We first visited
Wadi Rum in 1984, having been sponsored by Jordan’s Tourism Ministry
following our request to explore the area for climbing and trekking potential.
We have returned every year since.
Jordan's Director of Tourism said "Tony and Di put Jordan's desert tourism
on the map".The area is now acknowledged as "one of the world's
best desert climbing areas" and also has excellent treks and canyon scrambles
best done with local Bedouin guides - anything from half a day to a week or
more – you can trek all the way to / from Petra if you want!
Some Bedouin now work as climbing guides and three received some UK training
with assistance from us, the Tourism Ministry and HM Queen Noor. See Rum
There are now over 400 climbs on Rum sandstone from single pitch to 500m,
at all grades. Very few routes use bolt protection, bold traditional climbing
being the norm in Rum using slings, nuts and cams. There are a few mixed aid
routes on Rum's East Face, behind the campsite. The Bedouin hunting routes
are "amongst the world's best adventure climbs" often involving
grade 4 and grade 5 moves originally climbed solo by the Bedouin. Whatever
the grade of climb in Rum, one of the main difficulties can be route finding,
which may be extremely complex. New Route info is kept at the Rest House.
Most of the Bedouin guides will be found in the Bedouin cafes across the road
unless they are out with clients.
Rum has been declared a Special Regulations Area (National Park) with the
involvement of the RSCN, Bedouin Cooperative, Tourism Ministry and Aqaba Authority
(AZESA). A new Visitor Centre was completed (summer 2004) at the entrance
to the valley and changes are inevitable. There are concerns amongst visiting
climbers and trekkers and also amongst the local people that restrictions
may be imposed on access, camping, choice of guides etc. There have already
been some problems reported to us. If we hear anything new, we'll post it
on this site.
Guidebooks: Treks and Climbs in Wadi Rum
will be republished by Cicerone Press in 2007. Our other guide to Walks
& Scrambles in Wadi Rum is published in Jordan and available
there. Some Bedouin routes also appear in our guide to Jordan - Walks,
Treks, Caves, Climbs & Canyons. All are available in Jordan from
Salem Redwan opposite the Post Office in Aqaba. Also, see Publications
For more on Wadi Rum, see:
More Rum info
and, sadly, three obituaries:
info on Jordan see: Jordan
For photos of Jordan see: Jordan
For more info on Jordan and Wadi Rum see: Jordan
Jubilee and Ruth's
Di & Tony with H.M. Queen Noor who sponsored our guidebook to Jordan -
Walks, Treks, Caves, Climbs & Canyons in the hope that it would aid the
economy of the smaller and more remote villages. She also kindly assisted
with the sponsorship of three Bedouin from Wadi Rum who visited England for
training as Mountain Guides.
the original climbing team in Wadi Rum, 1984:
Left to right: Mick Shaw, Sabbah & Defallah Atieq, Di Taylor, Tony Howard
& Alan Baker.