Nahal Mishmar. Mearat a-Matmon cave
The route type:
Rappelling to a cave.
I know that in this way I am betraying to the principle of freedom of information (that is almost impossible to conceal today…) but I want to use your visit to this page solely for a warning:
This route is objectively dangerous both for the participants themselves and for people who are walking around the spring under the wall while you are descending.
The concealing of a technical description in the age of "Google" is purely declarative, and I take advantage of this absence as a manifest. J
Below, there are four reasons why you should not descend into the nahal Mishmar through the "Mearat a-Matmon" cave, despite the fact that this route has been on the lists of Israel rappelling routes for many years:
1. The approach to the station above the cave (the first rappelling station) is objectively dangerous: it passes along a barely visible trail on a scree slope, on which you are unlikely to be able to stop your fall. Some ten meters down the slope begins a vertical wall about 200 meters high.
2. The upper part of the wall (the first two rappels: to the cave and from the cave to the big ledge) is built of a soft, loose rock, as the descent line is “tied” to the cave and is located far from the main drainage line. Falling stones are absolutely unavoidable. You can get them on your head during the descent because of smallest moves of the rope (I'm a witness), you can throw them on the rope lying on the wall and at the foot of the descent. As for tourists spending time below the wall, the big ledge blocks most of the stones, but especially large ones sometimes jump through it. In addition, the ledge is sloping and therefore the fall of a large stone can trigger a secondary rockfall.
3. The cave itself has no special interest at the moment: there are no archaeological artifacts or natural sights. It is just a large grotto with significant collapse danger.
4. The route in the nahal Mishmar (the marked trail to the spring) is extremely popular, and on any single day of any weekend there are lots of hikers and organized groups of schoolchildren, accompanied by instructors and rangers. In addition to the physical risk to which you expose them, you put yourself at a risk of painful money penalty and confiscation of equipment.
If all of the above is not enough to convince you to choose another route (there are already more than forty in this guidebook…) I advise you, at least, to choose a day out of weekends for your heroic exploits.
***** - 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...