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That Time Canadian Ben Firth Visited Wadi Rum

In 2007, a Canadian/American team travelled to Wadi Rum, the vast and silent landscape of sandstone mountains standing over old riverbeds and the desert.

Ben Firth, Aaron Black, Heidi Wirtz and Chris Kalous climbed a 320-metre new line on one of Wadi Rum’s tallest walls.

Their climb is called Dar al Salaam and heads up the southeast face of North Nassrani. This is on the same wall as the Arnaud Petit bolted route the famous 12-pitch La Guerre Sainte 5.12, which the team repeated.

Their new eight-pitch line crosses Muezzin from left to right and gives “sustained climbing on excellent rock with an unbelievable final pitch.”

The last four pitches go at 5.10a, 5.10b, 5.12a, and 5.13a (or 5.12/A0). Approximately 60 bolts were placed, though none interfere with the neighboring Muezzin.

Kalous redpointed the top pitch on his last day, but the did not do a continuous free ascent.

Firth was one of the world’s best mixed and ice climbers during the early 2000s and established the world’s first M13 with The Game.

Wadi Rum Expedition