Location: North 22.60963, East 059.19204 (GPS at the summit)
Difficulty: YDS class 3
Climbed May 19. 2018.
How to get there:
Locate the Hwy. that connects Sur with Ibra. Sur is located on the
coast just north of the easternmost point of Oman. Ibra is inland, west
and a bit north of Sur. This road has a big south bend followed by a north bend, the road
to Wadi Bani Khalid forks right (north) here. Take this road. It crosses a mountain then
descends to the town. Immediately before turning left (into town), fork right, then left crossing the
river, and again right heading north through the small village located on this side
of the river. Well before you get to a small bridge you should have turned right onto
a smaller dirt road that heads uphill. This will take you up onto a pretty large, flat plateau
with a few large, new buildings. There is plenty of space for parking and this is a good
trailhead. The location is N22.58716, E059.10159 and the elevation is about 650 meter.
Starting from the trailhead, walk towards the mountains to the right side of the
(last) house. You will see a small trail, follow this trail to a very distinct col, with view
down into a river gorge. Turn right in this col and climb the broad ridge. One has a nice view
back down to the village
while hiking to the very top of this mountain.
Descend slightly and contour to the left of a local top.
Next, ascend the slope towards
the main crest above, follow left and
arrive at a notch in the crest, location N22.58569, E059.12949,
elevation about 1250 meter.
In order to reach the big, bulky mountain named Jebel Khadar, one must first traverse across
several smaller mountains between here and there. This section contains some scrambling
(YDS class 3) unless one tries to bypass the problems with more substantial loss of elevation.
The issue are a number of parallel rock bands that must be downclimbed,
there are some breaches, however these spots
are more easily seen when returning.
Descend the ridge from the final top and connect to Jebel Khadar via a nice saddle.
Next climb Jebel Khadar. First, the slope gains elevation rapidly. Next, there is
a long slog to
finally arrive at the summit, this is the furthest away point that is among
the local tops competing for beeing the highest.
The summit itself has a few nice rock formations. Comments:
Given the long approach from our hotel (Alila Jabal Akhdar) and the hot weather it
was clear that this climb would span 2 days.
Also, some experience from Jebel Kawr would hopefully make this climb
a bit more well structured.
I left the hotel after breakfast at 0900,and had a good, but long drive to the trailhead.
I was ready to hike by 1300, perhaps the warmest time of day, the temperature at start
was 39 C. I was well prepared this time, drinking about one litre before leaving my car and
I carried 5 liter of water. The idea was to drink about half a litre, then leave about half
a liter behind for use on my return hike tomorrow morning.
I made reasonable progress in the afternoon, feeling good about the fact that the temperature
would fall as I gained elevation, but also as the evening would draw closer. Soon, I was hiking along
a local ridge with good views back down
to the village and the trailhead
where my car was parked.
Next, I made the main
crest and had gained about 600 vertical meter in 1:45. The next section of this route has
a sequence of vertical rockbands that must be downclimbed. Often a bit hard to see where
the weaknesses would be when coming from above. Overall, routefinding went quite well and
I could see the main col separating the bulky Jebel Khadar from the rest getting closer.
I realized that the terrain and route would likely be easier from this col to the summit, thus
a plan quickly formed. I would try to get to the summit before sunset, take a good rest there,
then walk back to this key col in the evening with a torch light. Spending the night in this
col would mean having ´quite a comfortable temperature since I carried no sleeping bag. Then,
early morning, I could negotiate the more technical part of the route in daylight and return
to the car before it got very hot.
I walked on and finally reached the summit at 1900,
just at sunset.
It was a longer hike in the end
than anticipated. I rested 30 minutes until it was completely
dark, then hiked back to the col in
2.5 hours, arriving aty 2200. A good rest with some sleep and manhy stars to watch, then leaving at
0440. I was back at my car by 0740. The return drive was smooth, arriving at the hotel at 1130.