Jebel Hila, an outlier of Jebel Haqab, stands like a huge citadel of limestone in lower Wadi Bih. There are climbs on the 450m high north face and the 400m high south face.
From Dubai, drive to Ras Al Khaimah (one hour). Follow signs to Wadi Bih (see the UAE climbing guide book). For the north face turn right off the road at 25.80186°N 56.10075°E, 8.4km after the dam. Park at the end of the track. For the south face, turn off 220m earlier. Drive through the village of Hila and park near the end of the track.
Over the Hill VS 340m
This climb on the north face follows a water course and is on mostly good rock. It has consistently good climbing. It has been repeated several times according to UKClimbing.com logbooks and is given two stars.
Take double 60m half ropes in case of an abseil retreat and to enable liberal protection. Take a trad rack including wires and cams up to size 3. There is no need for really small stuff. Take plenty of extenders.
From the parking, walk 700m up the wadi under the face. Cut back along a ledge to reach the climb in 20 minutes. Start 50m right of Edge of Reason in a leftward facing corner.
- 50m Climb the corner and trend left to follow cracks 10m left of the corner.
- 55m 4c Continue up cracks and chimneys.
- 45m 4c Climb the corner and the layback flake above.
- 25m 4a Up a short wall.
- 45m 4c Climb the fine deep cut corner.
- 50m 4c Continue up the chimney/crack system.
- 45m 5a Climb a series of corners trending rightwards and back left. Loose but well protected.
- 25m 4c Starting slightly on the left, climb cracks to the top.
Pete Thompson, Paul Walley 07/03/2009. Climbed on my fiftieth birthday.
UAE Rock Climbing is the guidebook but does not cover Jebel Hila. However, other Jebel Hila route descriptions are available from www.redarmadapublishing.com
The descent for Over the Hill and all the climbs on Jebel Hila is down the descent gully on the west face (see photo). From the top of the climb, go up slightly and contour round to the top of the gully at 25.79658°N 56.11256°E. It can be hard to find, particularly in the dark. The gully is steep and tricky in places. Allow one hour to go down the gully.
When to ClimbTemperatures are pleasant from November to March. There is very little rain. When it does, watch out for flash floods in the wadis. Summers are very hot with temperatures over 40°C. In winter, this climb is in the shade all day.
There are no campsites but camping is possible just about anywhere away from habitation.
There are no permits required for climbing in the UAE.