Dahab’s Wadi Qnai is 20 mins drive from Dahab and the perfect starting point for rock climbing in the Sinai. It’s the only place for sport climbing and top roping, plus fantastic bouldering at the top of the Wadi. Do a day trip or camp overnight in the wadi.
- Climbers and boulderers can easily lose themselves in the rock for a week at a time.
- For trad climbers heading to St Catherine, Wadi Qnai makes a nice warm-up en route from the airport.
- Or for our many all-round adventure sports enthusiasts, combine climbing with trekking Sinai, diving Dahab or freediving courses in the Red Sea.
Rock climbing in Dahab’s Wadi Qnai
Wadi Qnai (also translated as Gnai, Qunai or Q’nai) is the perfect starting point for climbing Sinai:
- Vast amounts of perfect bouldering on granite boulders in shaded, sand-floored valleys
- Single and multi-pitch equipped sport routes for all levels of climbers in Waterfalls, Camel Canyon, Bedouin Garden and Qnai Adshan
- Top roping area in Middle Qnai, perfect for beginner rock climbing courses and kids
- Plus new routing possibilities for sport climbs in many easily accessible areas.
The first thing you notice when you leave the town and the sea begins to drop away behind you is the absolute silence of the place. At first you see nothing but crumbling granite and sandstone, shot through with lines of black flowstone and possible daydream lines up fragile and risky faces. Then as you begin to go deeper into the wadi, past the lush green shock of life at the oasis itself where you can spend a few lazy hours eating freshly-prepared Bedouin food and sleeping underneath a palm tree, the rock begins to change. Soon it begins to grow steep, smooth and harder to the touch. Unexpectedly, you are surrounded by rock, endless lines of every kind, and almost overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of it all.
- Middle Qnai
- Camel Canyon
- Bedouin Garden
- Qnai Adshan
Wadi Qnai – Waterfalls
Single and multi-pitch routes from beginner (3c) to 6c+/7, especially 6a/6b. Warm up on the left then progressively move to the harder routes on the right.
All the routes are closely bolted.
For full route information and grades, download the Sinai Rock Climbing Guide. Here are a few of the routes included:
During Easter 2009, Jürg Meyer and Judith Safford brought their children to Dahab to learn to dive. The kids started diving alongside their mother, and Jürg took to the rocks. A Swiss Mountaineer, he spotted this great area for top roping and set to work with our help. Short lines 10-15m, perfect for beginners and children.
Big thanks to the Hot Rock Team (Africa 2010) for dedicating 4 fabulous days to helping us open Camel Canyon. Routes are a mix of trad with bolted stations, fully bolted and trad with the odd bolt. This area is still being worked on, there are plenty of new routes to be had. Top out’s on the whole are not possible due to the loose nature of the rock higher up.
Bedouin Garden has German roots. The Rocksports team had planned to climb Oman, Turkey or Morocco, but found themselves drawn to rock climbing in Egypt.
They liked the idea of creating greater route diversity in Wadi Qnai, and the area at the top of the wadi offered great potential. Khaled and Fred had marked it for sports development a few months before, when working on the Dahab Bouldering Guide. The result: 9 new routes from 4a to 7b+ including the powerful crack and slabbybulges on Testosterone Curve, Caveman’s odd movements, the wonderfully diversified Let yourself drift, and Khaled’s first route, named after his fire buddy Timo. Enjoy!
Sometimes called ‘Wadi Connection’ (incorrectly, Wadi Connection is a bit further north), these are Dahab’s first bolted routes. But they need re-bolting. As soon as we’ve re-bolted, we’ll let you know.
For full information on all routes and grades, download the Sinai Rock Climbing Guide.