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Slovenians Establish Idyllic Moderate in Oman

Dejan Miskovic soloing the opening dihedral of Yel-la Sadik (Hurry, My Friend; UIAA VII- [5.10], 1000m), which he and Pavle Kozjek established on Jabal Misht (2090m), Oman, on January 20, 2008. [Photo] Pavle Kozjek

During a week of climbing in Oman, my fellow Slovenian Dejan Miskovic and I established a new route up the southeast face of Jabal Misht (2090m) on January 20, 2008. We named it Yel-la Sadik (Hurry, My Friend; UIAA VII- [5.10], 1000m). We climbed it in about twenty hours round-trip with lightweight equipment and in traditional style with friends, nuts and a few pitons.

The day after we arrived we inspected the wall and brought supplies to the base. The weather was good; windy and not too hot. However, the next morning began with a problem: the alarm clocks on both our mobiles were set to Central European Time, so we woke up at 6 a.m. instead of 3 a.m. We ran up to the face and began the climb at about 8:30 a.m., soloing up to UIAA grade V [5.7] on the first 100 meters of the route. The rock was excellent, and there were holds in unexpected places.

We continued straight up three long pitches on an 80-meter rope to the big roofs where we decided to traverse right; we called this the yellow pitch. The white rock on the left side was much worse, and there was no obvious way through the overhangs. At the end of the traverse we found excellent brown limestone again, and after flake climbing on a steep slab–the crux–we continued up and slightly left for some excellent and beautiful pitches.

From the big ledge about 250 meters below the top we soloed again, probably following the logical exit of Empty Quarter (Ramsden-Eastwood, 2000) for a few pitches. We reached the top still in daylight. After a tiresome night descent of 1300 meters there was no car waiting for us at the road, so we started walking the 25 kilometers to get around the mountain. It was shortened for some kilometers thanks to a friendly local with a car. In the middle of the night we reached our base camp again.

The route takes a line between the routes Make Love Not War (a bolted 7b [5.12b] route) and Shukran (VII [5.10d]). Climbing on the face of Jabal Misht was a real pleasure, thanks to fine weather, a logical line and perfect limestone with holds literally everywhere.

My friends and I spent the rest of our week discovering sport climbing and deep water soloing areas. I also tried fishing using just my hands in the disappearing pool near Wadi Daykah. I was successful enough for a (small) dinner. I’ll be back there for sure.

Climbing just prior to the “yellow pitch” traverse, which led to the crux: a steep slab that avoided the overhangs visible in the photo. [Photo] Pavle Kozjek