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Wadi Rum
Area/Range

Wadi Rum

 
Wadi Rum

Page Type: Area/Range

Location: Jordan, Asia

Lat/Lon: 29.55435°N / 35.41718°E

Object Title: Wadi Rum

Activities: Hiking, Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Toprope, Bouldering, Aid Climbing, Scrambling, Canyoneering

Season: Spring, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 5755 ft / 1754 m

 

Page By: Jek

Created/Edited: Feb 1, 2009 / Dec 12, 2010

Object ID: 485007

Hits: 20695 

Page Score: 92.51%  - 41 Votes 

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Overview

Wadi Rum is a grandiose and divine desert with the live echo, one of nature miracles, paradise for fans of travel! It is possible to behold hours a panorama of its protogenic nature with rocky sandstone mountains and boundless space. Half-kilometer walls as mushrooms growing from sand are painted in all shades of the red. Numerous tops with difficult systems of cracks and canyons offer hundreds routes - from simple foot to technically difficult ascensions.
 
Wadi Rum viewed from Jebel Rum summit at sunset
 






















The Wadi Rum desert which as name the Lunar Valley is in the south of Jordan near to Aqaba(the big port and the tourist centre on Red Sea). It is the largest valley of Jordan. The name of Rum most likely occurs from an Aramaic root to value «high, towering». Wadi Rum has been occupied by representatives of various human cultures since the most ancient times, switching on Nabataea which left the traces in a valley a kind of temples, rock paintings. Presently in territory at Rum village lives Bedouins of the Nabataea Tribe. They are very kind and truly friendly people.

In the west Wadi Rum is known in connection with a name T.E.Lawrence who has developed his both famous and successful military operations in a valley during the Arabian revolt in 1917-18 against Turkey in the First World War. Here there was a general staff of Prince Fejsala ibn Hussein and T.E.Lawrence and their feats inseparably linked with history of this surprising district. Lawrence called Wadi Rum the Valley of God!

Concerning the Alps or Utah it is new area. Its trailblazers were Englishmen led by Toni Howard who have made many first ascents and their descriptions which are updated to this day in his guidebook "Treks & Climbs of Wadi Rum, Jordan". Englishmen have set the fashion, therefore basic quantity of routes in Wadi Rum is traditional. There are very little multipitches which have well equipped bolt paths for sports rock climbing. Today Valley of God totals about 350 routes up to 20 pitches which offer very enjoyable sustained climbing in beautiful desert scenery - red dunes, sandstones, variety rock formations and in aura which cannot be described with simple words…




Getting There

 
Jordan Map
Jordan map


The closest international airports in Jordan are in Aqaba (King Hussain) and Amman (Queen Alia). From there the best way to reach Rum village is by taxi. From Aqaba it will take about 40-50 minutes and 30JD~40$, from Amman 3-4 hours and 80-100JD~120$ (same price for 1-4 person!). In addition from either Aman or Aqaba, bus service is on a regular twice daily schedule that stops at the Rum Rest House which is located just below the tower of Jebel Rum. The Rest House is where all International Climbers come to stay. Daily meals, food, restrooms, showers and camping are the best here. You can rent a car from either Aqaba or Aman, but it is not recommended. Also you can come trough Israel airports (Tel-Aviv, Eilat) and to pass Eilat-Aqaba border.


  • The only one permit is needed - at the entrance in Wadi Rum Protected Area near the Visitor Center you must pay 5JD(~7$) peer person.









    Camping

     
    Wadi Rum village
    Rum village


    There are no hotels! The Rest House is the only authorizd International Camping area at a very reasonable price. There are restaurant, restrooms and tents, showers, big bedouin tent for both rest and cooking. The fee per night (with your own tent) is 2JD per person(~3$). In front of Rest House there are shops in which it is possible to buy meal, water and guidebook. Also in the center of the village there are Mohammed's Al-Zalabeh "apartments" and it is possible to stay there. In different paths of the desert there are numerous campsites: Abu Aina, Sunset Camp that are highly recommended if you plan to stay in the remote part of the desert. Of course you can set your tent anywhere in silent desert and sleep nearby routes.



     
    Camping near the east face
    Rest House camping





  • Rest House tel. +962-3-201-8867
  • Mohammed Al-Zalabeh tel. +962-777-314688










    Geography

    Vicinities of Wadi Rum can be divided conditionally into seven areas:

     
    Wadi Rum map
    Wadi Rum map

  • Jebel Rum massif
    J.Rum(1754m)
    East Dome(1560m)

  • Jebel um Ishrin massif
    J.um Ishrin(1753m)
    J.Al Kharazeh(1580m)
    J.Nassrani,NS(1560m)

  • Barrah Canyon
    J.Barrah (1653m)
    J.Abu Judaidah (1640m)
    J.Arashrasha(1466m)
    J.Annafishiyyah (1424m)

  • Burdah and Domes of Abu Khsheibah
    J.Burdah(1574m)
    J.Abu Khsheibah (1399m)

  • Jebel Khazali massif
    J.Khush Khasah(1514m)
    J.Khazali (1420m)

  • Jebel Al Qattar
    J.Al Qattar(1425m)

  • Al Maghrar
    J.Al Maghrar(1260m)


  • Rum village & desert floor altitude is about 950m above sea level


    Rum village and the Wadi with the same name is clamped between two highest here enormous ridges of Jebel Rum and Jebel um Ishrin. In all senses it is the most interesting mountains in the area. They are the closest to village, above the others and offer more routes. Many routes are reachable by easy walk to a half an hour. But if you want to climb on the other side of the massifs you will be necessary to take 4 wheel-drive which are plenty in the village.

    In the south Wadi Rum valley rests against a healthy tower of Jebel Khazali. As it costs in the desert centre its monument it is possible to see almost from everywhere. Ten minutes from Rest House on a jeep and you at a wall foot.

    Having passed Wadi um Ishrin to the east from Ishrin massif you will get in Barrah Canyon area. It is the big territory with set of interesting summits, domes and sandy canyons. To reach there you can use 4 wheel-drive but if you want something special I advise to take camel trek. Though they a little below the neighbours they also offer many classical and sustained routes.

    In the south from Barrah Canyon there are Domes of Abu Khsheibah and Burdah massif. It is the most remote and wild part of desert. Burdah is well-known for his amazing rock bridge. To reach Burdah massif will take about hour by car and will cost around 50JD~70$ there and back.

    On the West from Jebel Khazali there are two more small summits Jebel Al Qattar and Al Maghrar which are interesting to climbers too. Many routes still wait for the fisrt ascents.
     
    Jebel Rum Massif
    Jebel Rum
     
    Burdah and Domes of Abu Khsheibah Area
    Burdah Area
     
    Barrah Canyon
    Barrah Canyon

     
    Wadi Rum
    Jebel Um Ishrin
     
    View south down at Jebel Khazali and Khor al Ajram
    Khazali and Khor al Ajram













































    Recommended Route List

     
    Lion s heart
    Lion's Heart
     
    Pillar of Wisdom
    Pillar of Wisdom

    Jebel Rum Massif


    Al Thalamiyyah 5-/AD Sup 500m/3km 5h day (bedouin)
    Black magic 5+/D Sup 12p/300m 4h
    The Inshallah Factor 6a/TD Sup 15p/500m day
    Towering Inferno 6b/ED Sup 13p/500m day
    The Eye of Allah 5-/AD Sup 6p/400m 6h (bedouin)
    Hammad's Route 5+/AD Sup 250m/3km day (bedouin)
    The Pillar of Wisdom 6b/TD Inf 11p/350m 6h
    Rijm Assaf 5/AD Sup 250m/2km day (bedouin)
    Lionheart 6b/ED Inf 350m/8 7h
    W-E Traverse 3/AD 4km day (bedouin)


     
    Alan and his Perverse Frog
    Alan and his Perverse Frog
     
    Beauty
    Beauty

    Jebel um Ishrin Massif


    Rakabat Canyon(round J.um Ejil) 2/F 3km 5h (bedouin)
    The Beauty 6a/TD 6p/200m 5h
    Alan and his perverse Frog 6a+/TD 6p/200m 5h
    Via Salim Musa 5/D 6p/200m 4h
    Beautiful Last Day 6a/TD Sup 7p/300m 7h
    Hiker's Road 5+/D Sup 15p/500m full day
    Muezzin 6a+/ED 16p/ 400m day
    Rock Fascination 6b/ED 15p/500m full day
    Abraham 6a/ED 20p/450m day
    Vanishing Pillar 5/TD Inf 14p/400m 8h

     
    Merlin s Wand
    Merlin's Wand
     
    Star of Abu
    The Star of Abu Judaidah

    Barrah Canyon


    Les Rumeurs De La Pluie 5+/TD 4p/250m 5h
    Hinte A Vous 6a/TD 7p/200m 6h
    Fesse Tival 6a/TD 11p/250m 7h
    Merlin's Wand(supercrack of Rum)6a+/TD 5p/150m 4h
    The Star of Abu Judaidah 6b/ED Inf 7p/250m 6h
    Hunter's Slabs 5-/AD Inf 300m/2km 3h
    La Rose du Desert 6b/TD Sup 7p/200m 5h
    No Way for Ibex 6b+/ED 14p/400m day
    The Star of Abu Judaidah 6b/ED Inf 7p/220m 6h
    Neige Dans le Desert 6a+/TD Sup 8p/250m 6h


     
    Orange Sunshine
    Orange Sunshine
     
    Burdah Rock Bridge
    Burdah Rock Bridge

    Burdah


    North Ridge(to the rock bridge) 2/F 1.5km 2h (bedouin)
    Orange Sunshine 5+/D Inf 7p/300m 4h
    The Animated Slab 6a/TD 8p/250m 5h


    Jebel Khazali Massif & Al Maghrar


    Al Uzza 7a+/ED Sup 10p/300m full day
    Sabbah's Route 2+/PD 1km 2-3hours
    Desert Rats in the Shade 6b/TD 7p/200m 5h


  • The routes are marked as "bedouin" meaning that it was first climbed by local Bedouin people. This routes are long and features a complex route finding, a lot scrambling and some climbing sections up to 5+ moves.




    Chief's Images and Overview

     
    Jebel Rum, Jordan
    Walk Like an Egyptian
     
    Pillar of Wisdom
    Pillar of Wisdom
     
    Wadi Rum, Jordan
    P-3 of Walk Like an Egyptian

     
    Wadi Rum, Jordan
    Myself & Capt Mike on P6 of Inferno

    TE Lawrence called this the Valley of God. It is where he formulated his famous, successful and astonishing attack against the Turks and their 16" guns in Aqaba with 21 other Arab warriors. Allan Steck has visited this area numerous times with nothing but fine and pleasurable memories to be had. There are three different Valleys or Wadi's. Rum is the longest and deepest. The Valley is inhabited by Bedouins of the Nabateen Tribe. They have lived here for over 3000 years. The Bedouins are rich in culture and history of incredible proportion. They are truly friendly and very outgoing. Tony Howard's, "Treks & Climbs of Wadi Rum, Jordan" is the current up to date guidebook. It includes most of the current Trad and Sport "Classic" climbing routes. Most of these routes range in length from 10 to 18 pitches and many have established rappel/belay anchors from which to descend safely. One must be on the constant lookout for the occassional Viper and Scorpion that can be found hiding from the Sun on the large cool sandy belay ledges. Kudos and many thanks to Englishman, Tony Howard and crew along with Swiss brother's, C. & Y. Remy, for their many astounishing First Ascents. All of which have become Classics. Many the world over come to this incredibly beautiful area to climb and enjoy! Spring, Fall and Winter are the best seasons. The Summer is definitely way too hot, 110-130 degrees, to even contemplate playing here.
     
    Jebel Rum, Jordan
    Jebel Rum Main Wall



     
    Wadi Rum, Jordan
    Wadi Rum

    RECOMMENDED ROUTES:

    JEBEL RUM:
    -Aquarius III 5.10a 7P's
    -Renne van Hassalt IV 5.9+ 16P's
    -King Hussein VI 5.10a 14P's
    -Towering Inferno VI 5.10 14P's
    -Great Siq III 5.9 9P's
    -Inferno III 5.9+ 8P's
    -Walk Like an Egyptian III 5.10a 10P's




    HAMMAD's DOMES:
    -Coup Par Coup V 5.9+ 10P's
    -Pillar of Wisdom V 5.9+ 18P's
    -Le Fureure de Viure IV 5.9 16P's

    JEBEL UM ISHRIN:
    -Corner Line IV 5.10a 14P's






    Season

    It is possible to climb here from October till May, but the most suitable season for Wadi Rum late autumn and early spring. I advise November and March! Considering absence of water, in the summer in desert it is too hot +40 degrees of Celsius. It is possible to climb in the winter, but be attentive - sudden flooding can be very dangerous. Also try to avoid spending the night on a high-mountainous plateau - the temperature in January-February can drop to -5 degrees of Celsius.

  • Here you can find truthful enough weather forecost of Wadi Rum area




    Equipment

    Since most of the routes are free from any gear and bolts is required full rack of trad gear. You will need 50-60m double ropes, set of cams, full set of nuts or stoppers, medium and long slings. Some routes can be well protected by hexes and tricams. To extend or strengthen abseil points many long lengths of tape are necessary. Steel rap rings can help to reduce a friction at time you pulling off ropes. Don't forget quickdraws, harness, helmet, shoes etc.

    Also minimum of cooking and camping equipment is required. It is impossible to get gear in village, therefore all needs to be carried with yourself.




    Red Tape

    Unfortunately, the Iraq crises has put a stifle on visting in Rum. But as of late, the Jordanian Governmant is doing their best to accomodate a continous Tourism throughout the country. Jordanian Military presence has increased to protect Westerners that wish to enjoy the area. The King has also been known to show up in his helicopter, for a day of climbing and canyoneering.




    Guidebook and External Links

     
    Guidebook
    Guidebook front cover


    Guidebook - "Treks & Climbs in Wadi Rum Jordan" by Tony Howard

    N.O.M.A.D.S. - Tony Howard's page
    Wadi Rum Rock Page - Walter Neser's page
    New Routes in Wadi Rum
    Wadi Rum Mountain Guides
    Weather forecost of Wadi Rum
    Wadi Rum climbing information
    The Wadi Rum Expedition(trailer)
    Wadi Rum Sunset Camp
    Mohammad Hussein Al-Zalabeh - Bedouin guide
    Climbing Bedouin Guide
    History,Culture,Flora and Fauna






    Good Morning at Jebel Rum summit
    Welcome to Wadi Rum


  • Thanks a lot to Jean Alinat and his team climbers from France for their amazing photos!




    Images