Jabel Fara

J.Fara actually is a right (West) summit of Safsafa - Musa massif and situated above upper part of St.Catherine village and Field school. The cliff faces mainly to North and West to wadi El-Leja and it shaded in the morning.

Descent ways from Jabel Fara:

There are three main possibilities to descent from J.Fara:

First possibility – cross the Safsafa plateau to East and descent to Boustan wadi

Second – to West to wadi El-Leja via unpleasant gullies (may be needed short abseils)

Third – descent via wadi Shrej (towards village (North)).

Routes of Jabel Fara:

F1. North Corner of J.Fara *overview  -  picture  -  picture  -  topo

First ascent: Steve Gault, Victor Kaftal, 1976, 5 pitches, IV, J.Fara, N face

Pitch1: 30m, IV. Up narrow wide chimney.

Pitch2: 25m, IV. 2m up from stance, easy diagonally left to start clean crack.

Pitch3: 20m. Narrow crack to terrace (2 difficult movies)

Pitch4: 40m, V-. Thin slanted (R) crack delicate, then easy to top.

Descent: Walk South to nearest summit of Fara, pass it and descent to small col, turn left and walk easy down via scree gully to wadi Shrej (need short abseil ~ 5m).

F2. Big Eyes  -  overview  -  picture  -  picture  -  topo

First ascent: Gidy Hollender, Avishai Wool, 1987, 4 pitches, V, J.Fara, N ridge

Approach: Start below “Pharaon’s chimney” in gully.

Pitch1: IV-. Go diagonally for about 20m left to good balcony/ledge below two obvious cracks. Left crack attempted and ???.

Pitch2: IV. Walk 3m to left edge of balcony. Up chimney between main wall and large pillar and slightly to right. Short traverse right to base of vertical crack, under flake.

Pitch3: V. Up crack to terrace, 25m, good protection by hexes size 8,9,10 and friends.

Pitch4: V- Same as “North corner”. Thin delicate crack.

Descent: Walk South to nearest summit of Fara, pass it and descent to small col, turn left and walk easy down via scree gully to wadi Shrej (need short abseil ~ 5m).

F3. Dear Eva Route  -  overview  -  picture  -  picture  -  topo

First ascent: Doron Erel, Krysztof Pankiewicz, 1987, 5 pitches, VII-, J.Fara, SSW face

Descent: Walk South to nearest summit of Fara, pass it and descent to small col, turn left and walk easy down via scree gully to wadi Shrej (need short abseil ~ 5m).

F4. Pharaoh’s chimney ***overview  -  picture  -  picture  -  topo

First ascent: Terry Taylor, Steve Gault, 1976, 4 pitches, IV, J.Fara, N ridge

Approach: The route is situated at conspicuous unmistakable chimney on North corner of J.Fara.

Climb chimney in 2 pitches (IV- and III). Beware of loose stones. Walk to base of “open book”, climb it to good stance, then a few meters left to short crack (IV), then easy to top. It is possible to finish after 3rd pitch direct up via more difficult crack (V+).

Descent: Walk South to nearest summit of Fara, pass it and descent to small col, turn left and walk easy down via scree gully to wadi Shrej (need short abseil ~ 5m).

F5. Nightrain  -  overview  -  picture  -  picture  -  topo

First ascent: Yoav Nir, Avner Rothschild, 1993, 2 pitches, VI, 5.9, J.Fara, SE face

Approach: The route starts about 300m left of the “Hungarian Route” where the slab ends into a big gully. Climb two easy pitches (possibly unroped) for about 70m to a ledge situated 15m down and left of a prominent chimney. The chimney is at the left of the upper part of the slab, and has a wide vertical crack through it. Climb chimney for about 30m (well protected) to big ledge/terrace from which there is also access (left), back to the gully, then up the steep slab for 8m to the top.

Descent: Walk right for about 150m to the top of the “Hungarian route”, then rappel two pitches on fixed bolts.

F6. Puggie with Aids  -  overview  -  picture  -  picture  -  topo

First ascent: Adrian Hill, Alon Parnes, 1983, 4 pitches, V+, 5.9, J.Fara, NW face

Approach: Start at the foot of a huge sloping corner 100m right of “Pharaoh’s chimney”.

Pitch1: 25m 5.6. Start slightly left of the corner and follow the line of the corner to a short lay-back and huge ledge.

Pitch2: 28m, 5.8+. From the right end of the ledge traverse right (then) for 12m. Follow a sloping shallow ramp line, diagonally right to a small cave on the right corner of the face. Problematic protection

Pitch3: 30m, 5.7. Traverse 4m left from the cave, up 2m and back to above the cave. Move up 4m using a detached block, then 5m left . Up to a large ledge. Walk left to belay at the base of a huge flake.

Pitch4: 30m, 5.9(one move). Start from left of the flake and follow a shallow fissure to a large block. Continue up the wides crack (crux) to a ledge. Follow a ramp up diagonally right to a large boulder and ledge. Scramble 80m up diagonally to the top.

F7. Sak Qemakh  -  overview  -  picture  -  picture  -  topo

First ascent: Amnon Shiloni, Gil Alexandrovitch, 1988, 6 pitches, VI, J.Fara, W wall

Pitch1: 40m, IV-. Start about 50m right of “Pharaoh’s chimney”, follow obvious crack to good ledge.

Pitch2: 20m, III+. Climb left of ledge to base of slab.

Pitch3: 30m, IV-. Up slab, than traverse left (10m) to corner over the edge of the slab.

Pitch4: 25m, V+. Traverse left for about 8m, good hand holds in thin crack (V+), then diagonally up and right along wide fissure (V+, A1), well protected

Pitch5: 20m, VI. Follow up and left fissure with good protection all the way, finish pitch by traverse left, ending up about 20m right of  “Pharaoh’s chimney”

Pitch6: 50m, III+. Walk up towards top over “Pharaoh’s chimney”

F8. Max and Moritz variations of Sac Qemakh  -  overview  -  picture  -  picture  -  topo

First ascent: Gaby Manobla, Amnon Shiloni, 1989, 6 pitches, VI, J.Fara, W wall

Max: (Gaby Manobla). A nice and exposed version of “Sac Qemakh”. From first stance of regular route up a crack leading to right lower corner of Big Flake, then right side of flake (beware of loose rock), (V+), reasonably well protected, to join a point on a regular route right and below stance 3.

Moritz: (Amnon Shiloni). Start about 45m below Big Flake, that is left of regular start point. Climb crack (IV+) for some 20m to big ledge. Walk to big stones at the base of Big Flake. Climb left of flake at the flake’s edge (V+ but unprotected). Join regular route at stance 3.

F9. The Flakes route  -  overview  -  picture  -  picture  -  topo

First ascent: Terry Taylor, Andrea Anati, 1977, 5 pitches, III+, J.Fara, W face

Start at foot of obvious chimney in center of buttress, Climb to poor belay (loose flakes). Traverse left to big blocks and right into narrow chimney. After that go easily to steep slabs, up and left to top.

Descent: Walk down through the slope towards the village or easy gully back side.

F10. Passover route *overview  -  picture  -  picture  -  picture  -  topo

First ascent: Terry Taylor, David Gorney, 1977, 11 pitches, V+, J.Fara, SW face

Approach: Start in front of 2nd Boustan of wadi el - Leja. The route takes the impressive vertical chimney, which starts as a dyke seen from the end of the Boustan where the cypress trees also. Climb the chimney in 8 pitches (250m) (IV to V+) to scree ledges under the huge jammed chockstones. Daylight can be seen above. Follow the tunnel and then climb to wall on right of gully chimney in three easy pitches to top.

It is possible to climb inside the chimney and find rotten rock and good protection or outside with poor protection

Descent: Walking towards Safsafa to wadi Srej via winding gully

F11. The balconies  -  overview  -  picture  -  picture  -  topo

First ascent: Zoki Pereg, Doron Bar, 1989, 4 pitches, VI+, 5.9+, J.Fara, W face

Pitch1: 30m, 5.8. Up on the face to the first balcony/ledge

Pitch2: 20m, 5.6. Loose stones, first move: up to first balcony/ledge (5.8+), right and up to second balcony/ledge.

Pitch3: 20m, 5.7. Traverse right for about 8m, then up to a big ledge

Pitch4: 30m, 5.9+. Start on the left side of the big ledge at the crack, few movies of lay-back and up.

F12. Big Pyramid  -  overview  -  picture  -  picture  -  picturepicture(descent)

First ascent: Mickey Hochstatter, Bruce Devens, 1978, 4 pitches, IV, J.Fara, W face

Approach: The route starts on the left part of a big slab looking like a pyramid above the beginning of the first garden (Boustan) in wadi el-Leja. Reach a narrow dyke (IV) follow to the top of pyramid (IV), then keep to right of big chimney till a big terrace (III to V-). Walking right till continuation of chimney and follow to the top (III to IV), exit through diedre with chimney. Approx. 200m

Descent: Right to the right to deep gully (scrambling and one abseil 2m) and follow it down to wadi el-Leja

F13. Hourglass ***overview  -  picture  -  picture  -  picture(descent)

First ascent: Sergey Bubel, Gadi Bereznitsky, Lumir Hanus, 2004, 9 pitches, IV - V, J.Fara, W face

A nice enjoyable climb on good rock, which may become popular in the near future. Psychical ballance essential! Severity: IV - V. Recommended!

Approach: Access to this climb is through valley Wadi El Arbain, which is situated between mountains Jebel Rabba on the right and Jebel Fara on the left. First on the left is one of the tops of Jebel Fara, where goes a route Pharaoh's Chimney. We pass also its second peak and before bustan with several tall cypresses on the right side one can see on the left third peak, which looks like two horns. This is the starting point to our climb. We ascend without rope up to the point, where is isohype thick, darkly colored crystalline dyke (magma that here broke its way upwards through cracks). This dyke cut across "pyramid" (big slab which called first ascenders of the route Big Pyramid according to its shape pyramid), lower truncated part of which is depressed and about 3 m above of it continue its upper part. 

Description: The route starts on the left bottom part of this "pyramid". Climb on the narrow dyke (= left bottom part of hourglass) up to the truncated part of pyramid and traverse the upper part of this depression a little bit more than its half way (here is 1st stance). From the depression we move over up to the upper part of the pyramid. Continue to its top (2nd stance) and enter at the conspicuous chimney, which goes upright in the middle of whole face of the mountain. Climb up over the first overhanging flat chockstone, blocked in the chimney. After that continue straight up the chimney to the next wedged block, bellow which grows several branches with leaves. Overcome this overhanged blocked chockstone by stretching on side walls of the chimney (above this stone is 3rd stance). Continue straight up the chimney and several meters before its end turn to the left on the first ledge, which is here available. It is round on the top and has just enough space for three climbers (4th stance without any protection! - before next leading we succeeded enter "symbolic" chock halbmond No. 1 Salewa). Our attempt to continue by overcoming about 3 m high ejecting wall above stance appeared very risky and was unsuccesfull, even when we used technique of "building" leading climber on knees and shoulders of belayers. Therefore we decided on a different continuation. On the right side of this stance there are two stone "heads", with the help of which we climbed from the chimney to this stance. Keep the left leg on the lower of them and with the right leg step into the wall on an almost invisible undulated surface. As soon as you transfer your center of gravity onto the right leg and rise on it, you can reach a small, but good catch for the first phalanges. As soon as we move here also left hand, the problem is solved and one step up you can provide protection with a tricam. Continue several another meters across to the left up (= left upper part of hourglass) and after that climb straight up through easier terrain to a large, wide, down lean terrace. On its left side is the 5th stance. Just walk on this terrace about 30 m to the right side (6th stance). From here continue across to the left up (beware of the loose stones!) in direction to the final chimney between two horns of the top of this wall. Enter this chimney and bellow an overhanging stone is 7th stance (very dusty, but rock above your head protects you from eventual falling rock of leading climber). From here we approach using the left wall and stones in the chimney above this overhanged stone. Continue on the left side of the chimney over free stones (be careful not to topple stones down on your fellow-climber!) to the top (8th stance between horns on the other side of the top, where steep groove goes down to the right; this stance is distant from the previous one by about 15 meters). Here one can see clearly, that this double-top was only an ilussion. Next we climb forward by this steep groove to the left and on its top we turn to the right and protect ourselves at the last, 9th stance at big fixed block. From here one can easily climb on good rock to the top without using rope. 

Descent: Immediately after climbing the steep groove from 8th stance we take turn to the right and start the descent (already without rope), as low as is safely possible, to the right. On a good platform is big block. From this block (abseil sling left on the place) abseil 40 meters to a steep gully and continue down several tens meters over relative steady surface of big stones to overhanged, about 20 m high, step. One get over by abseil (sling left on the spot around big stone block). From here one can descent by walking and scrambling down to the valley Wadi El Arbain path (about 2 hrs partly in dark). 
Name of the route:

And why hourglass? This name is a symbolical one. If you take a look on the whole wall, you can see here shape of a hourglass - the main chimney is the middle part of it. We finished our climb at the end of the day - the time of this day filled and one must hourglass turn up side down for descent. And then here are granules of the sand falling from the top down - these are chockstones in the chimney.

F14. Penthouse ***overview  -  picture  -  picture - topo

First ascent: Sergey Goncharov, Vadim Chebishev, Vitaly, 2004, 8 pitches, IV - V+, A1, J.Fara, W face

A nice enjoyable various climb on good rock, shadow in morning.

Approach: Access to this climb is through valley Wadi El Arbain after end of 2nd Boustan. The route starts is about 150-200m to right from Passover route on same level. The start point is marked by visible rudjim.


P1. 30m, II. Start on base of sloped ledge and scramble right and up via ledge till big horizontal ledge (possible unroped)

P2. 50m, IV. Strightly up via 3 short body-size chimneys (7, 5, 3m, IV), separated by ledges (middle one has a big chockstone). After that right and up hand-jum crack (IV), and entrance gully (II-III). Stance on stone edges.

P3. 30m, III-IV-. Follow gully and take crack on right side of a gully, up it till base of a wall, turn right on ledge 3m. Stance in base of crack/chimney (piton and tricam #3)

P4. 50m, IV-V+. Up crack (first few meters like chimney) full pitch till big roof. Stance under a roof on small chockstone stacked in hand-size crack. For protection need big sizes of hexes, tricams or friends.

P5. 40m, III-IV. From stance strightly up entrance vertical tunnel for about 7-10m (IV). Exit tunnel and follow short gully up and just left till short wall (II-III), beware of loose stones!!

P6. 25m, II, A1. Up vertical wall with 2 thin cracks (finger-jum)(A1 3-4m, small stoppers and friends). After wall turn left and up over big boulder near beatiful cave ("penthouse")

P7. 40m, III-IV-. Up crack from left of cave (IV-), turn right on wide ledge and follow crack/chimney mainly horizontally between wall itself and detached big edge, scramble big chockstone (over or under) and climb down some 10m into big gully with vertical side walls

P8. 50m. IV. Up right enjoyable gully/chimney with chockstones till summit.

Descent: Walk down to other side of Fara's ridge towards wadi Srej and Safsafa massif; firstly via sloped granite ledges/fields, and after that turn left and take steep gully towards village (second one from wall of j.Fara), may be needed short (7m) abseil.

The hungarian wall: This is steep wall up wadi Srej, on the NE side of j.Fara. Several short routes (including bolts) were opened by the hungarian expedition opposite of "scala del cielo", march-april 1990,
Fly by Malev, hungarian wall, 3 pitches, 70m, face climbing ~ 5.11c, 11 bolts

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