TOPO Climbing

Wall of Shadows, Sharaf Al Alamein, Oman

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Wall of Shadows
Wall of Shadows is one of the best sport climbing spots in Oman. Located at an altitude of almost 2,000m and facing north, this wide wall currently offers some fifteen well-equipped routes on excellent grey limestone, with more to come given the potential. The routes are mostly long, between 25m and 35m, with difficulties ranging from V+ to 7b, most of them in the 6s. An excellent option, then, especially in the hot season from April to November, for cool, shaded climbing (beware, scorpions are also present, as we saw a specimen at the foot of the routes...). Quick access and, above all, an incredible panorama of Jebel Shams and Wadi Bani Awf. A must-see spot!

Technical summary

Type ✦ Rind climbing

Location ✦ Saharaf Al Alamein

Region ✦ Jebel Shams, Hajar Ocidental

Country ✦ Oman

Difficulty ✦ V+ to 7b

Max route ✦ 35m

Orientation ✦ North-East

Rock ✦ Limestone

Interest ✦ ★★★

Access to the place

Coming from Dubai, cross the border after AL Ain (Meyziad), and head towards Ibri. Continue until you turn left towards Bahla, then on to Al Hamra. Just before Al Hamra, turn right towards Hoota Cave and Balad Seet, Hat (brown sign). We pass slightly over the edge of Al Hamra. At the end of this road, make a right-left to catch the road that winds up to the Sharaf pass at 2000m.



Cross the pass and descend on the track for a good kilometer before recognizing the Wall of Shadows on the right. Park on the left in a bend with the platform and the characteristic large boulder (see photo of bivouac).

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 10' à 15'

Climb up to the left end of the wall from the trail. There are 3 ferrata-type rungs to show the way. Higher up, either climb up to reach Annus Horribilis (III) and the left side, or go right (cairn in a tree) to reach the middle of the wall below Shawarmax.

Course Les voies

The wall is fully shaded after mid-day, but the left side is shaded in the morning. The routes were opened as early as 200ç, and a new series has been equipped in recent years. The equipment is very good and all belays are equipped for abseiling. Bring a 70m rope and 15 quickdraws to be able to climb everywhere. The routes described below are the ones we tested, from left to right as you look at the wall.


Annus Horribilis (30m, V/V+, 11 quickdraws)

Climbs up a slightly sloping pillar. Less obvious than it sounds. There are some thin vertical passages where you have to commit yourself.


White Stripes (22m, 6b, 9 quickdraws)

A fine start on the first 3 nails, the rest is easier.


On dirait le sud (26m, 6c, 9 quickdraws)

Fine start and 1st part in 6a max. The little roof is the ones in 6b+/6c, the final easier but distant points.


With time (32m, 6a, 14 quickdraws)

Homogeneous and varied.


The Madureira route (32m, 6a+/6b, 14 quickdraws)

A tough start, then a fairly homogeneous route. Physical movements but no big steps.


7 Extra (20m, 6b/6b+)

The first 10 meters are more difficult. There's quite a bit to be found, but it's small and sustained. The 2nd part after the bend is more accessible. Very nice route with some nice moves.


Gaston! (20m, V+/6a, 11 quickdraws)

An invigorating start, followed by some nice but rather athletic holds. In fact, the route alternates between V+ and a few slightly harder steps in 6a.


Shawarmax (26m, V+, 11 quickdraws)

Just to the left of the central tree. A nice route, perhaps the most accessible on the wall. Ideal for warm-up.


Tribu des Wadis (34m, 6a+)

Start at tree level, on a natural staircase of stacked boulders. Very fine, sustained pitch, especially on the 1st half. Very well equipped, even if the points are further apart on the easier sections.


Les Cornichons (26m, 6c+, 15 quickdraws)

Easy start and vertical middle section. Big passage at the end, balance and mini mini-reglette. An athletic outing.


Le Temps du Bon Temps (29m, V+/6a, 13 quickdraws)

Excellent route, long, varied and aerial. Homogeneous, fairly sustained climbing.


Foggy Mountain Breakdown (28m, 6a+, 12 quickdraws)

First 4 very fine nails, mini holds and balance. The rest is sustained right to the end. Very nice length!


Mirza (27m, 6c/6c+, 12 quickdraws)

Just to the right of Foogy Mountain Breakdown. A fine start, all mini rulers and precarious balance. A big step above a white zone. The rest is steady, with the biggest step before the finish (you can avoid it and go left, which is easier, with a hole to get out of).


Route on the right (6a, 12 quickdraws, not on topo)

Pleasant and homogeneous, the climbing line is more to the left at the start and then to the right in the second part.

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