TOPO Climbing

Transition, Junction & Nearside Walls, Ras Al Khamaih, Emirates

Topo published on |


Dans Little Pig Nose (Transition gauche)

Transition sector, top of Wadi Shah, west of Ras Al Kaimah. Ideal temperature to resume climbing in earnest in the Emirates. "In the bend, on the beautiful shaded wall, a series of trad routes and a few recently equipped sport routes. Warm-up in Visionary before gradually climbing along the right-hand side of the ridge, up the road. White lines, initially in 2 pitches, but which can be linked in one pitch with an 80m route. Then Knickers in the bridge, a magnificent route, aerial, fine and sustained, with a really difficult step just before the belay.

Technical summary

Access to the place

From RAK, head towards the entrance to Wadi Bih, before turning off into Wadi Shah. Climb it, passing all the classic sectors (Yellow Stone, Cleavage...) and follow a few twists and turns to reach Transition, in a large left-hand bend. Park on the roadside. The main sector is on the right, with a few lanes on the left (uphill). Continuing up the road, you pass Nearside Walls and then Junction Walls (see Topos for details).

Map & topo

Download John Gregory's PDF topos here for Transition and here for Nearside Walls.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 5'

For Transition, descend from the road to join the bed of the wadi and climb up to the base of the cliffs on the right. The 1st route is a little higher up, the others back to the road on a narrow ledge that leads to the foot of the following routes. For Nearside Walls, the routes are either right-side down or left-side up, just off the road.

Course Les voies

They're all bolted, perfectly on Transition, in a slightly curious way for the new Nearside, with nails sometimes very (too far apart, with the risk of falling back to the ground or onto a ledge), sometimes very close together. You'll need 80m to get through all the routes and around 15 quickdraws. All routes can be abseiled. Transition is in the shade all day, Nearside Walls and Junction in the morning or at the end of the day, depending on which side you're climbing.


Cross Roads (L1, 15m,V+ + L2, 25m, 6b)

Inside and to the right of the canyon bed. A V+ step for L1 and a splendid, fine and very airy L2.

Visionary (30m, 6a)

Following a ridge, this is a fairly aerial climb. No great difficulty, but a few athletic or fine steps and a pumpy finish. An excellent warm-up route.

White Lines (40m, 6b+)

An original route that zigzags around a gloc boulder and ends in a vertical crack above a tree. The 2 overhanging passages at the start and higher up the bulge are impressive but not very difficult. Pass the optional belay and reach the crack under the tree where the route's big boulder step is located, not easy to get out on the 1st try. Pass over the tree for an easy finish.

Knickers in the Fridge (30m, 6c)

Very nice route! First small section with nice tubs to reach the large dihedral. Continue on the right face of the dihedral. It's fine, steady climbing, with placement and sometimes very fine holds. The big step is just below the belay, so you can grab the ridge and climb with your right foot high up without letting yourself become unbalanced. After this step, big holds to finish.


Right next to the road, left side

Two and half bolts (15m, V+) a good step at the start, not easy. Easier in the middle, then an interesting final wall with a slightly technical step before exiting.

The twin (12m, 6a) a big step at the start on very abrasive rock. A second fairly fine step above before joining the final wall shared with Two and Half bolts.

Right-hand route (15m, V+/6a) starts in the dihedral, then follows to the right. The final section is on the ridge with an interesting final step. Route to be equipped.

A little pig nose (10m, 6b, 1dégaine)

Very short route with an interesting central movement. Several options for exit and recovery. Can be done late at the top with 1 bolt to protect the crux.


Cherubin (35m, V+, VS)

1st pitch of around 25m to reach a platform to equip R1. One or two steps a little tense before the belay but easily protected. The 2nd pitch is shorter (10m) and really nice: fairly vertical cracks, easy protection. Exit onto a ledge and descend to the right with a 35m equipped abseil.

Angel Ways (30m, 6a+)

The route is well equipped. The second part is quite physical, using the increasingly narrow, very vertical crack. A good, sustained 6a+.


Around the Block sector

Sporty route (40m, 6c ?)

Sporty route between Irish Tea Party and Neighbourg of The Beast. I haven't tried it myself, but it looks sustained and very fine. Big, wide slab with tiny holds. After a flat spot 3/4 of the way up, there's a very difficult roof to climb, which has been converted to artif' for the occasion. Route to be repeated.

Left and Far Left sectors

Pete's Corner (30m, VS, F6a)

A tricky start to the slightly inclined but not very hooky crack. Then climb back up to cross diagonally to the right. A committed exit step, then a nearly upright recovery. An easier passage before finishing in a dihedral and a tricky exit step.

Tim's Tipple (25m, E1, F6b)

Another invigorating and technical start, perhaps the move of the route. Then it's back up the crack without too much difficulty before reaching the roof. The passage is really difficult, with uncomfortable positions. Reach the horizontal crack under the rock to cross to the right (no footing!) and grab a good tub over the top. Recover as best you can. The 2nd part of the route is easier.

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