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Hatta Crag, Oman

Climbing

oman-eng

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Hatta Crag is the closest sport climbing area to Dubai. A good number of equipped routes and others to be done in adventure terrain on small limestone cliffs riddled with tafonis. The entire width of the long wall is cut into large blocks forming ridges, with south and north faces to climb. Equipped routes range from IV to 7b, with a predominance of 6a/6b. The equipment is good, the rock of good quality, and the east-facing sector means you can climb almost everywhere from mid-morning onwards, giving priority to the north-facing routes first. Located below the summit of a small mountain, the climbing environment is very Zen-like, with a mineral view over the surrounding desert plain.

Hatta Crag

Technical summary

Type ✦ Trad and equipped rind climbing

Location ✦ Al Madam

Region ✦ Hatta

Country ✦ Oman

Difficulty ✦ 4 to 7b

Max route ✦ 30m

Orientation ✦ East

Rock ✦ Limestone

Interest ✦ ★★

Access to the place

From Dubai, allow around 1 hour. Take the E44 towards Hatta and after Al Madam, pass a checkpoint where a simple presentation of passport or ID card is sufficient for the moment (2015). You are now technically in Oman. Drive for about ten kilometers, then turn left at a red Al Maha gas station (on the opposite side).



Follow the road and turn right at the fork to join a track and cross the quarry area. Continue and climb to the right at the end to pass to the right of the mountain (south side) over a sort of pass. Return inland to a parking area with a large cut-out boulder and a small cement slab. You're now level with The Fridge area of Hatta Crag.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 15'

Fast but a bit brutal, especially as it's often in the sun. There's no really marked path, but it's easy to zigzag your way along. Once below The Fridge, which is easily recognizable, follow the base of the wall north or south, depending on the area of Hatta Crag.

Course Les voies par secteur

The Hatta Crag sector is presented in detail in the UAE topo guide (2009), with many photos for each sub-sector, even if new routes have since been created and are not included. The sub-sectors are shown below from left to right (south to north), and the routes in each sector from left to right. Only the routes we have climbed are described. On the whole, the UAE topo guide's ratings are accurate, but on a few routes we've "re-quoted" (often to within a 1/2 level).


EASTERN BUTRESS

The southernmost sector, far to the left of the Fridge.



topo Eastern Buttress Hatta Crag
Eastern Butress sector, Hatta Crag


So Long and Thanks for all Bolts (20m, 6a+, 11 quickdraws)

On the left-hand ramp. No real difficulty except for a recovery step at the bottom and the final step if you don't use the left wall in opposition. Nicely rated, very well equipped.


Shunned and Falsified (20m, V)

Very pleasant ridge climb, abrasive rock and good holds. Generously equipped.


Fortune and Glory (30m, 6a+, 13 quickdraws)

The most beautiful in the sector. Climbs the right face, aerial view, fine and continuous.


Open Wide and Say Ahh (15m, V+, 7 quickdraws)

This is the strangest route in the sector. Round, open holds with few hooks. The rock looks like it's dripping. Also vertical, so pumpy at the finish. A good title!


THE FRIDGE

It's a kind of boulder with a hole that hangs above the ground. There are routes all around, most of them with overhanging starts.



topo Fridge Nord Hatta Crag
The frigdge sector, Hatta Crag


Troll Slapping (12m, 6c+)

South side. Leftmost line, 2 steps of very hard, very thin boulders (never successful!).


The Troll (12m, 6a)

South side. Vertical route, good grip, athletic and fairly sustained.


North central route (12m, 6b)

Corresponds to route 3 on the topo. Easy overhanging start before the pitch of the route at 3m with 2 small holes and a ruler. Then it's easier to finish on the left belay.


RIGHT OF THE FRIDGE

Without climbing Above The Fridge, 2 introductory routes from Hatta Crag.


Left route (12 m, IV+)

Forms a staircase, easy and well-equipped.


Right-hand route (12 m, V)

Climbs up a slightly sloping, finer slab.


ABOVE AND BEYOND THE FRIGE

Area above and slightly to the right of the Fridge.


Balrog (30m, 6c, 15 quickdraws)

A very fine route, albeit uneven. The difficulty is concentrated in the central 10m, with a step out that earns it a 6c.


Vegan Buffet (30m, V+)

Long slab route (except for the original start), with a few fine passages. Finishes on the ridge.


Chic Habit (15m, V+, 7 quickdraws)

Very vertical, with holes and a finer movement in the middle.


The Mud and the Blood and the B (20m, V, 8 quickdraws)

Easy overhanging start, then slightly sloping slab.


Training Bra (25m, V, 8 quickdraws)

Climbs up a vertical tongue of rock, then a sloping slab. A single finer passage in the 1st third.


7a route (25m)

On the other side of Spider Pig. Start in the crack with tafonis and exit on the right-hand slab. Follow diagonally on a slab with rounded, leaky holds. Sustained, fine climbing. Very difficult!


6b+/6c route (25m)

Right next to 7a. 1st half overhanging, good holds but athletic. 2nd part vertical on the left side of the ridge, with a harder pitch before finishing the last few meters easier.


Left of Spider Pig (28m, 6b, 16 quickdraws)

An athletic, overhanging start on the outside of the ridge. The rest is fine and continuous, but without huge steps.


Spider Pig (30m, 6b/6b+, 12 quickdraws)

Inside start. Nice sustained line, 1 harder move in the middle, the finish is also finer.


BAT CAVE

Further to the right, several holes.


Dark Night (6b)

1st part in 6a max with nice holes. After the easy middle, a wall and a big step in 6b/6b+, mini holes and nothing for the feet.


League of Shadows (12m, 6c)

Very nice route, overhanging start, good holds. The slope becomes steeper and ends up in a roof. A rest point and a hyper-athletic exit. Very aerial.


DESCENT GULLY

To the right of the Bat Cave sector. A nice vertical slab with some nice holes.


Duelling with Duplicity (15m, 6a, 7 quickdraws)

A final step to reach the belay, the rest is less complicated.


Swedish Supermodel (22m, 6a+, 8 quickdraws)

More sustained, with a final step to get out.


Thin Slapping (25m, 7a, 12 quickdraws)

1st third in 6a max up to the ledge. 2nd third technical and fine with 2 or 3 big moves to get out. An athletic finish, especially if you've left some juice below!


Pocket Rocket (25m, 6b)

Diagonal traverse to the big horizontal hole. Above is the crux, with 2 or 3 athletic steps on a slight incline. The last part is easier.


Vanishing Point (10m, V+)

Starting under the rock on the right, this curious but original route passes through the hollow of a narrow hole. Not for the faint-hearted or the tall.


FORGOTTEN WALL

Beautiful, south-facing, vertical wall with 4 well-equipped routes. More to the right.


Finger food (13m, 6a+)

Very fine, with sharp mini rulers. A tricky step between the 2d and 3rd nails.


Just Layback (18m, 6a)

Start in the dihedral, then pass the overhang to finish on the left of the ridge.


Hollow Laugh (18m, V+)

Nice warm-up route. Fine and varied.


Jana's solution (18m, 6b+)

Explosive roof start, then a good reta step higher up. 2nd part on slab, fine at the end. Very nice length.


UPPER CAVE AND SPIKEY BUSH WALL

Further to the right (descend to reach it).


Snakes and Ladders (12m, V)

An easy but very aerial pitch on a ridge that emerges from the rock. Great sensation and magazine photos guaranteed.


Left Handed Octopus (20m, V+)

Starts just to the right of the previous one. Easy vertical climb to a flat area, then a more aerial second section and a slightly overhanging final section with huge holds.


Crimpuccino (15m, 6b, 8 quickdraws)

A good, tricky pitch in the middle and another one a little higher up on a tingling bulge.

Map & topo

Photos

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