Ascent of Jebel Shams on 2016-11-29
|Others in Party:||Denise Mclellan -- Trip Report or GPS Track|
|Date:||Tuesday, November 29, 2016|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||4x4 Vehicle|
| Elevation:||9902 ft / 3018 m|
Ascent Trip ReportWe stayed at the ridiculously expensive Jebel Shams Heights Resort where a camping pitch cost us 20Rial(£40) for 1 night and that was after haggling. The main thing in its favour was it was at the trail head.
There's a marked trail from the Resort to the S summit which is only about 10m lower than the N summit. The trail is marked by frequent red/white/yellow paint marks and for part follows the rim of the impressive canyon. We failed to find the start of the trail and made our way easily up the gentle angled limestone slopes and vallies E of the Resort reaching the canyon rim and trail at alt.2460m. We continued along the rim but lost the trail and ascended easy slopes ang gullies to the obvious summit with buildings, approaching them from the SW. The summit has fence with open gate and group of goats, the high point is on the very edge of the limestone escarpment with dizzying views into the valley below. There's a building with radome and a building under construction very close by. We later learn this is a 'restricted area' but on the ascent we didn't see any notices to this effect. We did observe that the ground some way below the current fence was being cored at regular intervals presumably for a new and more secure perimeter fence.
Descending SSW picking our way through small rock bands we relocate the marked trail which we follow without difficulty to the S. summit, which apart from being slightly lower, is a much more deserving peak than its northern neighbour. Superb views, weather and a couple of wild Donkeys for company.
Darkness falls before we make it back to the car and the last 5km is slow going trying not to loose the path nor fall into the canyon.
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