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Oman Sendfest Continues

Kabir Hajar (aka Big Rock, UIAA VIII- [5.11+], 1000m), Jabal Misht, Oman. Dejan Miskovic and Matej Knavs climbed the new route on January 29, 2008. Jabal Misht has garnered international interest of late, resulting in extensive development this season.
[Photo] Pavle Kozjek

Miskovic leading the pitch above Kabir Hajar’s second large terrace. Notice the fading sunlight; it took a 24-hour push for the pair to establish the new route. [Photo] Matej Knavs

A month and a half ago in Europe the weather, and therefore my mood, was terrible for most winter activities. But then I got an e-mail with a picture of a sunsoaked wall and a question: “Wanna go?” The only sensible reply I could give as a climber was: “Of course. When?” Two weeks later I was in Oman scoping the wall with a pair of binoculars; the day after that Pavle Kozjek and I were climbing a new route, Yel-la Sadik (see the January 29, 2007 Newswire to read Kozjek’s report). But ten days later I had the opportunity to climb a steeper, more committing new route on Jabal Misht with Matej Knavs, a club colleague.

The new route is one of the wall’s most obvious; it follows a striking line of cracks and corners, with two terraces in between. Clean climbing was our goal, and speed was essential because we were not taking bivy gear. We did not take a bolt kit; however, we decided to take hammers and six pins, which turned out to be a waste of energy. The climbing was 100 percent clean (we placed none of the pins), and the rock was gorgeous. We did the 1000-meter route on January 29, 2008 and named it Kabir Hajar, or Big Rock (UIAA VIII- [5.11+]).

Oman has no local climbers, only visitors and temporary residents from the EU and the USA, so it is still developing as a climbing destination. One of the most engaged “locals” is Jakob Oberhauser, an Innsbruck mountain guide living in Oman. He has done more than a hundred first ascents in the region, and after spending a couple of days with him, he showed us some of the hidden spots. The area is full of possibilities for deep water soloing and sport climbing of moderate difficulty. Bouldering in itself is not developed at all, but the wadis have endless potential.