We have been having a great season climbing in the Sinai Desert, but now it is at an end and our adventures there will have to wait until we return later on this year. Here is our update on the climbing scene:
Guides, camels and the Sheikh – Prices for daily use of a Bedouin guide, camel and the payment to the Sheikh have gone up. The rate now is 140LE per day. Remember that 1 night is 2 days regardless of how early you return. Sometimes the longer walks will count 1.5 days for the camels.
There was a terrible accident in February this year, where four walkers from Cairo died in a storm. The regulations of walking in the mountains without a guide are changing. There are plans of introducing a fine of 5,000LE that would be charged from anyone walking in the mountains and wadis away from the village without a guide. Any money received from the fines would be given to the community. This has not been finalised yet, but be very aware that it is not a good idea to go walking around the mountains on your own for the following reasons. 1) – You may get fined 5,000LE 2) – It provides money to the local economy. 3) – It is possible to get lost within the mountains and bad weather can blow in suddenly.
Weather forecast for The Sinai – We now use the Norwegian website called yr.no for weather forcasts. Once on the website search for: Saint Catherine’s Monastery to get the most local weather station.
Access – The Police in the area are slowly getting used to the idea of climbers in the area. To assist with this please respect their wishes if they ask you not to climb on a certain peak, regardless of their reasoning. When walking from Jebel Fara and Wadi Arbaeen back to the Bedouin camp follow the route on the Google earth image below and not the route that takes you past the police stations.