Climbing to the top of Mount Sinai at 7,497 feet is one of the most coveted experiences that lay buried in the bucket list of many travel enthusiasts.
Mount Sinai, located in the middle of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, is one of the most significant places around the globe.
It is considered sacred in Christian, Islamic, and Jewish religions since it is the place where a pact between the Almighty and His subjects was ratified. And if it’s on your bucket list too, you must first find about how hard climbing Mount Sinai is.
What Is the Significance of Mount Sinai?
The mesmerizing shadow of Mount Sinai extends from across the valley, lying below the Greek Orthodox Monastery. It is located in the Sinai Peninsula, around 240 miles towards the southeast of Cairo.
Besides the scenic beauty of Mount Sinai, the monastery, consecrated during the 4th century has an isolated setting and attracts millions of pilgrims and tourists every year from across various countries.
Mount Sinai finds its mention in the Bible where Moses climbed it to receive the sacred Ten Commandments. This is the reason why Mount Sinai is also known as Mount Moses.
It is called the Jebel Musa in the Arabic language. Alongside the Old Testament, this mountain also finds its mention in the Quran.
Even if you are not a religious person, you can think of how hard climbing Mount Sinai is to indulge in an incredibly spectacular journey.
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What Are the Challenges of Climbing Mount Sinai?
Rather than wasting any more words on the stupendous beauty of Mount Sinai, let’s come to the practical hurdles and challenges awaiting you as you set out your do it for climbing Mount Sinai.
Nevertheless, a few experts’ tips can also help minimize the impact of the obstacles to a great extent.
1. Climatic difficulties
You already know that Sinai falls in the hot desert zone with scanty rainfall and very hot temperatures all through the year.
But places like St. Catherine and others above 1600 meters supposedly receive better rainfall than the rest of Sinai. Of course, the question arises, when is the best time for climbing mountain Sinai?
According to most travel enthusiasts, the best time to visit Mt. Catherine is during the spring as the temperature remains neither too hot nor too cold.
Another reason why you will love spring is that the plants, trees, and flowers around the desert start blossoming and the green panorama will lessen your physical hurdles considerably.
2. Handling the difficult terrain
There are two primary routes by which you can reach the summit of Mount Sinai. The route known as Siket El Bashait is shallow and much longer. It takes around 2 hours if you travel on foot.
It is also referred to as the camel route as you may also take a camel to reach the summit. If you are physically not fit enough to hike up, you may go for this option. Even though the hiking won’t be very comfortable, it’s doable and much rewarding.
The second route is a long flight of steep stairs, and it doesn’t form a part of the camel route. It is much harder compared to the Siket El Bashait, and the steps are uncomfortably higher for short people.
Even if you lack the motivation and guts to walk up, you will see even people with disabilities hiking up. If your physical attributes allow you to hike up, go for that. You can be slow and take as much time as you may need.
3. The overflowing crowd
Apart from the natural obstacles, the overflowing crowd may be a perfect nuisance for you, especially if you prefer solitary repose in the lap of nature.
Most tourists prefer climbing Mount Sinai during the night to witness the summit at the break of the day and visit the monastery in the daytime.
If you are among those who look for means to avoid the crowd, you should attempt to climb the mountain to witness the sunset.
It can be much better if you reach there on Saturday eve since the monastery remains closed on the day after. You will meet only a handful of people like you since they won’t be able to go to the monastery the following morning.
4. Managing the trekking rules
The first thing you should be careful about is to stop yourself from polluting any water sources with things like soap or food or anything else.
You shouldn’t camp anywhere within about 100 meters of a water source. This is because wildlife also needs to drink water, and they will be disturbed by your presence. Other things to be watchful of include:
- Waste management: You should crush plastic bottles and tin cans along with other waste. Since you have brought it, you must carry it with you. You can burn paper waste and feed vegetable waste to the camel if the owner permits.
- Respecting Bedouin traditions: You must ask for permission before you use well or any other private property. You should also ask for permission before taking any photograph of the local people. Also, refrain from burning local firewood.
- Respecting the natural elements: You shouldn’t remove anything from the prohibited areas like plants or rocks. It is prohibited to cause any harm to any birds or animals. Don’t go for painting graffiti or uprooting any plant.
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Final Thoughts on How Hard Climbing Mount Sinai Is
When it comes to thinking about how hard climbing Mount Sinai is, most people think that it may not be safe for overseas visitors. Some believe there could be terrorists as well. And it is not their fault by any means.
This is because the media never properly distinguishes between South Sinai and North Sinai. All the tourist destinations of the place are fortunately located in the Southern Region, which is not dangerous for normal people.
You need not be scared of the numerous checkpoints located all over, as they are meant to guarantee your safety. It’s a friendly place with some intimidating geographical features that are wonderful to be explored.
And for the curious one, we have tackled one similar question, and it is how hard climbing Kilimanjaro is? If you are still not sure if mountaineering is for you, read our guide for beginners on how to start mountain climbing. I hope you enjoy it!
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