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Frog Paradise, Jebel Kwar, Oman

Climbing

oman-eng

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Major route in Oman! It's been on the shelves for a while now, and now it's time to tackle the 500m vertiginous face of Jebel Kwar opposite the no less impressive Jebel Misht, Oman's almost magical and emblematic mountain. 13 pitches, 10h of climbing on splendid rock, the route was equipped in just a few days by a team from Revalpin- bravo and thanks to them, it's very impressive! Suffice to say that everything about this route is fantastic, the unprotected passages having been equipped with a few pitons and spits, the route clever, the abseiling line perfect and the atmosphere simply fabulous. Quotations on some pitches may be a little generous, but who cares, this is a monumental, unforgettable route.

Au relais R13

Technical summary

Access to the place

From the Ibri to Nizwa road, turn off at Kaburah and head towards Misht. After a double right-angle bend and before reaching the village of Al Ain, pass a 1st school, then turn right at the second school, go around it to the right and take the track that runs behind it. There's a big bump to get over, then turn right immediately onto the track that climbs up into the hills. After about 30′ minutes, after leaving a track to the right that leads to an antenna, you finally come out at the foot of the wall, on an abandoned summer camp, the Manjub oasis. You can camp there, next to a small garden, with a view of the 700 or 800-metre face and the Misht summit on the other side (see Revalpin access map).

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 1h

Given that it's done at night or in the early hours, it takes a little longer than 45′. Cross to the other side of the garden on the left to catch the falaj and climb it up to a small pool (with frogs?). Continue up into the salt boulders, aiming for a large, slightly bleached dihedral. Once at the foot of the monumental dihedral, climb to the right to take a wide ledge on the 1st floor of the cliff. Cross over, descend then climb back up, and a small cairn indicates the way to go up another notch and find the start of the route at an angle. Cairn at foot and visible points at 5m in a grey crack.

Course

The route is perfectly north-facing, facing Misht. 500m announced for 13 pitches (30m, 35m, 50m, 50m, 30m, 50m, 50m, 40m, 25m, 30m, 25m, 50m, 35m) even if you don't find the same distances, the count is good! All belays are equipped (those for abseiling) or semi-equipped. Bring a set of friends and stoppers, perhaps doubling from 0.5 to 2, and about fifteen quickdraws are enough. There's a 6b+ pitch, but it's doable in A0 by pulling on a lunula, otherwise 6a+/6b is compulsory.


L1 (30m, 6a+)

Climb the vertical crack with 3 points, continue with straight holds. R1 belay a little to the right (6a max?).


L2 (35m, V)

Slab with vertical cracks, no difficulty.


L3 (50m, IV)

Climb the slope slightly to the left to find relay R3, below the ledge on a small wall. From here, walk about 100m upwards to the right to reach the foot of a kind of cut needle, to the right of a white overhanging area.


L4 (50m, 6b)

Pecked slabs, small rulers, it's very nice and homogeneous (6a+ max?). Easier at the end of the pitch, relay on a flat.


L5 (30m, 6a+)

Straight up through tafonis (holes in the rock). Not easy to protect before finding a series of lunulas. Relay off to the right (6a max?).


L6 (50m, 6b+)

Diagonal right to the clearly visible bolt, then climb vertically with finesse. Then pass to the left of a small white overhang with a clean crack and exit onto a flat (6b max). Continue with 1 harder pitch (6b+ or A0) and finish a little higher up.


L7 (50m, V)

Look for a slightly hidden dihedral on the right and then a sort of inclined grassy and stony ledge. Climb left again to reach a belay with 1 piton at the foot of a new wall.)


L8 (40m, 6a)

Start out in the dihedral formed with a cracked, wobbly needle block at the top. Pass over it and continue until you find the R8 belay in a recess (V+ max?).


L9 (25m, 6a+)

Exit to the right of the hole, a slightly curious athletic step (6a+) and continue vertically a little to the right with 1 bolt. Finish on a crack and recover to find the belay on the right.


L10 (30m, 6b)

Diagonally, a first crack then a mini traverse. Climb again and traverse again under a plate (piton + lunula) to finish on picot and thin scales. At this point, it's a real pain in the fingers! Relay with a single point.


L11 (25m, 6a)

Start off to the right on a dihedral that's a bit tricky to climb. Then finish to the left for the relias under a huge slab below the summit.


L12 (50m, V+/6a)

Straight up the slab, pass to the left of a plate and angle slightly right to aim for the ridge. A final step in 6a (? or is it fatigue) and an incredible belay at the foot of a smooth west-facing dihedral on the edge of the void.


L13 (30m, V+)

Climb the dihedral with the right face and exit to the left to attack the end of the pillar. Relay to a flat area 50m from the summit. Finally, 50m free in III to finally reach the summit... there's still some 150 or 200m of wall above to reach the top of the Jebel! But that's enough for today!

Back

It's simple: 11 rappels to link up, by jumping R10, R8 and R7 (staggered rappels placed in the axis). The last 2 abseils can be done in 1 go (60m, yes we did!). The approach in the opposite direction, at night of course, is not at all easy... but we end up on the falaj and back by the fire, dreaming of Paradise.

Map & topo

Photos

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