AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Asia, Oman, Western Hajar, Jabal Misht (2,090 m), Southeast Face, Yel-la Sadike; South Face, Kabir Hajar

Western Hajar, Jabal Misht (2,090m), southeast face, Yel-la Sadike; south face, Kabir Hajar. I knew little about climbing in Oman until January 3,2008 when Pavle Kozjek showed me a picture of Jabal Misht. Things then progressed fast, and by the 20th we were standing on top of the mountain watching the sun set over the desert. We had just climbed a new route on the 1,000m southeast face in nine hot hours. We named it Yel-la Sadike, which means Hurry, My Friend, because we got up late; both of our alarm clocks were set to Slovenian time, not Oman time, which is three hours earlier. It cost us, because though we reached the top of the route in daylight, we made the classic descent of the north face, and much of the 25km walk through the desert back to base camp, under full moonlight. We soloed the first 100m to the big terrace and then belayed nine long pitches using a 80m rope. The first four of these (V to VI-) led rightward beneath large roofs to the crux fifth pitch (VII-). We continued straight up (V to VI-) between the bolted route Make Love Not War (7b, 2003) and Shukran (VII, 2006). Above the ninth pitch we climbed unroped up the remaining 250m (generally II with some IV+), possibly following the line of The Empty Quarter (British E2 5a, 2000).

On the 29th I completed my second route on Misht, this time on the south face, with Knavs Matej. We chose a bold line that offered an uncertain outcome. This gamble paid off, and we had a great day, climbing steep, perfect limestone and topping out at 1 a.m. We named this 1,000m route Kabir Hajar (Big Rock, VIII-). We started on the big terrace 100m left of the French Pillar and climbed about 15 long pitches (generally V to VI, with the crux on pitch three) to the summit in 18 hours. We used traditional removable protection on both routes. Though we brought hammers and a few pitons, they proved unnecessary.

Oman has much potential for climbers of all interests: bouldering, DWS (deep water soloing), sport climbing, and the big faces of the Hajar. The locals are friendly too. We tried a bit of everything and promised to come back. Logistics for climbing in Oman are simple: all you need is some Internet action and money.

Dejan Miskovic, Slovenia