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# on Topo: 

The Skull

1

First ascensionists' grade:

IV+

Max estimated grade:

5b

Length:

500

Pitches:

First Ascent:

14

Victor Kaftal, Steve Gault

Year of FA:

1976

# of bolts en route:

trad

Approach

The route starts in a large rift between the first and second peaks of Safsafa. Approaches from the village take 20 minutes.[Misha]

Route description

Easy but long route. Estimated difficulty 2A(russian).
Option 1 is the left and moves inside the left colouir, option 2 is the right one, starts at the end of a little gully.
Option 1.
The first option of passing the beginning of the route:
Р1. 50m. II. Left up the inner corner, and further along the right side of the inner corner. The station is on a ledge before going up.

R 2 -3. 12 0m. II. Up the slabs and shelves, first a little to the left, then taking it to the right, to the beginning of the pedestrian section inside the fault. There are many suitable places for stations.

P4. 100m. I. Walking on large stones inside the fault. In the upper part, bypass the large wedged stone on the right and turn left to the fork between the continuation of the fault, and the inner corner that goes to the left.

P5. 60m. II, 20m. I. Left up the inner corner, and further right to the [slab] under the wall. Further up the wide [slab] to its upper part.

Option 2.
The second option for passing the beginning of the route:
Bypass the large slab of the beginning of the route from below, moving to the left, enter the large couloir going upwards to the left. Move along the couloir to a wide fireplace visible from afar. On the fireplace will rise 20 meters up to the [slab]. First 10 meters IV, then III. A large wedged stone in front of the exit to the [slab] to bypass on the left. From the ledge, move to the right up the large rift. In the middle part of the fault, move along the right side, then, going under the overhang, return to the left, where the fault becomes a couloir. In the upper part, exit the couloir to the left to the upper part of the array under the beginning of P6. 200 meters II-III.

P6. 20m. IV, 20m. III, 20m. II. From the ledge up the wall, then traverse 5m to the right and up to a large crack and exit to ledge IV. Further to the left upward along the wide inner corner III . Further up the slabs under the top tower. Station on a large [slab].

P7. 25m. III, 15m. IV. Up rich terrain in the direction of a crack that turns into a small fireplace. The key of the route is the entrance to the fireplace, two or three steps on friction. Small stopper insurance. At the top of the fireplace go left into an extension. Station on ledge and hourglass.

P8. 10m. III, 30m. II. To the right up to the [slab] under the huge stone. On the [slab] on all fours to the right up to the exit from under the stone. Further up to the right to the next [slab]. The station is at the right end of the [slab].

P9. 25m. III, IV, III. From the [slab] traverse three meters to the right to the crack. Continue up the crack to the top. [Misha]

Descent

From the top go down to the right to the saddle. From the saddle move to the right and slightly up, going around the top bastions on the left, and focusing on the tours. Climb a little to the right up to the platform between the rocky towers. From here, to the left, you have a view of Mount Moses. Go down the couloir towards Mount Moses to a small monastery. Turn around the monastery on the left and go out onto a paved path leading from the gates of the monastery to the foot of Mount Moses. From here on the left along the stairs of the Monk you will go down to the monastery of St. Catherine - a standard tourist route. In addition, it is possible to go to Wadi Arbain, turning off the paved path onto an inconspicuous path to the right, or go down to the road between the village and the monastery of St. Catherine, turning left from the first monastery into a rather steep gorge. Approximate time of descent is 2-2.5 hours.[Misha]

Helpful Images

These images have been submitted by climbers, to help others on their adventure.

These are the numbers corresponding to the Topo #

AsafsafaGBTopo

safsafaSkullTopSectionTopo

The Mask, Papa Giovanni, Partizan routes. source: Misha

PartizanGiovanniMask

At the very top right in this picture you can see the notch of the correct descent col with grassy ground and fairly simple descent. The saddle is roughly at (28.5491091, 33.9646042)

SafsafaGardenchapel

N19:Scala del Cielo; N8:Geissenpeter; N18:Elio’s Route; N5:Black Dyke; N2:The Skull; N7:Com kal; N6:The Mask; N4:Klostersporn; N14:Via del Papa Giovanni Paolo 1; N20:Saturday Night Fever; N11:Warsaw - Tel Aviv Direct; N16:Via del Papa Oct'87 variation; N12:Non-Stop (Warsaw’s variation); N15:Grand Hand Traverse (Papa's Variation); N3:Arba VaKhetzi; N13:Bonch; N1:NE Ridge of Safsafa; N17:Darkness at Noon; N10:Why not?; N9:Geissenpeter (variation)

safsafaNorthWestTopo
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