If you love bouldering, Dahab is your place. Take Fred Stone for example…
One morning in 2005, Fred stood in a sea of granite boulders and decided he’d map a few. And then a few more. And then he brought friends to map a few more. And then he and Khaled spent a month in Wadi Qnai trying to complete the job, thankfully helped by a team of climbers arriving to help. And finally, after nearly 10 years, there is ‘A Dahab Bouldering Guide‘.
This is just a taste of the 9 sectors, +400 problems and descriptions you will find in the guide. A true labour of love, you can order the guide from Arch climbing or download the Sinai Rock Climbing Guide for an overview of the boulders and sport climbing in Wadi Qnai.
Excerpts are directly from the guide, with full permission from the author.
The bouldering at Bir Wadi Qunai (also translated as Wadi Qnai / Wadi Gnai) is on solid granite with occasional lines of black volcanic stone.
Many of the boulders in the valley are blank. Where there are holds, they are solid and mostly quite smooth to the touch.
The majority of the problems are on light overhangs, vertical walls or slabs. There are also a good number of steeper climbs and roofs in certain sectors, mostly in the higher grades.
A brisk walk from one end to the other will take 30-45 minutes.
Here’s a quick summary of the climbing in each sector.
This is the first sector you arrive at, usually parking in front of the Mordor boulder. It is a great introduction to the bouldering on offer at Bir Wadi Qunai. The boulders are concentrated and close together, with a good variety of styles and difficulties. Medium-sized boulders, light overhangs and slabs. Expect small crimps, smooth footholds and (mostly) excellent landings.
Waterfall sector is one of the best areas, with lots of varied climbs including the classic Holy Moses and the beautiful white granite waterfall boulder itself – get ready for comedy if you decide to climb it!
The boulders are very concentrated. There is a good variety from highball slab to short and brutal overhangs. Top outs fairly tricky.
Lower corridor sector is typical of Bir Wadi Qunai, with medium sized boulders laying on a sandy floor and sidewalls with equally good lines, as well as the occasional terrace with larger boulders overlooking the valley. Good mix of styles, mostly in the intermediate to hard grades: hard fingery sidewall climbs, huge roof climbs, overhangs and some exciting slabs.
Upper Corridor sector is spread out so can feel a bit like no man’s land, but it is well worth stopping off at especially for any climbers in the 7a and above level. Overhanging walls with classic projects and excellent slabby and vertical climbs.
The area finishing at the base of the big waterfall pictured is often overlooked on the way to or from larger sectors up on the next plateau, but there are great problems at most grades as well as shade relatively early in the afternoon. There is a decent amount of very easy problems, as well as some harder classics.
Basins is an extensive sector with lots of boulders, both free standing and sidewall. Problems are spread out in concentrated patches, across all heights and most grades.
There is also a good view over the big waterfall sector.
Great White Shark and Blackface
2 small sectors with a short walk in between. Some of the best problems here are on the sidewalls and the steeper freestanding boulders. An easy area for climbers with young children (along with Carpark and Waterfall) as there aren’t too many level changes.
The final sector with perhaps the most variety of all the sectors. Lots of quality problems close together, and a concentration of harder overhanging projects. It’s well worth the last walk!