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Tickle the Dream, Ras Al Khaimah, Emirates



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This time it's done. After a failed attempt some time ago (fall at R1), I returned to the Litibah wadi to finish the 5-pitch route up the cliff just to the right of the Shady Circus. An easy route in the end, rather over-rated in the UAE guidebook, V+ max and still on the short 4th pitch. The rest is very accessible, almost too easy in the end, in the IV/IV+ range, but pleasant. The rock is pretty good, even if there are a lot of stones lying around on the route, risking a downhill slide on the following pitches. It's a good way to get back into trad climbing.

Arrivée au R4

Technical summary

Access to the place

Continue along the road above RAK towards the border with Oman. Past the gigantic cement works, fork right towards Wadi Ghalilah (signposted). Drive up the wadi, passing small hamlets before turning right towards the dam painted in UAE colors. After the dam, take the track to the left, which runs along the stony bed of the wadi. Further right, park at the Shady Circus, 200m from the track on the right (easy to spot).

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 10'

Very fast from the track, crossing the wadi bed to reach the right flank of the Shady Circus on sight and climb up the slope to the start of the route, to the right of the rocky angle.


The route has a north-westerly exposure and remains in the shade for most of the day. No equipment in place, apart from a few large pitons left by previous rope parties. 200m (not the 225m advertised) in 5 pitches (50m, 55m, 35m, 40m, 20m). The level is in the IV/IV+ range, except for L4 on the 15m dihedral in the V+ range, which is not nasty (nice climb).

L1 (50m, IV)

Start off to the right of the corner with the Circus, a little higher up under a large, wide sloping crack. climb up to a 1st obvious ledge.

L2 (55m, IV+)

Pass to the right of the small leafy tree (IV+) and continue along a wide sloping gully (III/IV). Climb the R2 belay with pitons under a small dihedral overhung by a large triangular rock.

L3 (35m, V)

Climb the fissure under the boulder and go right into a small, wide canyon to reach the foot of a large, characteristic V-shaped dihedral (large boulder with overhang on right).

L4 (15m+25m, V+ then II)

Go straight up the vertical dihedral. A pleasant 15m in a very small V+ to a relay of 2 rusty pitons, where you can climb the relay and then scramble the remaining 25m to avoid falling rocks. Then come and stand under the last small wall at the end.

L5 (20m, IV)

Follow the cracks and climb almost straight up to the summit, on a large ledge separating the second cliff level. End of the run.


Classic return from the Shady Circus. Descend to the waterfall on the left and continue on the slightly exposed route system (cairns) to reach a rocky gully at the end which leads down to the cliffs. Continue down the stony slope to the starting point (about 200m to the right of the cars).

Map & topo



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