Park at the base of the east face of Umm Ad Darj. The large carved steps lead up to an obvious ledge which is followed left (south) then right into a narrow slickrock canyon. The carved steps are two thousand years old...it's entirely possible to boulder to the ledge and bypass the stairs anywhere along this route. Work up the canyon (Class 1-2 hiking) and keep your gaze high and right. You'll see the steps fade out and notice a fixed rope(s) on the steep wall. Please note that this rope, or bundle of ropes, is cheap plastic and far from new. I recommend climbing this section instead of relying on the ropes. It's probably 5.5-ish maybe 5.6, 10m and exposed. Not difficult...the two Saudi gentlemen I did it with were wearing slip-on dress shoes and sandles. Continue this line into a crack-gully which contains another old fixed rope, but which can be easily climbed without (<5.0).
From this point you'll be meandering all over the ridgeline leading to the summit, gawking at relics, some amazing cysterns, the stairways on adjacent faces, and the incredible view of the wadis 600 feet below and the surrounding mountains.
Descent: follow the ascent route. The downclimb at the lower fixed rope is tricky,so consider taking along a 50 -footer of your own.
Submitted by: mudmaster on 2006-03-07
Route ID: 74937