1.5h by car
St. Catherine is a little mountain town, which formed around the famous monastery of Saint Catherine, built 5-6AD. Since these early times it has always been a pilgrimage site for the 3 main religions originated in the middle east and Mt. Sinai is according to these the mountain where Moses received the commandments. Together with the difficulty of the path to the summit, this early tourism contributed to the guiding profession being deeply rooted in the customs of the local Jebeleya tribe.
In the 1930s St. Catherine has seen the first roped ascents by famous mountaineering couple Emilio Comici and Anna Escher. Since then it has been the target of numerous expeditions by accomplished climbers from all over the world. Visiting adventurers are drawn in by it's rough and remote charm while at the same time it is offering easy access from town. Basically you can just walk from the village center to some of the nearer bases of climbs up to 600-700m long.
The Sectors in this area
St. Catherine is surrounded by the climbable peaks of Jebel Safsafa, Rabba, Fara in the south-east and opening up towards the north into Wadi Raha with Jebel Batta on it's left hand. At the end of it there is the little Abu Seila village with a pass leading through Bustan el Birka, Wadi Freah towards Jebel Banat.
In the south-west you will find the "abu jeefa" pass leading into the valleys of Zawateen and Wadi Jebal, both gateways to the higher mountain crags of Farsh Abu Mahshur and the area of Jebel Dahab.