Time  10 hours 21 minutes

Coordinates 36257

Uploaded March 25, 2018

Recorded March 2018

5,141 f
696 f
16.47 mi

Viewed 1101 times, downloaded 15 times

near Şidaqah, Al Fujayrah (United Arab Emirates)

Many routes go from these two large wadi's, but I had never until this point linked the two together. Many peaks are sprinkled across a large plateaued area, which sits above 1000m/3,300', and this expands over an area some 3 times larger than Abu Dhabi Island, so it's a lot to cover. In fact a large network of paths criss-cross the plateau linking together the settlements, of which many remain in use, from Yibir to Qihwi, and Tawian to Niqab.

Due to the size of the area, this route was planned to be direct and straight to the point with little distraction (Except for a cheeky pop up 'double peak' in the middle). The route is technically an easy hike (T-E to T-M (tracks, paths with occasional rocky terrain) and difficulties are, as with many routes, the lack of shade, and the remoteness. In particular for this route it must be stressed that there isn't an easy bale out option. It's committed, and remote.

The time taken for this trek was 10 hours and 20 mins. This should be considered a moderate-fast pace. Times I would say would typically take between 9 and 14 hours to do this route depending the group. There are excellent camping opportunities throughout, so multi day would be good on this route. All the timings in the description below are based on the time we took, so adjust accordingly. If the summit is skipped, it would have taken us 8 and a half hours.

For logistics it requires a vehicle at either end. For this route 4x4's were used which makes the route shorter than if you only had cars. 4x4's cut about 1km off the tawian end, and 3km off the naqab end. The drive time between the two is 1 hour 20 mins.

This route had 4 sections.

1. Wadi Tawian up to the plateau - 3 Hours 40 mins - 8.3km (900m/3000' Height Gain)
2a. The Plateau - 1 hour 20 mins (WP12 to WP14 or 17) - 3.8km - (250m/800' Height Gain)
3. The summit (WP14-17 via 16) - 1 hour 50 mins - 4km - (400m/1300' height gain, then 500m/1600' height loss)
2b. The Plateau - 2 hours (WP17 to WP23) – 5.2km - (400m/1300' height loss)
4. The descent into Wadi Naqab - 1 Hour 30 mins - 5.1km - (600m/2000' height loss)

Section 1 - Wadi Tawian up to the plateau

The initial wadi section is flat, wide and quick to walk over. After 35 minutes there is a split and a smaller tributary wadi heads off to the right (south). Continue on the main wadi, then after a long snake bend curving right and then back left, look out for the beginning of the path on your left (north side).

After another 10 minutes the path heading up to the village leaves the track to the left hand side. Initially it barely gains height and stays in the wadi, but after a couple of minutes it's clear you are on the path. As a bonus there is also a short balcony walk just after the start to keep things interesting.

It took 45 minutes to get from the start of the path to Sidakah village. The path is persistently quite steep all the way up, but its height gained quickly.
The village spans over a large area from SW to NE. Head straight through the village and onto the next section. There are other paths leaving the village in many directions so be sure to get the right one.

The path then becomes tricky to see but it’s easy to head in the general direction. We kept generally to the left as we went up the ridge looking down into tributaries to wadi tawian as we progressed. After about an hour of this second main uphill leg we reached a house. Just beyond it and a little lower was another farm/village called Difan. We went around the left hand side (SW) before starting the third and last of the main uphill sections.

After another 60 mins of walking we had a 10 min break at the top of wadi Tawian. The views of Tawian are stunning, but also we could now see Dibba valley, and the Jebel Dad range also. Just shortly after this, a standalone house a short distance to our right (NE) marks the top of Tawian, and the start of the Plateau.

Section 2a – The Plateau

Well-worn paths make for really quick progress across this section. At times we skipped between paths, which go from village to village rather than peak to peak. Keep your height as you do this, as you shouldn’t need to go over anything or down anything.
At WP13, there was a strong cooling wind which was super refreshing, hence the waypoint name windy gap. At this point if you want to skip the summit walk, head directly to waypoint 18.

Section 3 – The Summit

The summit of ‘Double Peak’ was very easy, with a few large steps, but little else. The views from the top are some of the best. I’m beginning to realize that often the best views of the Musandam and northern emirates mountains are from the outer edge peaks looking inwards. Aggressive well developed wadi’s make for a rugged landscape with deep cuttings, rather than more general highlands in the inner region. From here you can see coast to coast. This leg could be done quicker, if all photo opportunities and eating breaks are skipped.

After the summit we returned back to waypoint 13. The route from waypoint 13 to the valley at waypoint 14. Is pretty flexible. Just head in that general direction down some steep ground, avoiding anything tricky.

After crossing the dry river bed, head straight to the village and link back onto the direct route without the summit diversion.

Section 2a – The Plateau

Waypoint 18 is just after the village in a col. From here to the end of this section there are 3 small undulations (bumps), to cross over, as you traverse along the sides of the main wadi keeping your height.

1. WP18 to WP20 – Follow around the hillside to your right (E) until you start to loose height. A village is just to your left (W) which would make for a perfect camping site in a two day hike. Stick to the right hand side (ridge line) past this, until you see the village at WP20.
2. WP20 to WP21 – Either go directly between the two over a short steep up/down scree slope, or (As we did) traverse around, again holding height.
3. WP21 to WP22 – Small final undulation, just curve around the hill side again holding height, until you reach wp 22.

At this point an awesome canyon cuts a streak down the landscape dividing the villages below. Heading directly down the village at 23, following an irrigation ditch made from large stone slabs.
Once at the village, head to the furthest point, the last house, to find the start of the descent.

Section 2a – The Plateau

Although this section is only about 1.6km/1 mile on the map, and the end waypoint looks so very close now, it is in fact 5.1km of walking, as it zig zags sharply most of the way down.

The path is well laid, with steps all the way, cairns, cemented sections, and at one point a hand rail on a stairway. It also had a balcony walk section not long after the top just to make it even better.

You reach the bottom of the steep section about 1 hour 10 into this leg. This is marked with a large white water container. It is possible to get drinking water from this.

Finally the path heads off to the right hand side of the wadi, and the wadi and path divide off. The path becomes a track and passes over into the main wadi slightly early than where the wadi’s themselves meet. After this point, it was around 400m/1300’ walk along an easy flat wash out section of wadi back to the car.
From the village either go around the hill or over the scree pass to 21
To get here from 20, you either go around the hill or over the scree pass
Photos for this waypoint are between 23 and 24. 24 is the bottom.


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