Ascent of Jebel Khadar on 2018-03-08

Climber: Rob Woodall

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, March 8, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Jebel Khadar
    Elevation:7254 ft / 2211 m

Ascent Trip Report

SUMMARY: Fairly tough day hike, mainly due to heat as most of route is below 1800m. Underfoot limestone slabs and rubble, with occasional goat trails. Possible scrambling to YDS3, mostly avoidable. I took 9h30 but allow all day, a first-light start and possible torchlight finish. Summit 9km to south appears c10m lower, TBC, I visited it in an 11h hike. Should be possible to get both summits from Bidah, with a night out.

I arrive 4pm previous pm, locate Mclellans Nov 2016 trailhead which is now a building site with 3 large houses, seemingly empty, but area unsuitable for camping. Visit Loqil springs but too warm and fly ridden for sleeping, I settle for the Tourist Service Centre with its elevated position catching a breeze.

Next morning I drive back round, park roadside near bridge, leave road at first light, 17C, unpaved road (starting at N22.58886° E59.09816°, 605m), reach start of trail (N22.58738° E59.10223°) in a few mins, 0600. Trail has vague start but soon clear, climbing L to cross a small col then soon bending R up nice slabby spur, nice well defined ridge beyond then climbing, after an hour I cache a bottle of water leaving me 3 litres to carry. Descend to first easy notch in ridge, skirt R of a summit to pass a second notch, bypass another top then a steep descent, 5m of YDS4 with overhang on good holds, somehow one of my feet comes off a hold and I take a little swing, but complete the downclimb OK. NB can be bypassed to R with only 15m extra descent. Next notch also approached by a little overhanging step, again can be bypassed to R with minor penalty. Then over a nice 1511m summit, down to a final notch then longer climb up to R crossing a shallow gully then a deeper one, easy, in morning shade may be best to stay in it before climbing out R.

Now on plateau, mostly easy walking, rubbly in places, route defined by the tops of 8 shallow gullies, leading to first summit, 2194m GPS (N22.60726° E59.18285°), cairned but obviously lower than the eastern pair which are similar in height, my GPS once settled has centre summit 2210m (at N22.60857° E59.18658°) and E summit 2211m (at N22.60963° E59.19203°) with easternmost 1m higher according to hand level. I carefully hand level to the south summit, 9km away and 2200m according to OpenStreetMap which has these northern summits lower at 2190m, not a reliable source, but S summit has a larger 2190 contour than this northern pair. Hand level suggests S summit, with its tall comms mast is probably a few m lower, but too close to call. Only noticed this last night hence no prior research. (Next day I visit it; GPS for this S summit is N22.53020° E59.20793°, 2201m; hand level suggesting it's lower than N summit)

Up in 4h30, half an hour on top in nice temp, as it has been since reaching the plateau, down in 4h30, pleasant until off the plateau then increasingly hot along the notched ridge, taking easier lines L on way back with my saved GPS track involving nothing harder than YDS3. Meet 2 men with donkeys just before trailhead, one being ridden and unruly, the other being led and well behaved, all pretty much to stereotype!

32C at car, 4pm half hour aircon and a shady tree, and a late lunch. Then to Bidah to investigate possible route to S summit, causing much curiosity among villagers but all seem friendly, even when I initially parked in that part of car park reserved for football!

See next day's ascent for South summit
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5252 ft / 1600 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:5252 ft / 1600 m
    Distance:15.9 mi / 25.6 km
    Start Trailhead:2002 ft / 610 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
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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