Nahal Botam North
The route type:
The canyon is dry all the year round but be wary about floods during winter rains.
But you must to have your own rope loops and metal rings to reinforce or rebuild the stations.
Pay attention: On wide U-shaped cliffs the lengths of the rappels may change significantly depending on where the rappelling stations are placed and the placement of the stations sometimes changes! Always bring ropes that are longer than mentioned in the description!
The site is in Timna Park in 25km to the north from Eilat:
Enter into Timna Park and drive in the direction of the Timna Lake (the campsite). 500m after the junction where a side road branches to Shlomo Pillars ("Amudei Shlomo") the main road comes across a small wadi (point 1 on the map below). The trail marked with black marks starts here and here you should park your car. The black marked trail runs in the direction of Maale Bereh ascent and our route starts here.
You can park another car at the end of the route. Two options exist: to park at the Arches ("Kshatot") parking lot or to park 850m before this place as we did (point 3). (Alternatively you can do the route as a loop returning to point 1. This option is only 1.5km longer).
Follow the black marks via Maale Bereh to the plateau above Timna. 350m climb of very steep trail involved. On the plateau go to the junction with trail marked red and turn right. Follow the red marks for 1.4km until the trail will cross some well defined wadi (point 2).
Leave the trail and go down the wadi. After 500m you come across the first dry fall to be
Allow about 2.5h for the approach.
There are 7 dry falls to be abseiled.
R1. 21m (2m vertical and then overhanging).
This dry fall can be bypassed with some difficulties from the left side (as we did in 2010) and according to some sources it can be bypassed from the right as well. But the best is to rappel!
There is a rappelling station in the far
left side of the flat floor of the wadi. It consists
of one glue-in bolt and one expansion bolt with no hanger (“ear”).*
It would be wise to bring your own hanger in order not to rely on the single anchor
Walk 200m till the edge of the main wall of the nahal Botam.
R2. 55m (10-15m vertical and then overhanging)
The station: 4 expansion bolts connected by ropes with a mailon.*
Descend through boulders for 40-50m to the edge of the next wall.
R3. 85m (5-7m of slope, then 5-7m vertical, then mostly overhanging)
There is a small free of boulders ground near the edge. The station is on the left side of it.
The station: 2 expansion bolts connected
by ropes with a mailon.*
In addition, there are rope loops and 3mm steel cable under a big boulder (see pictures below).
The descent starts with a long slope with ledges followed by the main overhang. The slope is covered with loose stones, so be careful.
Wear helmets and stay away from the wall!
The canyon splits here into two separated channels, so there are two options for the 4th rappel: the right-side one (we used in 2019) and the left-side one (we used in 2010):
R4 (right option). 30m (mostly sloped)
For the right-side option descend through
boulders keeping right. Find a rujum placed on a flat
rock on the left side of an obvious steep gully.
The rappelling station is placed some 5-7m below the flat rock with the rujum, so you cannot see it until you come to the very edge.
In order to get to the station go right around the entrance into the gully and then descend into it on the right side. Cross the fissure to the left side and get to the station.
The station: 2 expansion bolts placed on a boulder and connected by ropes with a mailon.*
Station R4 (right) seen below
Approaching to the rappelling station R4 (right option)
Rappelling station R4 (right option)
R4 (left option). 15m sloped, then flat ground, then 5m overhanging. 35m rope (2x35) is needed to rappel it as a whole.
The easiest way to get to this dry fall is to climb on a loose hill on the left side of the main wall which you just descended from. Climb just along the wall. Traverse the hill and climb down keeping the left side.
Climb a couple of meters down a small ravine to get to the next rappelling station.
There is a rappelling station on some boulder stuck on a balcony. Anchor: rope loops with a mailon (updated for December 2010!)
You can either to rappel all as a whole
or to break it into two parts of 15m and 5m separated with a flat ground.
The intermediate station in placed on big boulders stuck inside the gully and consists of a single expansion bolt and some rope loops (see picture below).*
Rappel R4 (left option):
The next rappel is a very short way down the canyon.
R5. 20m (sloped)
The station: one expansion bolt with a carabiner on a boulder on the right side.*
The next (6th) rappel is 250m down the canyon.
Walking to the 6th dry fall:
R6. 11m (measured from the station). Sloped
The station: 2 expansion bolts placed on boulders some 6m from the edge and connected by a rope with a mailon.*
The last dry fall comes just a couple of tens meters after R6 rappel.
R7. 8m (measured from the station). Sloped
The station: 2 expansion bolts placed on the right wall and connected by a rope with a mailon.*
From the foot of the last dry fall you
should walk 0.5km down the canyon until you will join the trail marked with
Follow marked trails to the place where you have parked your car.
***** - 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...