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Alona, Al Hamra Tower, Oman

Climbing

oman-eng

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After climbing the East and Central Towers of Al Hamra, it's the West Tower that's on the agenda. Alona climbs the north-west face of this huge rock face overlooking the palm grove and facing the Jebel Ghul and Jebel Shams. The first 2 pitches are a little curious, with zigzags, then more classic dihedral climbs to the summit, where the panorama of the valley is as exceptional as ever. A notch below its neighbors La Mama (Middle Tower) and En attendant les lents (East Tower).

Technical summary

Access to the place

Drive to Al Hamra, located between Ibri and Nizwa, at the foot of Jebel Shams, south-facing slope. Look out for the tooth-shaped West Tower, with a road that twists and turns up to the foot. Cross the wadi to climb up and park at the last bend before the end of the road (quarry building closed?).

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 20'

From the bend, climb to the left and cross over the road to reach and skirt the base of the tower, then go around it to the west to reach the start of the route (1 wedge and a cairn at the start).

Course

North-west facing, so partly in the afternoon sun. 200m in 5 pitches (20m, 30m, 50m, 50m, 50m). No equipment in place and a route generally in the V+ range (rated TD). Bring a set of friends and jammers.


L1 (20m, V)


Start off to the left of the belay, with a step. Make a left turn and climb the belay at the next turn.


L2 (30m, V+)


Unpleasant and uncomfortable length. Zigzag between boulders, with a huddled traverse. Exit almost under the main dihedral to climb relay R2 comfortably.


L3 (50m, V)


Diagonal start to reach the black-brown dihedral. The rock is much better. Continue on a fairly airy climb to belay R3 under a more vertical crack that forms an almost chimney.


L4 (50m, V+)


The most beautiful pitch. Fine start. Good holds on the right in the slab to avoid getting too far into the crack. Ditto higher up, passing to the right with a custom pocket hold. Easier end by turning left under the white section.


L5 (50m, V)


Easier finish. Go left on a series of slabs and ledges (IV) then climb a fairly airy final chimney to finally climb the R5 belay below the summit.

Back

Climb to the top, then descend to the south (cairns). Then return to the starting point either to the right or to the left, skirting the tower.

Map & topo

Photos

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