Useful information

1. How to reach Santa Catherine area?

The Santa Catherine area is located in South part of Sinai peninsula about 100km West of Nuweiba on Read Sea cost. The convenient means to reach St.Catherine area is by Bedouin taxi  from Taba, Nuweiba or Sharm el-Sheikh. Distances: Sharm - St.Catherine = 220km., Taba - St.Catherine ~ 240km. The price for one person usually $10 - $12, time for one way ~ 2,5 hours. The road is mainly asphalt. 

The company serving the area is the "East Delta" bus company. Timetable:

from to departure price
St.Catherine Cairo 06:00 $7
St.Catherine Nueiba 13:00 $4
St.Catherine Dahab 13:00 $3
St.Catherine Suez 13:00 $5
Cairo St.Catherine 11:30 $7
Dahab Taba 10:30  

The third possibility is to drive to St.Catherine by your own car (from Israel), but please take into consideration the following points: 

Some tips about Israel/Egypt border:

2. Where to stay in Santa Catherine village?

You can stay in St. Catherine village in one of few deluxe hotels: Catherine Plaza ($60), Daniela Village($35), Morgenland Village($78), Tourist Village($85) or St. Catherine Monastery Guesthouse, managed by Moussa Boulos, Tel: 069-470353, Fax: 069-470343, prices: $30 per person per night in a single-bed room, $20 in a three-bed room(dinner and breakfast included). 

But there are also acceptable for unpretentious climber variant: the so-called "Bedouin village" - like camping place with rooms for 3-4 persons (beds with sheets), hot shower room, free use of kitchen and refrigerator, free tea and coffe all day. Typical prices: $3-4 per person per night, $2 if you sleep in your own tent. Meals optional at $3. There are three reasonable campsites offering rooms:

3. How much?

4. What to eat?

5. Weather

The climate of the area is a very arid desert climate with main characteristic: the considerable difference between daytime and night temperatures (up to 20oC or more), so it is recommended to have reserve hot sweater. An additional phenomenon of Egypt's climate is the hot spring wind that blows across the country. The winds, known to Europeans as the sirocco and to Egyptians as the khamsin, usually arrive in April but occasionally occur in March and May. The winds form in small but vigorous low-pressure areas in the Isthmus of Suez and sweep across the northern coast of Africa. Though mainly hot weather in the region, the estimated daytime temperatures are lower than at Red Sea coast because relatively high location of the climbing zone (the valley located about 1500m above sea level). Therefore, the weather is acceptable all year around, but certainly spring and autumn are preferable seasons for climbing.

Bellow you can see the estimated temperatures for St.Catherine:

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
MAX oC 16.1 18.1 17.3 23.1 29.1 31.3 32.4 32.7 30.5 24.8 21.9 15.1
MIN oC 1.9 4.2 5.3 8.3 14.0 16.3 18.2 20.2 17.7 12.8 9.5 6.1

6. "After climb"

You can visit the Greek Orthodox St. Catherine's Monastery, was constructed by order of the Emperor Justinian between 527 and 565, built around what is thought to be Moses' Burning Bush. Also there is very popular is to ascent to Musa (Moses) mountain (1570m), or to Jabel Catherine (2640m) - the highest point of Sinai.

7. Equipment

As noticed earlier, take in consideration great difference between day and night temperature. Thus, it may be good idea to always take with you some warm clothes. Dependent on season it may be sufficient to carry light windbreaker at May-October season, fleece jacket at April or November, and maybe serious windbreaker and warm clothes at winter. We recommend the following list as a MUST for every (even short) climb: sufficient supply of water, no less than 3 litres of water per man (at hot weather), hat, skinguard, head torch (for late descents and emergency, sometimes descent takes up to 2 hours).

When you choose climbing equipment, please consider this: Mountains at Santa-Catarina area are mostly very old, red granit. You can find great deal of vertical cracks of different sizes: from micro finger jams up to frightening offwidths. Thus, may be a good idea to carry rack that contains great deal of different crack protection gear: friends (SLCDs), hexes, tri-cams. Take at least 5 friends of different sizes. Usually, middle sizes are being used the most, while sometimes big ones may be very useful. Attention: You can rarely finds bolts, pitons, repelling sling or other fixed gear on routes at this area. Be ready to achieve your climb using of only your own equipment. Knowledge of crack and slab climbing technicues may be very useful too.

 

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