Jordan Aqaba Mountains
The Aqaba Mountains
The 2nd edition of our Jordan Walks, Treks, Caves, Climbs & Canyons book was published in summer 2008. Info on a number of new climbs and treks was received just after the publisher's deadline, plus we added more on our subsequent visits, and some GPS points. We include some here (trekking info is minimal, due to space limitations).
2014 The Jordan Trail
Whilst exploring the route of the proposed Jordan Trail, we found an excellent route from Rum to the Red Sea south of Aqaba. We crossed the Aqaba Mountains in both spring and autumn, finding a good trek from Titin (a remote Bedouin village reached from Wadi Rum via Wadi um Ratha and Wadi War'aaga). The way from Titin crossed two low ridges before finally crossing the coastal range to reach the Red Sea. Full details will be posted on the Jordan Trail website.
More explorations by Brian Hodgkinson (see Route 144, Jordan guidebook)
Brian emailed, Dec 08, to say "I decided to have a closer look at the peak behind Aqaba and across the road to the west of my other route (R144 in our Jordan book). Although I didn't manage to reach the summit I now understand the topography much better and have two or three potential routes to complete.
Viewed from Aqaba when the sun is shining it all looks like one mountain, but when the sun is going down and when you are on it you realise that it's two completely separate peaks; the one mentioned in your guide (Jebel el Yitm, route 143, which is supposed to be the highest in the area) is further back, hence the approach to it from near the Customs Post.
I parked just off the road as it goes through its final turn on the way into Aqaba, and followed a prominent ridge line which I thought went all the way to the summit. Some interesting climbing for 3 hours in exposed situations but nothing more than grade 3, but then you reach a false summit and find that you have to descend 100m before continuing up again. By this time I was in danger of spending a night on the mountain, so I decided to retreat.
I followed a gully down, which becomes a wadi and is completely out of view from the road. I had a 30m rope and had to do one short abseil, and then I came to a big drop where my my initial thought was, I am going to have to retrace my steps. However I managed to climb down the side walls, and after that it began to ease off and eventually turned into a pleasant stroll down a sandy wadi well trodden by hundreds of goats. What the goats were doing up there I have no idea as there's nothing to eat up there. Eventually I came to signs of habitation i.e bits of plastic and graphiti on the rocks and then emerged out into the main valley only a couple of hundred metres from where I had started."
Brian returned in Dec '09, and reached the summit, sending the following info: I just climbed the 1430m peak of Jebel es Sahaki to the West of Jebal Baqer, and across the road to the west of Route 144. I went up from near the Aqaba road, [see above] and it must have the best part of 1000m ascent and descent. I finished after dark.
2015 November, Brian Hodgkinson found another 'Walk on the Wild Side' in the Aqaba Mountains AqabaMountains.pdf
2016 November, two new Aqaba Mountain summit treks by Brian