Jebel Qitab Trek – Fujairah
January 19, 2019
Trek to Jebel Qitab is my second trek of the year. The first one trek (Jebel Yanas) was a good experience and gave me the confidence for the second one. The difficulty level for Jebel Qitab trek is intermediate plus.
Before, I write about my experience, I will give a brief introduction about the area. Jebel Qitab is located in Fujairah and takes around 90 minute drive from Dubai. There is an archaeological fort (Al Hail Fort) at the entrance of these mountain ranges as well as some stones dating centuries back. There is lot of quarrying activity in the area. It is easy to find the starting point for the trek as a google search for the fort will show the exact location. The hiking trail is on the right side of the fort. The Jebel Qitab trek does not have a well-defined trail. The trail is the wadi itself.
Back to my experience. We started from Dubai around 7:10 AM and reached the starting spot at 8:45 AM. We were 15 minute late, as we did not check the route correctly. Relying on our direction sense rather than google maps was a very bad idea. When we reached, the guide was waiting for us and the rest of the team had gone ahead. Therefore, we had to start on a faster pace.
The initial part of the trek was scenic. There was a farm on the right side with lots of trees and cultivation. You could hear lot of truck sounds as the area was heavy in quarrying.
After 30 odd minutes, the trail stops. From there, it is all rocks. Small and big ones. You could choose any according to your liking. Just kidding. You need to stick to the big ones as they are more stable on the ground and hence less chances of skidding. My progress was slow, as I am not experienced nor courageous enough to jump from one boulder to another. For the first hour or so, the inclination was gradual. We took a break at the base of the region from where it becomes steeper. The break was around 15 minutes.
The First Summit
This second part of the trek is steeper and is same like the previous part. Stones. Small and big. Again, we had to stick to the area of big stones. As we went higher, the wind was becoming stronger and stronger. It took around 30 minutes to reach the top of the first hill. The wind at the top was super strong. It was so strong that I could not hold the phone with one hand. The distance from the starting point to the top of first hill is around six kilometers. The main thing that was in my mind while going up was “How are we going to come down? Are we going to come down the same route?”
At the top of the first hill, the group split into two. The first group will go higher for another 3-4 kilometers and second one will do only one more kilometer. I was in the second one. After a break of 15 minutes, the second group started the uphill climb. Within few minutes, I became the third group. And I gave up going further up.
Descent through the wadi
After roaming around for 30 minutes, it was time for the descent. The initial part of the descent was difficult for me. Initially I tried going along the small rocks on the side of the wadi. However, as the rocks were not stable I was not able to get a good footing on the ground and was skidding often. Then I decided to stick to the guide’s advice of following the big stones. Boulder to boulder jumping became boulder to boulder sliding.
The difficult part of the decent took around 1 hour to complete. I gave a big heavy sigh when the guide told me the difficult part is over. This stretch required an immense level of concentration. And you will understand the importance of a proper trekking shoe while coming down.
Once the steep descent is completed, then it was a gradual descent for the next one hour. This stretch was easy. Moreover, on the way back to the starting point, I clicked the pictures of the archaeological stones. It supposedly is a drawing of a man and an animal. It seemed very similar to my drawing skills.
We reached the starting point around 4PM. The guide gave us some stretching exercises to relax to the muscles and then the group dispersed.