Qiyut to Ar Roos Traverse
Key information: Qiyut to Ar Roos Traverse
- A superb traverse of the magnificent, broken high ridge of the central Akhdar range, with outstanding views over the chasm-wadis on its flanks.
- One of the finest walks in Oman.
- Walkopedia rating89
- Natural interest15
- Human interest10
- Negative points0
- Total rating89
- Length: 6 hrs
- Maximum Altitude: 2,300m
- Level of Difficulty: Difficult
There are various ways to walk the highlands of Jebel Al Akhdar, a central sub-range to the east of Jebel Shams.
The walk from Qiyut to the west, across the heart of the high area to the Ar Roos to the east, over or near summits of up to 2,450m, has exceptional views in many directions. This must be one of the best walks in Oman.
Start early from the joyless modern dwellings of Qiyut at 2,050m-ish. An immediate slog gets you to the flat top above, at something like 2,300m, the highest point of the trek. It will be rewarded with gorgeous views of landscape, ridges receding far to the east.
A long, steady descent down fine but rough slopes – looking quite grassy from a way off but actually mainly bare rock – then a short traverse will get you to the edge of the vast chasm of Wadi Bani Awf.
Thence another traverse behind the high ridgetop, round to another low valley head, from which you drop to a small, very flat plain poised between the high ridge and the huge hole of Wadi Bani Awf. A steady climb up the next slope takes you on to another pass in the rough high ridge, passing haunting evidence of the bitter civil war of the 1950s.
A traverse round a high bowl and a climb to the next pass gets you to another valley leading down to another big eroded bowl. Another rough descent gets you quite suddenly to the western rim of the remarkable Wadi Tanuf/ Wadi Al Qasha, another huge void but this time running south, with slopes of the Sayq Plateau on the far side. As your eyes get used to the enormity of the views, you notice the tiny grey blocks of an old village perched on a ledge deep in the inner canyon.
You circle round the bottom of the bowl and climb to a low ridge beside the canyon. This contains a real wonder: a long, sloping limestone pavement beside the gorge top stuffed with white, hard fossils shot through with veins of quartz (i.e. it has been deep inside the earth after it was seabed, and is now pushed up to approaching 2,000m).
Away from the canyon rim, you cross a huge, broiling limestone pavement to the edge of a final canyon-bowl. Beyond that, a final rough hillside, gets you to Ar-Roos, which is a peculiar mix of humble vernacular huts, smart public buildings (tiny mosque, bath house, gorge-edge pavilion) and an uneasy-looking estate of dreary modern concrete boxes.
Oman Trekking (Explorer) and Adventure Trekking in Oman (Anne Dale and Gerry Hadwin) have worthwhile sections on walking in this area. Recommended. Find relevant books on Amazon.
WILLIAM MACKESY'S ACCOUNT
of this walk
Walkopedia walked from Qiyut to the west, across the heart of the high area to the Ar Roos to the east, over or near summits of up to 2,450m, with exceptional views in many directions. This must be one of the best walks in Oman.
We started early, after a not-great night in a desolate campsite overlooking the joyless modern dwellings of Qiyut at 2,050m-ish. An immediate slog took us to the flat top above us, at something like 2,300m, the highest point of our trek. It felt dreary in the low-energy early morning, but wasn’t really that bad, and was rewarded with gorgeous views.....READ MORE
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