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Bandar Khayran ferrata, Muscat

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3rd via ferrata equipped in Oman in the 2000s and unfortunately no longer in condition. A little south of Muscat, a fjord with an island. On the south side, a small Robinson-style sandy beach, and on the north side, facing the open sea of the Gulf of Oman, an almost 100m wall, inaccessible except by sea or by traversing the specially equipped ferrata. The area is splendid, but the route has suffered since it was built, especially the final section, which is permanently exposed to sea spray and salty air. With a broken cable and a loosened belay point, we were unable to complete the route, just doing the first few pitches from the start and from the finish to get an idea. The via needs a bit of work, with a few points doubled and cables replaced. The part we were able to do was impressive, a long traverse 60m above the water, with only the rock and the lifeline to help us. A difficult and aerial route. A return trip is necessary, equipped with everything we need to patch up and put it all together.

Technical summary

Access to the place

From Muscat, head towards Yiti, As Sifah. Follow the brown signs for Bandar Khayran (see access map). The road passes a small bay with fishing boats on the left. Park there and ask to be taken to the island in 5′. If not, push on, as there are other bays and probably other possibilities. The boat crosses the fjord and turns right in front of the large island to reach the small and only beach in the area. Get dropped off there, on the sand.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 20'

Leave the beach at the far right. Find a few cairns and finally take a vaguely-marked path up the ridge to the top of the pebble. Walk straight across the plateau. On the seaward side, there are 3 large cairns lined up. Take the one furthest to the left, facing the sea, and at a small landmark cairn, descend a little to find the start of the ferrata further down and to the right, rather hidden to be honest. The final section is on the north-east corner, almost above a large cellar.

Course

The via ferrata consists of a wide, more or less horizontal traverse to reach the cave, which you have to cross on a suspension bridge. We only did a quarter of the traverse, but the progress is difficult.

The wall is very vertical, there are a few overhangs, and the only cable to help is the one without rungs, so you have to place your feet on the rock. The final section we did in the opposite direction was also impressive, but that's where the cable broke and a nail was cut clean through (before our very eyes...). While the rock is good on the start traverse, the finish is on less stable, less pleasant terrain.

A route to be redone, with a few extra points and safety ropes, if only to get past the cellar, which promises some great sensations.

Map & topo

Photos


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