Secured with ropes and carabiners, sporting safety helmets and gloves, 10 thrill seekers steadily make their way up a 50m-rock face. Their relentless determination to climb means no obstacle will deter them from reaching the summit.
As the journey progresses several members began to tire, but a short break accompanied by water and energy drinks is enough to get them on their toes once again, rising higher with increasing excitement. “It’s the enthusiasm that keeps us going”, says one member of the group.
Rock climbing can be a gruelling hobby and the recent Wadi Mayh expedition lasted for five hours, but seasoned climbers will tell you that the satisfaction you get from conquering a tough rock face is easily worth the effort.
Adventure Oman, the group of outdoor enthusiasts responsible for the trip, has members ranging from nine to 70 years old who regularly participate in exhilarating activities, covering everything from hiking and snorkeling to off-road driving and camping. The team has organised more than 12 rock climbing and rappelling events since they formed in 2013.
According to Arun D’Souza, the leader of Adventure Oman, the Sultanate is a paradise for rock climbers, provided they are equipped with the right gear. “Rock climbing is a sport that you will definitely fall in love with. It’s more of pulling and pushing adventure to the limit and you can experience the real boundaries of your body.”
In rock climbing, Arun says that the most important part is the safety of the climber. “One has to be fit and equipped with the necessary safety equipment gear like a harness, helmet and climbing shoes. Although they can be expensive and difficult to find in Oman, it’s important that participants have these,” he says.
Those taking part in the most recent trip met at the Qantab road side parking at 6am on a Friday morning and after some initial briefing from the event leader, the group made out for Wadi Mayh, which is located approximately 20km from the outskirts of Muscat and offers great opportunities for climbing, mountain biking and family picnics.
The first task was for Raj, the lead climber, to anchor the safety rope at the first point on the rock face and rappel down, paving the way for everyone else to make their way up after him.
Once all the participants tackled the first leg, Raj upped the difficulty level with a tougher, higher climb, which some were able to conquer while others had to gracefully admit defeat.
Tufail Ahmed is a regular participant of the Adventure Oman activities and says every trip is a cherished experience due to the friendly and enthusiastic people who take part. His wife and two children also join him on most adventures.
Raj has been climbing for the past 14 years, so you can trust his opinion when he says that Oman is the perfect playground for all rock climbers. Wadi Bani Awf and Wadi Mayh are two of the most popular climbing spots in Oman, but there are plenty more just waiting to be scaled.
Adventure Oman trips are free of cost. Just join the Facebook page and look out for future event notifications. The participants must have some degree of fitness and be free from leg or major back surgery.