Papa Giovanni

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Papa Giovanni

Papa Giovanni.

The plan for the following day was for us to hike up and climb a route called Papa Giovanni (7 pitches, V+) on Jebel Safsafa. Misha would meet us up at the top and together we’d hike down – the scenic way – to a small Bedouin settlement in the mountains where we’d spend the night and climb something else the following day. While we were climbing, a camel would carry our overnight supplies to the village. Things went according to plan exactly. We enjoyed the climbing the climax of which was a slabby and hard (some A0) hand traverse high on the route. This is a variation and is not V+. On the way down, we checked out a church in an isolated valley. The highlight of the day was our stay in the Bedouin settlement. There we were entertained by Mr. Ramadan (the elder of the settlement) as he played a home-made stringed instrument and sang while we sipped sweet tea by the fire in the evening.

Photos

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Setting off for the hourlong approach on our day 2 (Dec. 2020).

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Some settlements on the edges of St. Catherine (Dec. 2020).

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Wild looking granite (Dec. 2020).

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Views back down towards the village (Dec. 2020).

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Leading pitch 1 of Papa Giovanni (Dec. 2020).

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Shirley starting up Papa Giovanni. Photo by Misha (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

More of Shirley on the first pitch. Photo by Misha (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Shirley topping out on pitch 1 (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Leading pitch 2 (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Starting the lead of pitch 3 of Papa Giovanni (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Crux moves of the pitch and the route if you don’t do the Grand Hand Traverse (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Higher on pitch 3 (Dec. 2020).

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Shirley entering the chimney on pitch 3 just past the crux (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Shirley arriving at the third belay (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Views from atop pitch 3 (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Shirley on the nice pitch 4 – this is the start of a 2-pitch variation to the original route (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Shirley arriving at the fourth belay (Dec. 2020).

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Leading the Grand Hand Traverse that is pitch 5 of Papa Giovanni (variation). Not so easy for us; some aid (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Looking back at Shirley from the end of the hand traverse (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

The traverse ends with a tricky, downward exit (Dec. 2020).

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Shirley at the end of the hand traverse on pitch 5 of Papa Giovanni (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Shirley on pitch 5 just after the hand traverse (Dec. 2020).

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Shirley nearing the fifth belay (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Views from top of pitch 5 of Papa Giovanni (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Shirley on pitch 6 – moving the belay from one large ledge to the next (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Leading pitch 7 (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Higher on pitch 7 (Dec. 2020).

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Shirley topping out on pitch 7 of Papa Giovanni (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Belaying Shirley atop the route. Photo by Misha (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Shirley topping out on Papa Giovanni. Photo by Misha (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

A slightly different perspective (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Packing up atop Papa Giovanni. Photo by Misha (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Views from the top of the formation (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Shirley, Misha, and a cresting wave of granite (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Hiking down towards a valley with a small monastery (not in full time use; Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

A church and a mosque atop Jebel Musa or Mount Sinai (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

On the hike down. Look at that eroded granite. Photo by Misha (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

A monastery in a backcountry valley (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Breaking & entering (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

Misha sampling the well water (Dec. 2020).

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Shirley checking out the well (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

In front of the monastery church (Dec. 2020).

Papa Giovanni

After checking out the monastery, we continued our hike towards a Bedouin settlement in the mountains (Dec. 2020).

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A run-in with a camel rider in the mountains (Dec. 2020).

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Nearing the village (Dec. 2020).

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Well-dressed (Dec. 2020).

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Misha brewing up some tea in the village (Dec. 2020).

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What kind of horse is this?

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The homemade instrument made out of an oil can (Dec. 2020).

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Mr. Ramadan playing the above instrument for us. Click photo for a taste of the music (Dec. 2020).

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Mr. Ramadan playing the homemade instrument. Photo by Misha (Dec. 2020).

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