Chossy rock ruined by a good line.
From the Shamil garage (Emarat brand), at the Lamp/Lantern Roundabout in Ras Al Khaimah, continue West (W) along the dual carriageway, over two more roundabouts, past the RAK Hospital, and the Medical Sciences College. After about 4km and a lazy 90 degree bend (N) in the road, you arrive at a mini-roundabout where you go straight on for another 200mtr, till the T junction, where a R turn takes you past the military barracks (on L), and past 3 huge gas storage silos (on R). The next R is sign-posted Wadi Baih. Take this and stay on the main tarmacced road, for approximately 10km, till you get to the first tight L bend. Take the next R turn on a gravel road, for Wadi Qadaa (Grid ref: N 254706.8 /E 0560427.7). Wadi Qadaa is the location of both Roadside, and Sentinel climbing venues. In less than 10mtrs take another R into a flat open space, often with a bulldozer parked in it. If in a 4x4 vehicle you’ll be able to drive along the white-coloured dam head that connects the wadi Bih road with the buttress (100mtrs long). You’ll be at the foot of the buttress and a very sharp R turn. The 4x4 track continues along the base of the buttress past a mass of chossy rock, to the first tree. Park hereabouts grid ref: N254702.4 / E 0560423.6. Opposite the route is a big white boulder (in photo). If in a car, it’s best to park after your R turn off the Wadi Baih road, and walk the 3 minutes to the route.
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Do not entertain the idea of camping in a wadi if there is the slightest chance that it has been raining at the head of the wadi - people are killed on a fairly regular (albeit infrequent) basis by flash floods.
One of the joys of the local Emirati life is taking their family or friends out to a wadi and camping. So you should be able to find many places that accommodate the size of a car or more - however, it is often just dirt or fine gravel. This is improvised camping at its finest - to be found on an ad-hoc basis almost anywhere in the UAE! Please ensure you choose a place in the wadi where you are not inconveniencing the locals (somewhere where the wadi is wide and braided is where most of the locals camp. For example, between the climbing areas of Thunder and Yellow House there are several access roads down onto 'mezzanine' gravel levels, but avoiding the flood area of the true wadi floor. These make great camping spots.
Incidentally, we have a huge opportunity to educate the locals if we take the time to explain why cause minimal impact in the first place, and why we remove our rubbish/trash. The locals have not yet grasped the idea that their/our environment matters, and our behaviours can improve our environment. Be the change you want to see in the world.
BTW firewood can be bought at the Shamil garage on your journey in.
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Routes at Birthday Crag
SunMoonStar 30mtrs Grade VS 4a F/A Paul Stewart/Ralph Heath Aug 08
Unfortunately this is one of the chossiest new routes I’ve been involved with, and therefore falls into the category of 'Not Recommended'. Find the small bay a couple of mtrs before the 1st tree on the L, as you drive in from the wadi Baih/Qadaa road. The bay boasts a chossy crack on its’ upper R side, and small overhangs around 5mtrs up. With careful scrutiny you’ll see that the base of what you’re about to climb is actually a small pyramid, in front of a larger face. Start left of the middle of the bay, and within a couple of mtrs ease L, out of the imposing bowl, towards the L nose, but resist going to the arête, by staying on the face. Immediately pass a small block overhang on its R, and continue beyond the ledges of the pyramid feature, to join the main face. Stay central heading easily up to shadowy tufa-like overhangs, above. The left-most one was climbed. Continue up towards the pointy exit where two parallel cracks can be seen looming. The L is more fun. Gear belay over the lip, but beware the sharp edge. Walk off easily to R.