TOPO Climbing

Les Dessous de la Princesse, wadi Naqab, Emirates

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arrivée au R1

1st autumn outing in the Emirates for a return to the bottom of Wadi Naqab and the latest addition: Les Dessous de la Princesse. Just under 40°, it's still very hot and we've left quite a bit of water behind us, despite an early start and a climb in the shade. Repeating the route confirms its level of difficulty, with perhaps only 80m of ascent over the 3 pitches. It still needs a bit of cleaning up to do it right. It's still a great option for climbing in the area, varied, vertical with pretty steps, in the beautiful desert atmosphere of Naqab. If the 3 belays are equipped, you'll need a good set of friends and jammers, as no equipment is in place, but the protection is easy to install.

Technical summary

Access to the place

From the E18 from RAK to the airport, turn left at a Toyota store (do a U-turn there). Head for the mountains, take the fork on the right (large speed bump at the entrance) then, at the T junction, turn left. From the asphalt, you enter the wadi, then a good track, then a medium-sized track, each time turning right. After the last buildings (small stone houses on the left), continue for a while in the torrent bed. Today, the track is totally broken up and impassable. Leave the car before the chaos. Allow a good 30 minutes on the track.

Map & topo

S ee the Google Earth image below or download and open the Google Earth file that gives the waypoints to the parking lot (rename the .jpg extension to .kmz).

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 1h30

It's quite long but well worth the detour. From the last parking lot, continue along the wadi bed. Pass the first large bend to the right, with huge boulders on the left. A little further on, go left to find a cairn and the entrance to the system of ledges. Climb following the bluish marks on the rock (polished by repeated passage). Successive switchbacks follow one another above the wadi, occasionally crossing a scree slope. Then you reach a large platform (see photo), which you have to cross and then join more switchbacks that finally lead to a flat area and an opening in the wadi above. We're now opposite the Red Wall, which is on the right-hand side, with a huge boulder zone below. Cross the wadi bed and climb up to the wall on the left of the bouldering area to reach the foot of the routes. At the foot of the Red Wall, stay on the left wall. The start is at the foot of a shrub, and there's a bolt at 3/4m for orientation.

Course

The wall has a westerly exposure, so gets the sun early/mid afternoon depending on the time of year. 90m in 3 pitches (40m, 30m, 20m) with a maximum difficulty of 6a (1 or 2 pitches), generally in the V/V+ range. Only the belays are equipped, so bring a set of friends and stoppers. The route can be abseiled 2 times with a 2x50m rope.


L1 (35m, V+/6a)

Climb the corner at the foot of the 1st dihedral with some good holds. The second part, which runs slightly to the left along the crack, is more vertical and tricky, with one or two more difficult steps. The belay is on a small flat spot in a corner.


L2 (25m, V/V+)

Climb straight up and follow the obvious crack upwards with slight irregular curves. You pass to the right of the 1st shrub and then to the left of the second. It's not super-difficult, but steady and airy.


L3 (20m, V)

Go into the nook, over a large boulder and then onto the spiky slab on the right. A nice horizontal crack leads to the final slab. Final relay almost on the ridge.

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