“Anytime you finish a climb, there’s always the next thing you can try.” – Alex Honnold
Egypt is a magical place bursting with a rich history and culture. World-famous landmarks like the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids of Giza dot this North African nation. Long beautiful coastlines, deserts, and lonely oases make up much of its natural beauty. Egypt is also home to vast mountainous regions to the east where the biblical holy site of Mount Sanai is located. Egypt’s highest point is Mount St. Catherine, a staggering 8,668 feet high with a chapel and meteorological station at its summit.
Egypt is a perfect destination for winter climbing as its October to April season offers moderate dry temperatures with daily near-flawless blue skies. As a quite new climbing spot, Egypt has been getting noticed for its good quality granite rock formations, scattered mainly towards the east and easily accessible from its capital city, Cairo.
If you are planning an Egyptian climbing adventure, you should definitely head to the South Sinai Peninsula with St. Catherine offering dozens of trad routes, or Dahab, which is heaven for sport climbing. Generally, plenty of thrilling bouldering opportunities are to be found around every corner. Egypt is an absolute climbing paradise!
e-Visa to Egypt Information
If you consider choosing Egypt as your next climbing destination, you should note that many international travelers are obliged to arrange a visa before going to Egypt. Luckily, thanks to the implementation of e-Visa, visiting Egypt can be free of bureaucratic travel procedures.
e-Visa Egypt is an online alternative to the regular visa but obtaining it is way easier and faster. All the formalities are to be handled online, while after maximally 7 days, applicants can enjoy the approved travel document delivered to their email address. Prepare best for your Egyptian climbing adventure and get your visa.
Now, let’s highlight some must-try spots for rock climbing in Egypt.
Best Rock Climbing And Bouldering Spots In Egypt
Around 120 km east of Cairo on the western shore of the Red Sea’s Gulf of Suez lies Ain Sokhna, a rapidly growing getaway destination with all the amenities for a relaxing vacation and a sporty, adventurous one.
Within Ain Sokhna rests IL Monte Gala Adventure park, home base to Rock n’ Rope, a mountain-top community that seems created from a rock climbers dream. Founded by the nation’s world-renowned climbers Omar Samara and Nora Kafafi, Rock n’ Rope is Egypt’s first fully-fledged climbing center and the first facility of its kind found in the Middle East. It offers ideal climbing spots, and all novices and experts alike can be guaranteed the necessary support and assistance. What makes this location especially attractive to all visitors is the fact that it caters to all getaway enthusiasts. You can immerse yourself in a brisk hike through nature and still make it back in time for a luxurious swim overlooking the Red Sea.
Many people come to Dahab, Egypt, for diving. But there is much more to this small town than meets the eye. Located at the southernmost tip of Egypt on the coast of the Red Sea, it’s no wonder that many visitors are unaware of what else Dahab has to offer. The Sinai Mountain Range rises majestically in front of you as soon as you arrive and will keep you coming back time and again for its beautiful views. Some people even decided to even map bouldering spots in Dahab due to its abundance. Dahab Bouldering Guidebook project began its development in 2006 and continues till this day.
The most developed sport climbing area in Egypt is located in Wadi Qnai and ranges from 3c to 7b. Its alternate routes can deliver tough decision-making, so plan well ahead.
Bouldering opportunities are as limitless as the desert sands. Winter climbing and camping can be perfect since the temperatures seldom fall below 10 degrees Celsius, making for excellent climbing conditions. During the daytime, warm, sunny, and dry conditions are ideal for the climb, with cool to cold yet still clear and dry evenings for a comfortable camp. The Sanai desert consists mainly of granite and sandstone. Climbing is performed on granite Wadis, more or less meaning valleys. Wadis spring from the mountains across the Red Sea.
Wadi kid and Wadi nassup are 2 granite Wadis with multi-pitch climbs that are under-developed adventures, though not as grandiose as Wadi Qnai, still offer excellent climbs with great potential.
Waterfalls are a perfect silhouette for your overnight camping. Amidst a box canyon and a waterfall you can find routes ranging from 6c+/7, a perfect place to plan an early morning climb.
St. Catherine High Mountains
This Egyptian jewel is considered a dive location among many religions, with significant events engraved into Christian, Islamic, and Judaic beliefs. Its mystical views span the mountains lining the red sea, much like an old bastion watching the sunrise and fall, evoking a sense of patience inside of its visitors.
A new kind of pilgrim – growing in number – Climbers. All brought here by the endless climb possibilities. Crack climbing enthusiasts will find no shortage of fun with over 200 m of routes with climbing lines everywhere.
St. Catherine has 4 main climbable mountains, all with their own distinct routes and characteristics.
- Jebel Safsa is the nearest to the village and also has the biggest number of climbing spots. Be prepared for numerous dead drops and false peaks, with descents that are far more demanding than assents.
- Jebel Fara lies to the south of St. Catherine and is the central towering figure. Descent is most leisurely at its north end through the “back” when attempting Wadi Shrej.
- Jebel Rabba offers easier climbing opportunities that can be accessed from the southwest road of the village.
- Jebel Batta is a great first route upon arriving in the village as it takes 5 minutes when driving from St. Catherine and around 10 minutes when walking from the main road.
St Catherine is a unique and delicate desert habitat, be careful not to disturb the surroundings when visiting and be respectful of its religious and historical influence. Hire local Bedouin guides. Not only will your visit be protected and enriched by their knowledge, but the desert is their livelihood, and friendly visitors are a welcome interaction.
Egypt has all the mysteries of a fairytale, yet they are tangible mysteries. You will find friendly locals with great welcomes and interesting stories to share about their wonderful land. Bedouins are eager to guide you along desert trails and up to majestic mountains routes. There is no end to new sights and challenges. Pack your equipment and prepare for your next adventure in Egypt!