Ben Robbins

Tid  en dag 18 timer 12 minutter

Koordinater 31212

Uploadet 17. september 2017

Optaget april 2012

1.250 m
140 m
38,77 km

Vist 1653 gange, downloadet 27 gange

tæt på Baqal, Raʼs al Khaymah (United Arab Emirates)

A multi-day trek from the bottom to the top of Wadi Niqab, along the ridge and up the western ridge of Jebel Qihwi,

The Route from Parking to Summit is 39km, and took around 16 hours (Moving time). This was spread over 3 days. The shortest Descent route to a parking spot (at the time) is 7.5km (Northern Route) and takes around 2 hours and is not included on this route. It is on the other Jebel Qihwi Route trail which can be found here:

This route was done at a Generally Moderate pace.

Day 1: 4km - 1 hour
Day 2: 30km - 12 hours
Day 3: 5km - 3 hours (To Summit) + 7.5km (2 hours) to the Wadi Khab al Shams Track

The GPS was flat for day 3, so this route is 2 parts GPS, 1 part traced. The elevation data is therefore incorrect for day three, and in fact gained a further 1650ft / 500m.

Generally the route is Graded as 'Very difficult' as I grade on the crux of the route. However it had various difficulty levels at various sections. Due to the April temperatures (cheeky-pokes at the 40 mark), lack of shade (particularly on day 3) and no access to clean water, the backpack weight adds technical difficulty to the route also.

Difficulty Grading:

Day 1 was a flat wadi track and is graded 'Easy' throughout

Day 2 was mostly 'Moderate'. After Redwall it gained difficulty moving up to very 'Difficult'. After turning south, it becomes an open wadi rated as 'Moderate', before the divide, where we headed east again. This is then a 'Difficult' section up to the villages. It is the 'Moderate' walking up to where we camped.

Day 3: 'Easy' walking up to the top of the Niqab valley, then 1 'Moderate' section for a short and steep section to the 'Easy' ridge which divides the east coast bound and west coast bound drainage basins. Finally a steep arête broken into short sharp steps makes for a 'Difficult'/'Very difficult' final section up to the top. 'Moderate' scrambles then allow for submitting the two peak sections on Jebel Qihwi.

Route Description:

Day 1:

We followed the unpaved track (which degraded to a rocky track) as far as possible on the wadi floor before it turned off. (Way point 1 - End of Track / Parking) This can be done in a regular car, and with some persuasion a taxi. From here a faint track/path goes straight up the wide flood out lower wadi section, with almost no height gain. Slowly the wadi closes in and the rock walls build up on either side as you pass way points 2 and 3 (bends). As we were starting the trek in the evening, we camped early, with rocks rising vertically around us, and plenty of dead wood which had been dumped after flooding making for a good fire.

Day 2:

The wadi gets progressively harder through the day, but is easy to follow. Follow the bend way points until way point 7 (tricky section). Hear the rock becomes smooth off from the flash flooding, and has some tricky steps in it. However with carefully spotting skills there are routes in here which are not actually too risky.

The wadi walls either side tower above you, and the GPS signal goes a bit awol, (explaining the up/down bulge in the gpx track). between way points 7 and 8 (both marked 'tricky section', one particularly awkward squeeze has to be climbed, and this appears to be the point at which a lot of routes in this area turn back. However with a good bit of chimney wedging, followed by bags being separately thrown upwards, this section (Although awkward) wasn't particularly challenging or dangerous.

Between Way points 8 and 9 the wadi opens up, and the heat of the day hits us. A few desperately thin trees offered minimal shade. The rocks on the wadi floor are large, and progress here although easy is slow, and somewhat tedious.

At way point 9 the wadi has a bit split. We headed east, however a large step in the wadi is not passable. We headed off up a loose scramble section a short distance further south (to the right if facing the step) and scrambled up past the step some distance before getting back into the wadi.

The wadi after this is noticeably smaller scale, with a lot of downsizing, and after short while we see buildings and palm trees appearing to the right. We scramble up and out of the wadi to find we have arrived at the village. (Waypoint 11) This village is one of the largest in a network of villages that line the plateau area from Wadi Taiwan area to Jebel Qihwi. We followed a side dry-stream through the village to the east (Waypoint 12) and it curves north to an upper section of the village. At this point we moved from the wadi to the hill side, and headed upward to a descent camping spot about 1km north of the village. (Waypoint 13)

Day 3:

We followed the rounded ridge line dividing the many small dry-streams at the top of wadi Niqab, (Waypoint 14 - 15 - 16) before heading eastward around the tops. Here, we had a short steep walk up onto the final ridge line before the ascent of Qihwi. (Way point 16 - 17)

We then walked around the ridge line, (Way points 18 - 21) which divides 3 of the biggest wadi's in the area. Wadi BIh tributaries heading North, Wadi Niqab heading West and Wadi Gharbiyah heading South East, to Dibba. With a few ups and downs this got us nicely to the bottom of the arête. (Waypoint 22)

The arête has a set of steps in it with short rocky scrambles between. The very first step gives you the right idea of what to expect and gets you into gear. The ground is generally solid most of the way up, and although we stuck tightly to the arête, it may be possible (and/or easier) to scramble up in the gulley on the north side of the arête.

The arête then abruptly ends on a small peak just south of the main Qihwi summit peaks (Waypoint 23), near to the weather station. From here you can walk directly across moderate terrain to the summit/s. (Waypoints 24-25). The summits are described in the Jebel Qihwi - Northern and Southern Routes Here:
04 - Bend before Camping Area
05 - Bend
06 - Bend (Redwall)
07 - Tricky Section
08 - Tricky Section
09 - Wadi Split
12 - Farms
14 - Camp Site 2 (Top of Wadi Naqab)
20 - Top of Wadi gharbiyah
21 - Top of Wadi gharbiyah and Wadi Bih
22 - Arete
23 - Top of Arete (Wadi Khab al Shamsi/Wadi Bih)
24 - Summit 2
25 - Summit 1


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