Saturday, March 19, 2011

my Favorite Jabal of all time... Jabal Rum

Wadi Rum 2007

Jordan 1991

I love climbing rocks... I am not very good at it but that does not stop me. This love started with my adventures in the desert and one of my favorite deserts of all time is Wadi Rum. What a place! Absolutely beautiful and serene. Simply breathtaking. I love the red sand, the magnificent rocky mountains and the warmth of the Bedouin people.

The first time I had to climb Jabal Rum was when I was 19 years old. We woke up at our camp very early in the morning and headed to the bottom of the mountain. The left side of my head, face and jaw were killing me. I had a bad migraine but I did not really want to pass this opportunity by. I never climbed a rocky mountain before and so thought nothing of the fact that we climbed without any protective gear such as ropes, helmets....wala shee... zip... nada... we were supposed to start our climb walking in single file... we were responsible for the person in front of and behind us. 

What? I was not sure how that would work because honestly, if I was to focus on every single step I made... making sure that I do not fall off that cliff... then how was I supposed to take care of two other people and watch their moves.... before I had the time to figure that one out... the girl in front of me, a twin whose sister was two people ahead of her, slipped off the rock and believe me when I say , that the officer who was in front of her caught her hand the last minute and she was dangling from his wrist. Now THAT was shocking! It was so quick that there was nothing I could have done to help or save her....I stood there for a second frozen to the ground, thinking that anyone could fall off and die... no wonder they asked my parents to sign a release form.

How were we to continue our climb? It was nuts... simply bananas... but we continued... at one point we had to climb up a straight face to get up the next stage of the climb and without ropes it was just impossible... So the only way to go up it was to climb over the shoulders of two of our mates , who were standing one on top of the other, and then when everyone was up ,pull the last person by the hand... shear madness I tell you. Still we persevered...with a migraine and no gear... we actually did it... we climb to the top...

And then..... we had to climb down again.

The throbbing in my head was worse on the way down with every thump thump thumping of my feet. My friend had to tie his belt around my waste and hold the other end just in case I slipped or something. Man what a day! 

This story just makes me think that nothing is impossible... even without protective gear and the necessary equipment to make it up there, we relied on each other and persevered through the difficult parts... so keep going... punch through it all and one day you will climb that mountain of yours...

I keep going back to that beautiful place.... My husband and I take our son to Wadi Rum every now and then and he has climbed some rocks when he was just two years old.... This place is special to all of us... the picture is of my son and his father on top of one of the many jabals (rocky mountains).

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