Beyond Roads 3 : Return to the Musendam
The Adventure Science team has attempted to complete this traverse twice, and has been rebuffed by the difficult terrain, searing heat, and waterless conditions. With no maps or data on the area, all progress is into the unknown. Although there are tiny fishing camps scattered along the coast, this mountainous region has not seen westerners visit it’s interior plateaus and peaks in well over 70 years. Over two field seasons, the team has explored extensively in this region, accessing difficult to reach areas in human-powered and self supported style. Along the way they’ve discovered dozens of archaeological sites, and have seen everything from historic animal leg traps left out to protect flocks from long eared foxes, caracals and leopards, to metre high pottery vessels entombed in ancient collapsed structures. This year they will return to tackle what appears to be the crux of the route, the 900 metre peak that looms above the villages of Sibi and Ash Shishah, and finish the traverse by walking back into Khasab.
Epilogue, Dec. 24: The team has safely returned from the Musandam, having completed the traverse on this, the 3rd attempt. The trip was a success in all manners - from the primary goal of archaeological research - to the completion of the hiking traverse. As always, the Omanis and Kumzari people were incredibly hospitable, the terrain was challenging, new sites were discovered, and for a change, the temperature was extremely comfortable. The project report along with photos and video will be uploaded shortly. Congratulations to the team, and thank you to the expedition sponsors Merrell, Canada Satellite, and the student team that produced our expedition maps from the Geography Department at the University of Northern Alabama.
Full expedition report, photos and a short film following the expedition still to come. Stay tuned!