Wadi Rum, various routes. Over the winter John was based in Amman, and between trips to Baghdad, Anne visited Jordan and we spent as much time as possible in Wadi Rum. We decided the place was fantastic, having world class everything (trad, sport, scrambling, camel-riding, ...). Our top ticks were: FFA of Towering Inferno, freeing 5 aid pitches to give an 8-pitch E6 6a; Rum’s first headpoint: Rum Grit (E7 6b) right of Catfish Corner; onsight ascents of existing routes Rock Empire (8a; to after the crux pitches) and La Guerre Sainte (F7b; the best multipitch sport route imaginable!); and several new short routes. Anne returned to the U.K. earlier so John had chance to nip down for a couple more routes, both climbed onsight solo (probably the first solos of any long routes in Rum other than Bedouin routes): I.B.M., 13 pitches, F6b (about E3 5c); Inshallah Factor, 15 pitches, F6c (about E4 6a); both times descending Eye of Allah after reaching the East Summit and the Main Summit (by Hammad’s Route) respectively.
Anne and John Arran, U.K.