We were a team of six: Benoit Robert, Philippe Batoux, Hervé Bouvard and I as the leading team, and Guy Abert and the Israeli Alon Hod in support. It took us five days, from November 12-16, with fixed rope to establish La Guerre Sainte (The Holy War, 7b+, 12 pitches, 400m) on the east face of Nassrani North. We spent our nights at the Comfort Rest House, where people can find the topo. I am very enthusiastic about this new route, a 400- meter sport free climb in the desert of Wadi Rum, close to the Red Sea in South Jordan.
This is an outstanding climb thanks to the special rock (the sandstone is sometimes more sand than rock) and the beautiful desert scenery. It’s like climbing on the moon! Particularly when you gain altitude, you have the feeling you are in another world: the valley with its yellow sand contrasts with the small red massifs. The colored, very sculpted rock requires a perfect concentration and technique. You are obliged to learn to use your whole body so as not to break a hold. It’s more than climbing on your feet. When it’s 5.12c, that’s not easy.
This is not the hardest route in the world but, due to the quality of rock, the incredible shapes of the holds and the perfect verticality of the wall, it is one of the most singular. The route is well equipped with bolts and rings (special ones made by Petzl), but sometimes it’s run out enough to maintain the game of “Oops, here it’s really better I don’t fall.” Compulsory moves are not harder than 6c, and so attempting the route is possible for many climbers.
Arnaud Petit, France