Ascent to Gebel Amm Anad-summit block on 2012-11-22

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Adrian Rayner
Richard and Denise Mclellan
Date:Thursday, November 22, 2012
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Point Reached:Gebel Amm Anad - summit block
    Elevation:5791 ft / 1765 m
    Remaining Elevation:55 ft / 16 m (2% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

This summit is shown as 1782m and named Gebel Amm Anad on the map shown to us by the Almahaza family in the bedouin village of Umm Dalfar at the foot of Shayib al Banat. We attempted it the day after our Shayib ascent as it was the only P600m summit reasonably accessible in the time available. However, studying the peak during our Shayib ascent we noticed that its summit appeared to be steep and rocky, and so it proved, beyond the scope of the limited climbing gear we had brought with us.

From our Shayib base camp (N26.94487 E33.48997) we drive E to rejoin the "main road" between Hurghada and the Nile, following this unpaved road SW then back E. To our surprise Eid is able to drive the Landcruiser as far as N26.90112 E33.54415, 907m. From here we walk the dry bed of a nice ravine cut into attractive black rock, as it winds its way generally east. Soon after starting, we take a left fork although in retrospect we should probably have kept right (straight on). At one point we see a small snake curled up on a rock. After about 1km we head up rough slopes on a beeline for the summit (on the way back we follow a nice ridge down to xxxx: this would be a better way up. We pass through fascinating granite formations including huge ovoids and pinnacles. We reach a ridge with a view of several summits ahead. We skirt L of a section of ridge then ascend easy angled slabs to a cairned summit (N26.89358 E33.57001, 1734m). This however is clearly not the highest point. We visit another slightly higher summit a few metres to the SE, reached by a short YDS 3 scramble with an entertaining jump-off alternative to the slightly tricky downclimb. We continue another few hundred metres east to investigate the formidable looking summit, and we decide to rope up and give it a try, although with only Richard's half length rope and half rack of gear. We climb the obvious wide crack on the W face (one hardish move to pass the second chock stone: we climb roped from here) then the slab, then climb up to reach easy ground (N26.89301 E33.57332, 1746m) at the foot of the final sheer N face.

There seem to be two obvious ways to the summit: wide crack to L followed by steepish slabs- probably the easiest way, probably YDS 4 but longish and very exposed. Or a steeper route L of centre, following decent cracks diagonally right to left, probably mid Class 5. This latter route could be difficult to protect in descent, with no summit features as far as we could see. Our half rope is probably too short for either route and we don't really have time to spare, so we retreat.

The descent is straightforward. We pass L of the cairned summit. At the foot of the main descent, we follow a nice narrow ridge (not exposed) and then make a gentle descent R then L to the shallow ravine we started from, although it would have been neater to have descended to the little valley directly in front of us, as we shortly discover.

In the ravine we see our little snake again, now active. Back at the vehicle we show Eid the photo: initially he says it was harmless, then a viper, with horns, then that if bitten you would die in 10 minutes!

Timings: start hiking 07:00, cairned summit 11:00, highest point reached 12:30, depart summit area 13:30, vehicle 16:00.

We call in briefly at Umm Dalfar: we offload some spare gasoline from the stove (we have an internal flight tomorrow) and a box of bottled water (which we guess they will sell to other desert safari tourists), and one of the villagers delivers a brief lecture on the natural history of the camel! Then Eid drives us swiftly back to Hurghada: quite exciting on the sandy "road" in the half light. At one point we stop and look at a fox which his sharp eyes have spotted.

We are back in Hurghada about 18:00 and stay overnight at Sol y Mar Ivory Suites, as we did on our first night, dining in the hotel.
Next morning we take an early flight via Cairo to Sharm el Sheikh. The hotel is close to the airport and we walk there, much to the bemusement of hotel and airport staff!

Our next planned ascent is the ultra Jebel Katarina in Sinai.

1. There is a ferry between Hurghada and Sharm but it seems unclear whether it is running or not: apparently it is unreliable
2. On the Egypt Air website, if you select nationality Egyptian the tickets are half price. There is no nationality requirement stated in the ticket conditions and there are no issues at the airport on checking in. Others have said the same on the web.

Thanks to Richard Mclellan for providing the GPS track - my unit wasn't available for the trip.

Gebel Amm Anad photo album

Richard Mclellan's photo album of our Egypt trip, including additional geographical details
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2970 ft / 905 m
    Extra Gain:66 ft / 20 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Route:NW ridge
    Trailhead:2953 ft / 900 m
    Grade/Class:YDS mid-5; VS
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Scramble, Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:5 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 30 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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