This outlying part of the massif covers the entire south, to the Saudi border, beyond Wadi Sweibit and Jordan’s highest point – Jebel Um Adami (1830 m).
It is delimited to the West by the Aqaba tracks, to the East by the foothills of Jebel Amran and Jebel Hash which provide excellent hikes and full of short-climbs ready for defloration.

Three major sectors make it a prime destination where quality routes await climbers in search of loneliness. It is far from the busy tracks, in a simply gorgeous landscape.
There are perhaps the most attractive monolithic slabs of the massif, even though the climbing is varied and most often on good or even perfect rock, and for height differences rarely exceeding 200 meters. Pure climbing pleasure!
Desert Rats in the Shade, The Hadj, Aquarelle ou Sand to Rock are as much historical milestones as superb classics to pin on the happy visitor’s list.
The Bedouins Routes are true pleasure, rarely difficult, not too long and less complicated than elsewhere.

TRAD CLIMBS & BEDOUIN ROUTES IN WADI RUM
NO NIQAB FOR THE GIRAFFE (E)
C.Merle & W.Colonna – fall 2010 – 150 m – 5 pitches – 5c/6a. Afternoon shade.
The line goes up the last significant dihedral before the end of the E face of Jebel al Geder, near its south end.
After climbing on the left wall, leave the tower which forms the top of the corner to step back onto the main wall.
Carefully avoid a few unstable blocks in shattered rock by zigzagging. Come back above in a reassuring niche at the bottom of the very sculptural final corner.
This one is easier than it looks, with a generally good and closer protection (small wired nuts)!
Good rock overall, well alveolated in the dihedral (from 4c to 5b – with tafonis), softer at the top of the tower (5b, a bit sandy), and finally very satisfying in the final crux pitch (5c/6a), at first glance somewhat repelling.
Full trad rack is needed for both belays & pro.

Approach: by jeep, leave the village of Rum in full south, in the direction of the far south, along the entire eastern flank of Jebel al Geder.
Just after passing the sandy crest that allows you to descend into the Wadi Sweibit, reach the foot of the obvious dihedral on the right, behind a small dune.
The downclimb ends a few hundred metres further to the left, at the southern end of the face (see below).
30 to 40 mn drive from Rum village.
Descent: a few meters above the last belay which is in a corridor-like crack, follow immediately to the left the easy horizontal bands, wandering between the domes, to reach very soon the cairned descent of the N-S crossing route.
A 20m rappel to the ground is possible to avoid a last tricky passage.

TRAD CLIMBS & BEDOUIN ROUTES IN WADI RUM

THE HADJ, Jebel Sweibit, South summit – South face
7 pitches – 5c/6a – 250 m. Morning shade only. Tony Howard, Mick Shaw & Diana Taylor – 1995.

If there’s only one to do on that level, it would be this one!
Great Classic, whose first ascent was made by the famous team behind the early explorations, and just ten years after! Very beautiful and varied route, combining fairly steep cracks in the first part, and nicely sculpted slabs in the second part.
All on a superb quality rock, from P3 to the top (however, beware of the blocks on the middle terrace).
Don’t let yourself be disconcerted by the start, being not warmed-up. P1 feels a little tricky and long (40m. 5c/6a crack).  P2, shorter, starts with a small traverse that joins a slightly overhanging crack (20m. 5c). The rock and the climbing up to here don’t really arouse enthusiasms… Persevere, you will be rewarded!

P3, smartly, goes up a small corner on the right (20m. 5b). P4, in another superb corner leads to the median terrace (30m. 5b/c). P3 and P4 can be done in a single 55 m pitch.
P5 and especially P6 follow an easy ramp to the left (40m. 4b & 45m. 4c). The last wall/slab section (P7) starts with a delicate move (5c), protected only by a sling in a small thread… The rest, still on excellent rock, is no longer a problem.
For sure this ascent, together with the descent by the Bedouin Route behind, will make it a memorable day.
Full trad rack is needed for both belays & pro.

P1: 40 m, 5c/6a (corner crack), P2 : 20 m, 5c (overhanging crack), P3 : 20 m, 5b (corner crack), P4 : 30 m, 5b/5c (wall)
Terrace full of boulders.
P5 : 45 m, 4b  (slab traverse on crack), P6 : 40 m, 4c (traverse), P7 : 45 m, 5c (wall)

Approach: by jeep from the village for +/- 23 km, depending on the track used.
Allow 28 km if you pass through the Arab al Antar valley (West of Jebel Geder).
The climb goes up the only obvious crack-line, in the middle of the compact South Face (N 29°23’41.9’’- EO 35°20’45.6’’/ Alt: 997 m).
Descent: from the top ledge of P7, traverse the ridge to the right, and thus bypass the final summit rampart (climbed only from behind). Pass a first downward couloir (cairns visible – this is the original descent with 3 abseils of 20 m and a lot of down-climbing…).
Go to a second, wider and more welcoming corridor that easily descends to a plateau (above this corridor you reach easily the top).
From the plateau go up on the promontory to the left, and thus pass on the opposite north side.
A well cairned Bedouin itinerary begins here, first on the banks of a NW oriented couloir, soon followed by a network of zigzagging terraces that ends on a dune in the depth of the small valley below.
Exit it to immediately find the track on the north of Ghôrm Jerish, intersection between the four valleys inside Sweibit Mountain. 35 to 45 minutes.

TRAD CLIMBS & BEDOUIN ROUTES IN WADI RUM
LES TRAFFICOTINS, Jebel Um Razzâ, West Side
250m, 7 pitches, 5b (one short section of aid climbing A0, or 6b free), Dsup.
Morning shade. V.Séger & R.Thivel, 26/11/2003
Trad climbs & Bedouin Routes in Wadi RumBeautiful climbing on a sometimes strange rock but very good overall.
The lower part is…… “exotic”. It can be avoided by an easy couloir coming from the south side.

Descent: by an old Bedouin Route on the North side, with some short steeper steps.
But if this is the first time you are coming to this summit, it is better to proceed as follows:
walk along the top of the South Face, then descend a spur on the right bank of a gorge that you reach when it becomes steep. A 25m abseil (left bank), a short down-climb and a new 50m abseil will take you to the ground.
Jebel Um Razza, West Face, Les Trafficotins

 

 

To be continued…

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