flurry of hard new big- wall free climbs on the desert sandstone of Wadi Rum, Jordan. “As we worked on the
Sultan route close to town, we enjoyed listening to the call to prayer as it echoed melodiously off the walls and into the vast desert space around us,” says Madaleine Sorkin, pictured here jamming up the crux pitch of Sultan ul
Mujahidin ( 5.13+; 14 pitches; 1,800 feet). Eliav Nissan and Elad Omer equipped the route in 2014– 2015, putting in long, hard days on the wall to sort out the line. In January 2017, Sorkin joined the team, nearly redpointing the crux pitch. ( The redpoint of the full line went to the Czech climbers Jachym Srb and Matel Svotjka the following month.) “As a woman, I felt respected by our Bedouin hosts for being the stronger climber in my party, and I felt inspired to offer the same respect across our different cultures,” says Sorkin.