Ascent of Jebel Kawr on 2018-03-04

Climber: Rob Woodall

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, March 4, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Jebel Kawr
    Elevation:8957 ft / 2730 m

Ascent Trip Report

A quite demanding climb, rubbly, scrambly, tricky route finding. Most people will want to camp or bivy, there seem to be possible sites at the top of the main ascent gully 3-4 hours from the start, also a grassy bowl an hour from the summit. I took 14hrs, the first 2 by moonlight. 3 litres of water just enough for me; I don't usually drink much. No water on the route. 4WD advisable - good unpaved road but very steep, a little loose in places.

Previous day I'd flown into Muscat, called at Lulu Hypermarket for a week's food, and driven to the trailhead, 3-4 hours. Last stretch quite impressive with narrow gorge and steep road, which the Prado Landcruiser manages on its normal H4 setting, just. I park at N23.06781° E57.03168° a short way before end of road, out of sight of last house, although a vehicle stops for a chat (very little English spoken up here). Overnight in car.

I start at 0430, full moon, no torch needed, surprised to be met by the owner of the first house (he was heading for his car), who escorts me just a few metres, to the water channel, which I cross then climb up R via rubbly gully, traverse R to 2-house upper village, with cock crowing, traverse R across 2 gullies, then steeply L up wide rib keeping L of big gully, first light at 6, scramble up L, ledgy goat path, ascend rubbly gully, fork R and up another, a steep scramble up and L around base of tall pinnacle then a 20m descent R down a small rubbly gully into the big gully, climb this then fork R, main ridge 0740. Now in the sun but quite cool, as it stays all day. Stash bivy gear, noting there seem to be a few possible bivy sites, cross a top, short rough descent, pass R of a top, gradual climb L to a neck, steep scrambly descent L, skirt L of a top and steep scrambly descent, a little exposed, route not obvious. Goat herds below me seem to be bypassing this tower on E side; their route is good, I use it on way back, much easier. Also there is apparently a route up from the east, Sant village, to this point, could be easier than from S (French description online).

Pass through a col ie to RHS of crest, good goat path skirts foot of cliffs then scrambles up L, level area a goat herd camp, pass this on R then long rising traverse R, short descent to wide rough grassy bowl, then long undulating ascent leads to summit, with a fallen comms mast concreted onto the highest outcrop (N23.13855° E57.01404°), battered solar panels and other junk. Midday, 7h30 ascent. Views today mostly dominated by nearby sub peaks; best views have been on the way up.

20 mins on top then head down, tending to take more efficient lines, passing L of the scrambly towers via the Goatway, 3h40 to top of gully, which I leave at 1600, descending in 2h40, glad of GPS track lower down as can't recall all the complexities. Below the bottom gully I take a more direct line, faint path, approx direct for the upper settlement, where I'm hailed for a chat, but not much language in common and I prefer to do that last short rubbly descent before light fails. Car at 1840, just dark.

GPS registers 317m extra on descent, making 2100m, 26 rough kms, quite a big day, and a fine wild remote peak, a grand if brutal introduction to Omani peak bagging. Next morning leisurely start, watching sun gradually claim the ring of cliffs above; feet a little tender from all the rock hopping. Arrive Shams area early pm via Bahla Fort.

NOTE: If heading for Shams, to get onto highway 21 eastbound, on arriving at the petrol station (N23.01939° E56.92555°), turn R then immediately L under the dual carriageway, to find Bahla sign pointing L.

Kawr photos:
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4832 ft / 1472 m
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4832 ft / 1472 m
    Distance:16.2 mi / 26 km
    Start Trailhead:4125 ft / 1257 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
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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.

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