HOMEPAGE

Nahal Salvadora

Judean Desert

 

 

A view from the 5th rappelling station

 

 

 

 

The route quality:   ***  

 

 

The route type:

   

Rappelling trip.

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

Most (but not all!) rappelling stations are equipped with bolts but you must bring your own rope loops and be able to build stations on natural features. *  

Attention: this route is not on the list of officially allowed rappelling routes. Take this in account when making decision. 

 

Getting there:

 

As nahal Salvadora is located almost exactly between Ein Gedi National Park and Mitzpe Shalem village there are two options to get there:

 

1. The longer but easier one: you can start from Ein Gedi Field School as for nahal Yorick (see: http://rybakian.com/israel_rappeling/nahal_Yorik.html). After you cross nahal Yorick continue to walk on the dirt road till a point where a trail marked with red marks starts (700m from nahal Yorik). Walk along the red trail that crosses nahal Kedem before finally coming into nahal Salvadora (about 2km from the road). Overall 10km.

2. The shorter and harder one: you can climb the Maale Hatzatzon ridge that is seen from Mitzpe Shalem as a prominent mountain right across nahal Hatzatzon canyon. Overall 8km.

Both options involve a long ascent to the main plateau (about 550-600m), but Maale Hatzatzon is much steeper.

 

For the latter option drive on the road number 90 along Dead Sea to the south till a junction where a side road branches to Mitzpe Shalem village and "Ahava" plant.

If you want to leave your car at the end of the route, continue to drive on the main road for 4.9km after the junction and park the car at the mouth of Salvadora canyon (point 2 on the map below).

For the starting point drive to Mitzpe Shalem village and park your car in the village or nearby.

From Mitzpe Shalem walk down along the north bank of nahal Hatzatzon looking for a place where you can get to the floor and then cross the wadi. Climb up the south bank to a less steep terrain and then traverse the lower slopes of Maale Hatzatzon keeping west - to under the rocky band of the main ridge. No obvious trail found by us under the rocky band, so keep right (west) and follow easiest way when climbing it (grade 2 rocks). Be aware of some loose rocks in very last section of the band, it may cause you uncomfortable feeling. Little climbing skills would be advisable. The ridge is much less steep above the first rocky band and a trail with rujums runs along it. At the very end you should negotiate another steep section (grade 2) with mostly good rock and you are there…

Walk in South-West direction (there are green marks most of the way) until you come to a dirt road marked with black marks. Walk on this road to south till a point where a trail marked with red marks starts. Turn to the red trail that joins the wadi of nahal Salvadora soon. Follow the wadi till the first dry fall (2.1km from the dirt road).

Provide 3-3.5 hours for approach.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going up the Maale Hatzatzon ridge

 

Maale Hatzatzon ridge with Mitzpe Shalem in the background

 

 

 

 

 

 

Route description:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are 7 pitches to be abseiled (4 of them are located on a 170m high single wall):

 

 

1.  55m (vertical with ledges, then 20m overhang)

There are no bolts or other anchors. Use a big boulder on the right side 3m from the edge to build your station *

Be careful while rappelling because of loose rocks!

 

 

A view from the 1st dry fall rappelling station

 

The 1st dry fall rappelling station

 

The 1st dry fall

 

 

 

 

The 1st dry fall

 

A view from below the 1st dry fall

 

 

 

 

 

The next dry fall is wide and U-shaped with multiple ledges. The best (and the shortest) way to rappel this wall is to pass to its right side and to descent to the lowest ledge you can climb freely. Follow rujums that are leading to the right side and down. Climb down some 8-10m to a ledge where a rappelling station is found on a rocky prominence.

 

2.  17m (vertical with ledges)

The station: 3mm steel cable loop with a ring to pull the rope. *

 

 

The 2nd dry fall rappelling station

 

Rappelling from the 2nd dry fall

 

The 2nd dry fall

 

 

 

Following four rappelling stations are located on a 170m high single wall that is mostly vertical with ledges.

In order to get to the third rappelling station cross to the left side and descent through a scree couloir to the head of the main wall.

Be careful getting to the station as it placed in a slippery gutter!

 

3 (1st on the wall).  22m (first 15m in a vertical crack and then along a sloped gutter)

There are 2 bolts in the left wall. They are not connected but each one has a ring to pull the rope. *

 

 

Approaching the 3rd dry fall rappelling station through a
couloir

 

The 3rd dry fall rappelling station

 

The 3rd dry fall

 

 

 

The next station is placed at the very end of the sloped gutter – really at the edge of the wall.

 

4 (2nd on the wall).  50m (vertical)

 

There are 4 bolts (1 old pairs and 1 new pair) in the right wall. The bolts are connected by rope loops and equipped with rings to pull the rope. *

The station is not convenient even for two persons and three seems to be the maximum.

Be careful while rappelling because of loose rocks! It is especially important taking in account that the next station is located on a ledge just below and your friends sitting there have no shelter.

 

 

The 4th dry fall rappelling station

(on the edge of the main wall)

 

The 4th dry fall rappelling station

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rappelling from the 4th dry fall

 

The 4th dry fall

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 (3rd on the wall).  54m (vertical with ledges)

There are 4 bolts (1 old pairs and 1 new pair) in the left wall of a ledge. The bolts are connected by rope loops and equipped with rings to pull the rope. *

The ledge is pretty long and it is suitable for more than three persons but a proper belay should be organized.

When rappelling take left side (while you are facing the wall!) of a small buttress and enter a short loose couloir leading to a ledge where the next station is located.

 

 

The 5th dry fall rappelling station

 

Rappelling from the 5th dry fall

 

The 5th dry fall

 

 

 

 

6 (4th on the wall).  52m in the longest version (mostly vertical with 7-8m overhang at the end)

You can either to rappel the “full version” or instead to escape to scree slopes after first 30 or 40m.

The station is placed on a spacious ledge. There are 2 bolts connected by a rope loop and equipped with a ring to pull the rope. *

 

 

The 6th dry fall rappelling station

 

Rappelling from the 6th dry fall

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 6th dry fall

 

The 6th dry fall

 

 

 

 

 

The last dry fall is located some 30-50m from the foot of the main wall.

 

7.  61m (vertical, then 40m overhang)

The station: there are 4 bolts connected by a rope loop and equipped with a ring to pull the rope. In parallel there is a 3mm steel cable loop under a big boulder above the bolts. *

Be careful while rappelling because of loose rocks!

 

 

The 7th dry fall rappelling station

 

The 7th dry fall rappelling station

 

Rappelling from the 7th dry fall

 

 

 

 

The 7th dry fall

 

The 7th dry fall

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the foot of the last dry fall follow green marks till the main road (750m).

 

 

A view back on the walls of Salvadora

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 January 2013. Try to check it before starting on your trip.