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# on Topo: 

Hourglass

F13

First ascensionists' grade:

IV - V

Max estimated grade:

5c

Length:

Pitches:

First Ascent:

9

Sergey Bubel, Gadi Bereznitsky, Lumir Hanus

Year of FA:

2004

# of bolts en route:

trad

Approach

Access to this climb is through valley Wadi El Arbain, which is situated between mountains Jebel Rabba on the right and Jebel Fara on the left. First on the left is one of the tops of Jebel Fara, where goes a route Pharaoh's Chimney. We pass also its second peak and before bustan with several tall cypresses on the right side one can see on the left third peak, which looks like two horns. This is the starting point to our climb. We ascend without rope up to the point, where is isohype thick, darkly colored crystalline dyke (magma that here broke its way upwards through cracks). This dyke cut across "pyramid" (big slab which called first ascenders of the route Big Pyramid according to its shape pyramid), lower truncated part of which is depressed and about 3 m above of it continue its upper part. [logbook]

Route description

faraHourglassPyramidSector

The route starts on the left bottom part of this "pyramid".
1) Climb on the narrow dyke (= left bottom part of hourglass) up to the truncated part of pyramid and traverse the upper part of this depression a little bit more than its half way (here is 1st stance).
2) From the depression we move over up to the upper part of the pyramid. Continue to its top (2nd stance)
3) .... and enter at the conspicuous chimney, which goes upright in the middle of whole face of the mountain. Climb up over the first overhanging flat chockstone, blocked in the chimney. After that continue straight up the chimney to the next wedged block, bellow which grows several branches with leaves. Overcome this overhanged blocked chockstone by stretching on side walls of the chimney (above this stone is 3rd stance).
4) Continue straight up the chimney and several meters before its end turn to the left on the first ledge, which is here available. It is round on the top and has just enough space for three climbers (4th stance without any protection! - before next leading we succeeded enter "symbolic" chock halbmond No. 1 Salewa).
5) Our attempt to continue by overcoming about 3 m high ejecting wall above stance appeared very risky and was unsuccesfull, even when we used technique of "building" leading climber on knees and shoulders of belayers. Therefore we decided on a different continuation. On the right side of this stance there are two stone "heads", with the help of which we climbed from the chimney to this stance. Keep the left leg on the lower of them and with the right leg step into the wall on an almost invisible undulated surface. As soon as you transfer your center of gravity onto the right leg and rise on it, you can reach a small, but good catch for the first phalanges. As soon as we move here also left hand, the problem is solved and one step up you can provide protection with a tricam. Continue several another meters across to the left up (= left upper part of hourglass) and after that climb straight up through easier terrain to a large, wide, down lean terrace. On its left side is the 5th stance.
6) Just walk on this terrace about 30 m to the right side (6th stance).
7) From here continue across to the left up (beware of the loose stones!) in direction to the final chimney between two horns of the top of this wall. Enter this chimney and bellow an overhanging stone is 7th stance (very dusty, but rock above your head protects you from eventual falling rock of leading climber).
8) From here we approach using the left wall and stones in the chimney above this overhanged stone. Continue on the left side of the chimney over free stones (be careful not to topple stones down on your fellow-climber!) to the top (8th stance between horns on the other side of the top, where steep groove goes down to the right; this stance is distant from the previous one by about 15 meters). Here one can see clearly, that this double-top was only an ilussion.
9) Next we climb forward by this steep groove to the left and on its top we turn to the right and protect ourselves at the last, 9th stance at big fixed block.
10) From here one can easily climb on good rock to the top without using rope. [logbook]

And why hourglass? This name is a symbolical one. If you take a look on the whole wall, you can see here shape of a hourglass - the main chimney is the middle part of it. We finished our climb at the end of the day - the time of this day filled and one must hourglass turn up side down for descent. And then here are granules of the sand falling from the top down - these are chockstones in the chimney.

Additional description by Misha: Nice workout route. The presence of live stones at the end of P4 and on P5 somewhat spoils the impression.
A nice enjoyable climb on good rock, which may become popular in the near future. Psychical ballance essential! Severity: IV - V Recommended!

P1. 45m., III-. On the left side of the "pyramid" slab by simply climbing to the top of the slab. Traverse right 10m. Station on friends on an inclined slab.

R2. 55m., III+. From the station 10 m upward climbing 5a, then almost on foot to the beginning of the fireplace. The station in the fireplace is on its points, on a convenient shelf in front of the wedged stone.

Option R1. 60m., III+. Along the rich relief to the left of the stove to a large shelf in front of the entrance to the fireplace.

P3. 60m., IV. Up the wide fireplace is a pleasant climbing in the spreads. At the top of the fireplace, exit to the left onto the uncomplicated slabs. The station is on a huge shelf above the fireplace at its points.

P4. 55m., IV+. From station 3m. to the right, then up along the inner corner with a thin crack - reliable belay with small belays and friends, pleasant climbing. Further upwards into a wide fireplace between two bastions (careful - living stones!). Station on a shelf in a fireplace on a huge ledge. Perhaps it is more correct to make a station at 10m. earlier on a convenient shoulder on the right. (In the original description, this area is bypassed on the right along a wide sloping chimney III-.)

P5. 20m., IV. Exit the fireplace straight up 10m., then walk left to the first convenient ledge.

P6. 150m., II. Up the ridge to the top, sometimes by simple climbing, sometimes on foot.

Recommended equipment: a standard set of bookmarks and friends, 10 quickdraws, 2 station loops, twin rope 2X60m.

[Misha]

Descent

Original description: Immediately after climbing the steep groove from 8th stance we take turn to the right and start the descent (already without rope), as low as is safely possible, to the right. On a good platform is big block. From this block (abseil sling left on the place) abseil 40 meters to a steep gully and continue down several tens meters over relative steady surface of big stones to overhanged, about 20 m high, step. One get over by abseil (sling left on the spot around big stone block). From here one can descent by walking and scrambling down to the valley Wadi El Arbain path (about 2 hrs partly in dark). [logbook]

By Misha:
from R5 to the right, carefully descend into the crevice and down the crevice 50m down to a large ledge with a descent loop on a stone. Dylfer 45m. left to the bottom of the gorge. Down the gorge 30m. To a huge stone with a trigger loop. Dylfer 20m. Further down the walk to the valley for 15-20 minutes.[Misha]

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