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Plantation Mountain Trek

Recently we had the Victoria International School stay at the Absolute Adventure date plantation camp. We took them rock climbing, abseiling (rappelling), trekking and taught survival skills. I taught orienteering and trekking during their stay. We have a trek we usually take the kids on- the path takes you up a small mountain next to the beach and then down the backside to come down on the beach in the middle of an old fishing village. That trek is pretty interesting and scenic- but this week it was problematic due to some Irani refugees. The Omani army and the local police turned out to scour the mountains for them. Not wanting to get in their way, we had to alter our route. Ram decided to take the kids up a much taller mountain that sits adjacent to our camp. It's a much tougher climb with much more dramatic views at the top. The pinnacle features a knife-edge like rocky ridge which feels really exposed and has panoramic views.

The kids on the way up

Looking out over Dibba Oman and Dibba Fujeirah

Taking a break near the pinnacle

Walking along an edge

Heading down

The kids and me, hanging out under an overhang on a ledge at the end of our trek

Climbing in Wadi Khab Al Shamsi- It's COLD here!

The past few days have been chilly with high winds that make it downright cold - especially in the shade. We decided to make the most of our day off before the Victoria International School arrived by going climbing in the wadi by our house- Wadi Khab al Shamsi.

We headed to the second narrow section where there is some really great sport climbing- it was bolted a little over a year ago. There is good diversity of routes in the second narrows- routes in the 5.7 to 5.8 range going up to around 5.11 or so.

The wind whipped through the canyon which was shaded by the high wadi walls- so we were really cold while we climbed.

Jessa and I snuggled on the crash pad while she belayed.

Tony and Ram took shelter from the wind in the Tahoe.

Stephen hanging out on a boulder watching the others climb

I'm sorry to say I don't have any good shots of us actually climbing. The shaded walls don't make for good photos without remote flashes and fancy camera equipment. The good news is that we've got some project climbs in that wadi and will be headed there lots more over the next few months to get our routes up. I'm hoping to get some good video with my HD video camera as well.

Back "home" in Dibba

I'm currently back in Dibba, Oman to work for Absolute Adventure. I got to celebrate by 26th birthday en-route to Dubai, this time joined by my boyfriend Tony. We celebrated by having a nice glass of wine in the NYC airport before boarding our flight to Paris and then on to Dubai.

I'm excited to be living in the "yellow house" again, a bright house nestled between the mountains and the ocean. We have a really great view of the mountains from our front porch. Its gerat living here- we can go sea kayaking and rock climbing in the same day!

Our work started with a school group from Dubai. Tony and I taught sea kayaking together and had tons of fun with the kids. We were lucky to have good weather while they were here. After the kids left we spend our afternoon climbing in the wadi with our housemates Jessa and Stephen. Yesterday Tony and I took a group of college students from the Petroleum Institute on a dhow cruise up the coast.

Last night there was some rain and lots of wind. Here, any rain at all is dangerous, especially in the Wadi- small amounts of rain causes rocks to fall from the mountain. Rocks of all shapes and sizes are held against the mountainside by compacted dirt. When that dirt gets wet, it relaxes its grip on those rocks- which go tumbling down the mountainside and into the wadi. Heavy rain causes flash flooding that's powerful enough to move boulders the size of houses. We had a Jebel Kiwi trek planned which requires driving way up into the wadi and then trekking high up in the mountains. We changed our plans and took the clients to Smuggler's Bay instead- a hike through the mountains along the coast to a beautiful secluded beach.