Climbing the sandstone jebels
Wadi Rum has become a world renowned climbing centre and there is some talk of a climbing school being started there. Most of the climbers are here in the spring and the autumn, but you might find some people all the year round.
The climbing falls into two categories. The classic Bedouin routes are an enjoyable mixture of scrambling and climbing, and within the grasp of anyone with some mountain experience. Some are circular expeditions that involve trekking. The rock routes which have been put up since the mid 1980s are mostly in the higher grades. Minimal use of bolts has been the policy in Rum - partly on ethical grounds and also due to the nature of the sandstone - they fall out after a few years.
See also notes on scrambling in Wadi Rum
Posted by Lulu
Equipment: No gear is available for hire in Wadi Rum. If you are climbing with a guide he will provide it. If you are only planning on a day or so this is the best way to go.
Otherwise, for most of the free routes in Wadi Rum you will need two 50m+ (or more) double ropes, a full set of nuts, full set of cams and a pile of tape and cord for threads. This is apart from the usual 14 or so quickdraws, harness, daisy chain, shoes etc. Climbing in Rum can be very hard on your ropes, and you would be better off having a spare set, in case you destroy, damage or wear out a rope or two. Aid Climbing : In addition to the above rack you will need a full set of varying types of pitons, hammer, hooks, daisies, etriers and perhaps a single rope or two for leading, fixing and jumaring etc.
- Mountain Climbing
Scrambling in heaven and in Wadi Rum
Instead of driving around in the sand in a jeep, why not get up into the mountains in Wadi Rum?
Many of the "Bedouin Roads" need no equipment and are easily climbed by people who are reasonably fit and have a good head for heights.You would need a guide to take you on these routes, many of which have been used by the bedouin for centuries.
You make your way up rocky gullies, through canyons and come out onto a summit with a wonderful view over the rocky massifs of Wadi Rum.
You will certainly have to use your hands to climb, and sometimes you are walking along a ledge no more than a metre or so wide.
At the end of the day you will have had an unforgettable experience which very few people have the luck (or the initiative) to seek out.
Equipment: You need no special equipment for this except a good pair of shoes. For most of the roads trainers are enough. Your guide might be in bare feet!
In just a few places ropes are advisable and a good guide will usually have one along anyway.
- Mountain Climbing
Scrambling up to the Arch in the sky
A number of jeep tours in Wadi Rum go past Jebel Burdah and show you the "bridge" high up on the mountain.
Why don't you take a guide and climb up to it? You really need the guide : the "right" path is easy, but any other can be dangerous - expert climbers have had problems on them. A good guide will have a rope with him to help anybody nervous.
The climb takes about 2 to 3 hours and the same time to come down again. The view from this Arch is among the best to be seen in Wadi Rum
Equipment: Trainers are fine for this, for once trekking sandals are not really recommended. If you have hiking boots with you then wear them.
Posted by Lulu
Hot Air Ballooning
Hot Air Ballooning has resumed in the Wadi Rum area. It was declared dangerous and prohibited because of the air currents on the massifs, but the village of Shakriya, about 5 miles from Rum Village is more open. You still get the magnificent views of the mountains.
The ballooning is organised by the Royal Aerosports Club of Jordan in Aqaba, phone number 03-205.8050/51 mobile 079-574.1441.
- Hot Air Ballooning