These zipped GPX files for tracks and some of the 4WD access roads on the Western Hajar Mountains are available to download for free. Download to a laptop or PC then upload to a navigation device such as Garmin. The tracks are shown on the overview map on page 10 and 11, Introduction Chapter, of the book Wilderness Trekking Oman, which is one of the three chapters also available for free from this web page. This book will be available for purchase from March 2020 from Gilgamesh Publishing, and includes 1:50,000 scale maps for all these walks on pages 86 to 227. A separate A1 folded map of the traverse and side tracks, scaled 1:50,000, will also be available for purchase from March 2020 from cordee map distributors. Most of the tracks and waypoints were recorded using a Garmin GPSMAP64s, with a satellite fix every 10m of track.
The track files for the sidetracks are sorted into groups from east to west, and the track file for the traverse includes the two options. The total length of all the tracks without overlap is 607km. The traverse is 209km long, consisting of 188km mountain track and 21km graded road, of which the longest is 6km. None of the sidetracks are on roads. All the 259 waypoints are contained in a single file. Details such as distance, walking times, elevation changes and degree of difficulty of each track are in the traverse summary and table of side tracks or Side Track and Loops chapter.
The side tracks do not overlap with each other or any of the traverse tracks. Many of them are branches from other tracks. To make a complete route starting and finishing from a road you will need to use several of these side tracks and portions of the traverse. It is possible to append track segments to make a loop using Garmin BaseCamp software. Twenty loops have already been created and are listed on this page. The hyphenated track names, for example Hayl At Talhat-Al Ililanah to Aqbat At Tariq, indicates the track is a branch starting from the track between Hayl At Talhat and Al Ililanah, leading to Aqbat At Tariq. The fractional traverse track names, for example 04.1 As Sawjrah to Ar Rus and 04.2 Road to Ar Rus (road), indicate Day 4 has two sections, of which the second is a road. Several of the donkey tracks have man track short-cuts included in the GPX files. Most of these short-cuts are only marginally shorter and, due to their increased difficulty, may not save any time. They are included on the maps and GPX files to avoid confusion when walking past a track branch. Until you are familiar with the terrain it would be prudent to stay on donkey tracks.
Also included on this web page are the GPX files of four ultra marathon tracks of distances of 10, 50, 130 and 170km. These ultra marathan tracks do overlap with each other, and do overlap with parts of Days 5 to 9 of the traverse and corresponding side tracks. They all have green reflective dots for night running so can be followed without a navigation device. The red dots indicate danger. In places these marathon tracks take a less scenic but smoother route than all the other tracks.
These are twenty loops or near loops that range from half day walks to five day walks. They are listed from east to west with details on the distance in kilometres, the total climb and descent in metres, whether there is any water on the track, the level of difficulty and on which page or pages are the 1:50,000 maps in the book Wilderness Trekking Oman. There is no new track data in these loop files, they have been created by joining traverse sections and side tracks. The information below on these loops is also available from the corresponding side tracks detailed in the table of side tracks and in the Side Track and Loops chapter.
These 4WD roads connect to many of the side tracks from the traverse. GPX files of these roads are available to download. They will be useful if you have a support team who are driving a 4WD vehicle.
The tracks in these GPX files include nearly all the donkey trading routes that intersect or are near the traverse, but it does not include all donkey tracks on the Western Hajar Mountains. Historically important tracks not included are the trading routes ascending the south side of the mountains from the interior, for example the tracks up Wadi Kamah, Tanuf, Muaydin and Imty, most of which have their own name. The track from Imty is called Alerurqub. These tracks are excluded because they are far from the traverse and being near the developed side of the mountain range are sometimes crossed by roads. Side tracks that need ropes are excluded. For example, the one out of Wadi An Nakhur to Jabal Shams is a 2200m climb with two exposed cliffs. When it is surveyed and has chain ladders installed it will be added to the GPX file and digital maps on this web page.
This traverse and sidetracks are for hikers who are competent with GPS navigation, as only five of the sixteen day’s tracks are marked. Every effort has been made in the book and this web page to inform you what to carry, and to give you sufficient navigational aids to find drinking water every night when hiking them. The author is not responsible for any dangerous circumstances you may encounter. Use these GPX files at your own risk.