Stairway to Heaven Ras Al Khaimah – A mind blowing trek
January 26, 2019
Stairway to heaven is in Ras Al Khaimah near the Jebel Jais, which is the highest mountain in UAE. In fact, you can see it from the summit. I have heard of gateway to heaven in Bali. But not stairway to heaven. I had a good experience at the Bali one, so I thought this also should be good. And it did not disappoint. I enjoyed this one also.
Starting Point of Stairway to Heaven Ras Al Khaimah
We started the drive from our pickup point in Dubai pretty early in the morning. We had a stop at Sharjah for the rest of the group to meetup. Around 7AM, we reached the third meeting stop, which is at the entrance of Wadi Ghalilah Dam in Ras Al Khaimah. Parking is available at the entrance. As the route from the dam to the trek starting point is a rough terrain, all cars except 4×4 were parked in the parking area.
The group was divided into two. One group doing the full loop and the other half loop. For the full loop hike, intensity and pace is higher. I was in the group doing the half loop. Once the instructions from the team leaders was completed, we started our trek to the Stairway of heaven at around 8AM. The trek trail was clear and defined unlike the other treks that I have done in UAE.
Steep and Narrow Cliff
The first part of the trek was okay. It was not difficult, medium level. After 1 hour of hiking, we took a small break of 10-15 minutes. Around one hour into second part after the break, we reached an area, which was very narrow and very steep. I wondered how this area formed. It seemed as if the trail was cut out from the mountain. At the end of this narrow trail, there was a small pool. After the pool, we had to bend down and walk between the rocks.
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Level : Intermediate+
Few minutes from the pool, we took our second break. When we resumed after break, I realized my energy levels were going down. I was finding it difficult to continue further. By the time we took our third break, my energy levels was nearly zero. The thought of stopping the trek came to my mind. The ascent was not demanding the problem was with my stamina. We had trekked for nearly three hours by now. Somehow, I convinced my mind to continue.
There were many green patches along the last part. While we were going up, we could see few people who were coming down. They belonged to a different trekking group and had camped on the summit on the previous day.
Summit of Stairway to Heaven Ras Al Khaimah
After lots of heaving and heavy breathing, we reached the final steps to stairs leading to summit. I was very happy to hear that the uphill hike is nearing completion. We reached the summit at 11:50AM. Just about four hours from the starting point of the trek. I was totally drained when we reached the top. The view from the top was as expected. It was similar to what you can expect at the mountains in UAE. There was heavy wind at the top.
Village at the Summit
At the top, we went to a village. The village is a farmland with few tents. They served us tea and we took our lunch break there. The break lasted for around 60 minutes, during which we replenished ourselves.
The advanced group went on to complete the full loop. While the rest of us started the descent. The descent was pretty okay. Probably because of the long lunch break.
It took us around three hours to return to the starting point inclusive of a twenty-minute break. And from there, the group split up and started the journey back to Dubai.
Overall, it was a good experience. It was the longest single day trek that I have done.