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Jebel Rum, East Face, Rock Empire

In November Michal Rosecky, Tomas Sobotka, and I visited Wadi Rum. We were interested in this area because we come from the Czech Republic, where most rock climbing is on sandstone. We’ve put up many new routes in our country and wanted to make a first ascent in Jordan using the ground-up ethic we employ at home. Although we were away from home for a month, we only spent two weeks in Wadi Rum, the rest of the time traveling and climbing elsewhere in Jordan and Israel. November may not be the best time to climb in Wadi Rum. Nighttime temperatures were 8-10°C, and climbing in the shade could be chilly. However, we put up a new route on the 500m east face of 1,560m Jebel Rum.

Rock Empire is a 15-pitch line with the hardest climbing on pitches three to five. We redpoint- ed the crux fourth pitch at UIAA IX+/X- or an Elbe Valley sandstone grade of Xb. It was a vertical wall with small finger holes and a very technical finish. Pitches three and five were IX-. We completed the route from November 8-11 and believe it could be the longest hard climb in Wadi Rum. This is the Arabic world with its own rules and food, but we enjoyed the experience

Ondra Benes, Czech Republic