Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Al Hamra Towers

This is a sort of dual trip report to these excellent trad'ish cliffs in Oman. I climbed there in early February with Dan Donovan and again in March with Scott Barber. The three towers are solid limestone, each around 250m high, and close to black-top roads within Al Hamra (the town you pass through to reach Jebel Shams, Hoti Cave and the pass over to Wadi Bani Auf).

All images enlarge if clicked

The towers from the road up to the pass over to Wadi Bani Auf

'En attendant les lents', around UK E1 or E2, on the east tower. The third and seventh pitches are the hardest. The traverse on pitch four is scary to second.

Me on pitch two

Dan following pitch three, an exposed and quite thin slab.

Dan on the top. Parking, path-up and houses of ultra-hospitable locals shown behind.

'La Mama', around UK E2 or E3, on the central tower. Sustained throughout, with bold climbing on pitch two and the hardest moves on pitches five and six

Dan soloing (really) the route in February

Scott at the same point, pitch three, on our March ascent. This is a nice layback crack with a few bolts.

Scott on the summit, Al Hamra town and slopes of Jebel Shams behind

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Old Cam Found

I found this old cam this weekend lodged deep in a crack a bit to the right of Franklin on roadside crag in wadi Qada. Any way there was a short piece of rope that was completely degraded by the sun it crumpled in my hand. I have not found any distinguishable marks or brand names any were on it except for a stamped number 864. Does any one recognize this type of cam as I would to see if I can track it back to the manufacturer and see how old it is. I don't think it is home made as it looks to well made for a home job. But the stamped number looks home done. Even better if anyone recognizes it as there's?
Old cam
The stamped serial number ?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


The Clones Attack The Two Towers

Oh, no: a sequel ...

More from the Lame-o-Vision studios, this exercise in vain self-fellation stitches together three attempts on the left-hand Monkey Bars route to create one phoney pre-first-ascent ascent.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


(possibly lame) video experiment

I got a bit overexcited last year, whilst nursing a tweaked finger and having just got a iMac with video-editing-for-dummies program, that I could be a movie auteur ... rapidly realised I shouldn't give up the day job. Anyway, this has been sitting on my hard drive for a while: Pete and Guida doing the first ascent of Cinderella Storm in Wadi Bih. The question is: can you embed YouTube into Blogger?

If it worked for you: no, I don't recall why I thought the Manu Chuo track was appropriate ...

Sunday, March 04, 2007


The latest on those new sport routes on Aladdin's Lamp Wall

A tad more mundane than having to perform any dynamic pivot moves a la Monkey Bars but still requiring some commitment, the two new sport routes mentioned in an earlier post were completed in Jan (late post due to infernal blog access and converting-pictures-in-word-to-jpeg-format problems - thanks Marvin for getting me sorted out on the former):

Am guesstimating the ratings as a US 5.9/5.9+ for Redemption and a US 5.7/5.8 for EOC. I sort of reckon this works out a UK 5a or French 5+ and a UK 4c / 5a or French 5- / 5. Will someone please climb the buggers again and let me know (how about that Swiss guy before Toby has him banned)

Below is an updated picture of A. Lamp Wall

1) Sunrise over Red’dat Sa’a
1a) Possible future project: extension of Sunrise …
2) Crack Wipe
3) Easy Money
4) Breach of Contract
5) deMantle
6) Think Fast Hippie
7) Two Amigos
8) EOC
9) Redemption
9a) Unfinished Project: Redemption Variation
10) Relentless

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Monkey Bars tutorial

After witnessing a few shameful failures/ heroic attempts (delete as appropriate) on this Radatsa classic (Iftar Crucifix F6c+).. it's time for a proper review of the moves:

First, wire an efficient sequence up the easy bit. 'Wire' means 'so you can do it the same way every time', right?

... get your right hand into the circular pocket as a sidepull on its left side ... don't try to match this hold. Or break it.

.. throw sideways for the dish. Really throw for it. Do not use technique (*). Get your left foot jammed well in the horizontal break to damp the swing, then match both hands in the dish ...

... left foot up to heel-hook the ledge on the left. Hook it firmly ...

... rock-up onto your left foot whilst snatching for little sharp edges and sidepulls with your left hand ...

... keep pulling and standing higher on your left foot and voila: the top.

* you could try kicking hard with your right foot to do a kind of pivot around the axis of your right hand/ left foot, whilst throwing with your left hand. Quite hard to describe. Whichever, think 'dynamic'.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


UAE rock take2

Here we go goat included


UAE Rock

Saw this cartoon and it looks a bit like some UAE routes Except its missing goat on the ledge

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