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Oman

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About Oman:

Oman is a welcoming and pleasant country located on the Arabian peninsula. It has the potential to be a major destination for climbing in the northern hemisphere’s winter months.

Climate and the climbing season: It is very hot and dry most of the year. In most sites, climbing is only possible from mid-November through mid-March. During the winter, however, the weather is ideal. Daytime high temperatures are in the 70s F (20s C) and humidity is low. Rain is unusual. However, when it does rain, it can be torrential. Flash floods are then likely, and wadi roads are often washed out.

Types of climbing / climbing areas: Climbable rock in Oman is limestone of various types. It is usually good, though often quite sharp and abrasive. There are three sport climbing sites, all within 2 ˝ hours of Muscat. Currently, there are about 75 equipped routes, ranging from French 5b to 7c in difficulty. The majority of routes are in the French 6 grades. There are also several areas, primarily in the greater Jebal Misht area near Ibri, where long trad routes have been put up.

Climbing shops / gear: There is not much climbing gear available for sale in Oman. Visiting climbers should bring everything with them.

People: People in Oman are very gracious and polite, and welcoming towards foreigners. Perhaps this is because tourism is just beginning and the Omanis aren’t yet tired of visitors? It is a Muslim country, so visiting climbers should be careful not to offend local sensibilities. Staying fully dressed and keeping alcohol out of sight are, for example, two important habits to get into in Oman.

Accommodation: Camping is possible almost everywhere. There are hotels, but not near any of the major climbing sites.

Transportation: It is essential to have a 4WD vehicle to get to climbing sites. Most of the major car rental firms have them, but they are not cheap. Expect to pay at least US $75 per day.

Other activities: Trekking, via ferrata, caving, canyoning, diving and snorkeling, fishing, windsurfing, kitesurfing and beach lounging are all possible.

Further information: Visit the Oman Adventure Sports website at www.omanclimbing.com for guides to the sport crags and via ferrata, and other sports. Information on the trad areas is, for the moment, more difficult to obtain. Some topos are scattered about the web, and it is possible that a guide book is being prepared in the UK. More about hiking can be found at www.trekkingoman.com. If you would like to find out about guided adventure tours, try www.holiday-in-oman.com.

There is a book called Rock Climbing in Oman, by R. A. McDonald. It was published in 1993 and can be found locally in Muscat. (There is no ISBN number.) It is no longer up to date, but has useful information on some sites.

Information about Oman supplied by user: kimbill