HOMEPAGE

Nahal Ishai

Judean Desert

 

 

Ishai 0.0 Main.JPG

The main wall

 

 

 

The route quality: **/***

 

 

The route type:

   

Rappelling trip.

The canyon is dry all the year round but be wary about floods during winter rains.

Keep in mind that descending nahal Ishai is a serious undertaking suitable for competent groups only. Definitely not for large groups with beginners!

Because of nature of the route having walkie-talkies is highly recommended!

All rappelling stations are equipped with spits but bring your own rope loops to connect between them if needed and maillons to pull the rope. *

Attention: this route is not on the list of officially allowed rappelling routes. Take it into the account while making your decision.

 

Getting there:

 

Drive on the road number 90 along Dead Sea to the south. 8.9 km after Mitzpe Shalem junction (2.1 km before Ein Gedi) the road crosses the mouth of nahal Ishai. 600 meters farther there is a convenient road-side "pocket" to park a car (on the left).

After you left one car at the end of the route, continue to drive south - to Ein Gedi National Park. Upon arriving to Ein Gedi turn right as for the National Park entrance and immediately after that take another right-hand turn to a road that leads to Ein Gedi Field School.

Park your car near the entrance gate and cross the Field School territory aiming its left far corner where you will find a gate in the fence. Here a trail marked with black marks starts.

Take in the account a long ascent from the Field School to the main plateau (about 550m). Provide 2-2.5 hours for the whole approach.

 

 

Ishai 0.1 approach.JPG

Ascending from the Field School to the main plateau

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow the black trail, than green trail, then red trail till a dirt road marked with black marks. At this point the canyon of nahal Ishai is already visible on the right. At the T-junction of the "red" trail with the dirt road leave marked trails and go to the north-east in the direction of the canyon. Descend to the canyon floor (not difficult) and follow the channel to the edge of the main wall (about 300m from the dirt road).
Point 1 on the map below is taken at the rappelling station R1.

 

 

Google - Ishai1.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Route description:

 

 

Google - Ishai2.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the picture below you can see the main wall with all the rappelling stations precisely placed and distances mentioned.

Take in the consideration that both intermediate stations (R2 and R3) are semi-hanging (R3 is more convenient) and capable to accommodate with a relative comfort two people only, so plan your descent and group cooperation properly.

 

 

Ishai 0.2 the main wall.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are 4 obvious rappels in this canyon. Three of them are located on the main wall which is 200m high:


R1. 50m (vertical) and than 5-6m long traverse to the right (facing the wall)

There are 2 spits on the station located on the right side. There are some (scarce) natural options to reinforce the station. *

There are loose rocks on the wall in places, be careful while rappelling.

 

 

Ishai 1st fall 1.JPG

A view from the R1 rappelling station

 

Ishai 1st fall 2.JPG

The R1 rappelling station

 

Ishai 1st fall 3.JPG

The 1st rappel

 

 

 

The next station (R2) is placed some 5-6m to the right (facing the wall) off the line of the descent. It starts to be visible from the distance of 10 to 15m.
Take in the consideration that there is no any ledge here which could easier the approach to the station! Actually, you should traverse the wall by climbing simultaneously freeing the rope. These "
gymnastics" require a certain measure of skills and confidence. You are warned. :)

 

R2. 37m (vertical) and than 3-4m long traverse to the right (facing the wall)

There are 4 bolts on this semi-hanging station (3 of them where connected by the rope and you can see them on the picture below). Be ready to replace the old rope loop. *

There are loose rocks on the wall in places, be careful while rappelling.

 

 

Ishai 2nd fall 1.jpg

The R2 rappelling station

 

Ishai 2nd fall 2.JPG

The 2nd rappel

 

 

 

 

 

The next station (R3) is placed some 3-4m to the right (facing the wall) off the line of the descent. It starts to be visible from the distance of 5 to 7m only.
There is a kind of very narrow ledge here which makes the approach a bit easier.

 

R3. 110m (overhanging)

There are 4 bolts on the station. Be ready to replace the old rope loop. *

 

 

Ishai 3rd fall 1.JPG

The R3 rappelling station

 

Ishai 3rd fall 2.jpg

The R3 rappelling station

 

Ishai 3rd fall 3.JPG

The 3rd rappel

 

 

 

Walk some 250m till the next U-shaped wall. The next station is placed on a mid-sized boulder on the far left side near the edge.

 

R4. 57m (about 30m vertical and then overhanging)

There are 4 bolts on the boulder. Be ready to replace the old rope loop. *

 

 

Ishai 4th fall 1.JPG

The R4 rappelling station

 

Ishai 4th fall 2.JPG

The R4 rappelling station

 

Ishai 4th fall 3.JPG

The 4th rappel

 

 

It was the last unavoidable rappel in this canyon though we saw on the way down at least two small (up to 20m) walls asking to be equipped... :)
Walk down the canyon for some 750m with long bypasses on the left side to avoid short walls and other obstacles (watch rujums).

A the very end of the canyon you come to the edge of the last wide U-shaped wall. Take a "goat trail" which bypasses the wall on the right side and descents gradually in the south direction leading finally to the main road (another 350m).

 

 

Ishai 4th fall 4 exit.JPG

The last wall of the canyon seen from the exit path

 

Ishai 4th fall 5 exit.JPG

The exit path

 

 

 

 

 

 

The route quality:

 

***** - The only one of its kind. A "must do" trip!

**** - Very interesting, highly recommended!

*** - Pretty nice route.

** - Inexpressive one.

* - Do it if you have nothing to do...

 

 

* Pay attention! The information is updated for March 2018. Try to check it before starting on your trip.