Ascent of Gebel Katherîna on 2021-12-07

Climber: Bill Hughes

Date:Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Gebel Katherîna
    Elevation:8625 ft / 2628 m

Ascent Trip Report

Following Eric Gilbertson's and Lee Humphries' trip reports, I organised my visit with Ragab from Ragab picked me up from Sharm el-Sheikh airport late afternoon and drove to St Catherine town, passing about 10 security checkpoints along the way. I was told the drive can sometimes take as long as 6 h if you have to wait at checkpoints for the police to form traffic up into convoys, but that wasn't required for us so it took about 2:30 h. Had dinner at a restaurant and then slept in simple room at Fox Camp. Had breakfast early next morning at Ragab's house and met his brother Mousa, who would be my guide. We started hiking from Ragab's house 06:45, heading SW out of the town. The guides use this route rather than the SE track that goes via Mt Sinai because that track has a security checkpoint on it. Easy hiking to the base of the tourist summit, which Mousa headed up to make some coffee for us while I went by myself over to the real summit with its derelict army post. Quite a mess up there and apparently hasn't been used for many years. Went over to the touris summit with its padlocked church and had our coffee in hut just before the summit. The track up that we'd followed from town involved quite a long dogleg and we took a more direct route on the way back that involved a little bit of easy scrambling.

NB: the elevation of the real summit according to SummitPost and my map is 2642m, not 2629m.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
True summit of Mount Catherine, as seen from the tourist summit (2021-12-07). Photo by Bill Hughes.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4337 ft / 1320 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4337 ft / 1320 m
    Round-Trip Distance:13.1 mi / 21.1 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4206 ft / 1281 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3422 ft / 1043 m; Extra: 784 ft / 238m
    Loss on way in:784 ft / 238 m
    Distance:6.5 mi / 10.5 km
    Start Trailhead:St. Catherine  5203 ft / 1585 m
    Time:3 Hours 34 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3553 ft / 1082 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 3422 ft / 1043 m; Extra: 131 ft / 39m
    Gain on way out:131 ft / 39 m
    Distance:6.6 mi / 10.6 km
    End Trailhead:St. Catherine  5203 ft / 1585 m
    Time:3 Hours 9 Minutes

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