Jebel Misht, Fata Morgana
Oman, Western Hajar
Becoming enthralled by a place—many people have experienced this after visiting Patagonia, Yosemite Valley, or other climbing destinations. In the lands of the east this is possible as well, especially when there are nearly endless opportunities for new routes.
In January 2008, Thomas Scheiber and I joined Jakob Oberhauser to finish one of Jakob’s old projects on Jebel Misht, a new route on the south face that he had already attempted twice. We completed Flying Pegs (900m, VIII+) in seven hours.
About a year later, I was drawn back to Oman, this time with Berti Gleirscher, Hannes Mair, and Much Mayr. First we visited the short but very technical sport crag Little Gorgette in Wadi Bani Awf, where there is still a lot of potential for new development. Much and I established Sinbad (8a+), and our group climbed several other new routes in the area.
Much and I then headed to Jebel Misht, hoping to climb a new route in the same general area as Flying Pegs. We wanted to attempt the route in one day, however we deceived ourselves. We also wanted to climb with no bolts, but the buttress we chose had other ideas, with steep, blank rock that forced us to drill two bolts to protect the first difficult pitch (later rated 7c). The next pitch, also 7c, was protected with five piton placements. Above this, the steepness of the wall eased, although the climbing remained demanding, with fragile rock. We finished the climb on February 12, 2009, after two days of work on the lower section: Fata Morgana (800m, 20 pitches, 7c).
A few days later we climbed a shorter new route on Jebel Misht’s east face: Dattelklauber Sigi (400m, VII).
Oman is a land with a lot of climbing potential, guaranteed sunshine, amazing jackfruit, and ever-friendly people. Best of all, every alpine climber will get their money’s worth.
–Hansjörg Auer, Austria