Oman climbing: Auer and Ötztal team establish new routes on Jebel Misht
An Austrian team comprised of Hansjörg Auer, Thomas Schreiber and friends have made numerous first ascents in Oman, including the 8b multi-pitch 'Al Hamar' in the Jabel Sham Canyon.
Oman seems to be in vogue at the moment. After recently reporting about Pavle Kozjek's new route on Jebel Misht, here goes with the next report by Hansjörg Auer and his Ötztal friends. The Austrians have just returned from a three week climbing trip to the Sultanate where they established a series of new routes which, at F8b, may well be the hardest in the country.
The Tyroleans kicked off their winter season with the first ascent of '40 Räuber', a technical 8b in Little Gourgette, a crag which lies close to an idyllic oasis in Wadi Bhani Awf. The '40 thieves' was swiftly repeated by Barbara Bacher and takes a 30m line next to the famous 'Ali Baba'... for obvious reasons.
After having established a series of easier routes the group then travelled to the immense Jabel Sham Plateau where, awestruck by the mighty canyon overhangs, they found their way through the easiest sections to establish the three-pitch 'Al Hamar' (8b, 8a, 7a). This 110m route overhangs an impressive 50m and Auer celebrated the new year in style with a 1 January redpoint. Apart from the obvious physical form, this also required strong nerves...
No journey to Oman is complete without trip to Jebel Misht and before heading home Auer, Schreiber and Oberhauser made a swift repeat of 'Shukran' and a seven hour first ascent of 'Flying Pegs', a 16 pitch 8+ up the immense 900m south face.
'40 Räuber' (8b)
Sport route at Wadi Bani Awf. The crag La Georgette lies close to the idyllic Oasis Balad Seet in the center of Western Hajar.
First ascent: Hansjörg Auer 24/12/2007
Length: ca. 30m
'Al Hamar' (8b, 8a, 7a)
Alpine-style multi-pitch beneath the Jabel Shams Plateau at the upper end of the Jabel Shams Canyon.
First ascent: Hansjörg Auer & Thomas Schreiber, 01/01/2008
Length: ca. 110m
Gear: bolts, threads, Camelots, double ropes
'Flying Pegs' (8+)
Alpine-style route up the south face of Jebel Misht, one of the most beautiful faces in Oman and comparable to the south face of the Marmolada, Dolomites, Italy. 'Flying Pegs' was Jakob Oberhauser open project.
First ascent: Hansjörg Auer & Thomas Schreiber, Joggl Oberhauser, 04/01/2008
Length: 16 pitches, ca. 900m
Gear: ca. 8 pegs and 1 fixed peg