We accessed Jabal Shar from the west by the main wadi that is south of the three main peaks. We drove our 4x4 to 400 meters. The main wadi rises to 1100 meters before it turns north. Our high camp was established at approximately at 1450 meters at the base of a large slab that runs into the two lower peaks. From that point we climbed the slab and accessed to high wadis that are run respectively up to the two "Rhino Horns" that gave us access to another large slab of 200-250 meters of vertical gain which we climbed to a ridge that ran north into the main main peak. All of the climbing to the last slab was mostly 4th class with short, steep sections of 5.1-5.6 difficulty which we free soloed. The last slab to access the main peak was 5.8 friction climbing which we protected. Once we reached the last ridge accessing the main peak we again free soloed 4th and easy 5th class climbing for the final 100-150 meters to the top. The main difficulties in the climb were two fold; the approach up the wadi is extremely loose and dangerous, plus complex with regard to finding the easiest way through the maze, although there are ample; signs of local Saudi hunting camps and campfires up to our high camp at 1450 meters, and water. We carried water to our for two weekends in January and February to four different locations including our high camp. One needs to consume about 50% of what is carried to make a round trip from our high camp. We were duly educated about this ratio when we descended from our high camp without adequate water in our first attempt when the three of us became severely dehydrated which slowed our rate of descent so much we ended up coming down by headlamp. One needs about 4-6 liters/person at high camp and close to that amount stashed at places on the descent. Any less than that amount and you putting yourself at a high risk of severe dehydration and worst.
For gear we carried two 60 meter ropes, a variety of nuts, friends and slings, and a drill for bolts. Now knowing the way up and the difficulty of the climbing, it could be climbing with a one rope and just a couple of friends and nuts if you're willing to accept a higher level of risk.
We started the final climb from the car at 400 meters at 9:30 March 2. We reached 1600 meters by 18:00 where we left our climbing gear and then descended to high camp at 1450 meters where we slept. On the 3rd of March we left our high camp at 6:30 and reached the summit of 1950 meters at 15:00 and descended back to our high camp by 20:00. On March 4 we left high camp at 7:30 and reached our car at 14:30.
Ray Timm and Mike Olsen summited. Dian Hanekom provided support to 1800 meters.
Submitted by: yarmmit on 2017-03-06
Route ID: 116201