08-Feb-2002 -- The third Confluence we tried on our Feb 2002 trip to Oman resulted in an attempted visit only. We could not access the Confluence due to difficult terrain.
We saw from the map that we would get near to the Confluence easily. Because there is a village very close which is connected with a road. In this we were lucky because many places in Oman are very difficult to reach or they are completely inaccessible by car.
On Friday, 8 February we left Masqaṭ to try to visit confluence 23N 58E. We took the highway to Nizwā. After about one hour drive we turned left towards Sīma. The roads in this area are unpaved but still in good condition. This part of Oman is within the Ḥajar Mountains. However the mountains are not very high in this particular region. So we were still in good hope to be able to reach the Confluence.
After about 25 km we reached the village of Wādiy Maḥram, where the road ends. We could see that we had about 2 km to the Confluence, which was on or behind a mountain. So we decided that we would walk. We drove with the car as close as we could get. Then we all set off on foot into a little valley. There were lots of loose rocks on the ground but we progressed quickly because we followed some goat tracks. Then the track went steeply uphill so we decided that we could not go together because Alex is too small. So we separated and Stefan went alone.
I walked south until I reached a ridge. There I could see another valley. The GPS showed only 990 meters to go. Based on the direction pointer the Confluence was either on the bottom of the valley or on its eastern slope. So I continued along the eastern slope. I advanced very slowly because there were no more tracks. The closer I got to the Confluence the more difficult the terrain got. It turned out that the Confluence is on the slope. But the incline turned steeper and steeper and big rocks appeared, which were difficult to pass.
Eventually I reached a point which was only 130 meters away. There I realized that I could not go any further without better equipment. Also I got increasingly exhausted and advancing could have been dangerous. Before I walked back, I took pictures looking east/south/west/north.
In the meantime a family in the village invited the rest of our team to their Majlis (guest room). Martina's report:
Many thanks to the kind hospitality of Mr. `Ubayd bin Sulṭān Alrwhi and his family, who provided us with shade, a lovely coffee and refreshments while we were waiting for the return of Stefan from the confluence climb. Upon his return, Stefan was also invited. So he could rest a little before we went back.