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Mount Sinai

Chicago, IL
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Mount Sinai

Can anyone give me tips on climbing Mount Sinai?

* is it mandatory to have a guide? i'd rather not.

* i know it's hot during the day, but i will be able to get away from the crowds if i climb midday, right?

* so if i miss the sunrise, will i be cheating myself?

* how hard is it physically? i am a hiker.

thanks much,

sara

Swansea, United...
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for Sharm El Sheikh
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1. Re: Mount Sinai

Hi Sara

It's not mandatory to have a guide, there are 2 ways to climb Sinai, the 'easy' way and the hard way, most people go up the easy way and come down the hard way. I wouldn't advise climbing in the daytime, but it depends on what time of year, I haven't climbed daytime so can't tell you whether it will be crowded or not.

I wouldn't like to have missed sunrise, I think that would be a shame to miss, if the religious significence isn't important, you would still be missing a wonderful spectacle, the colours are unbelievable. It is hard physically, it's not a walk as some tour companies say, it is a climb, it's over 7,000ft, check these 2 sites and the air is rarified.

http://www.egyptologyonline.com/st_catherine's_monastery.htm

sacred-destinations.com/egypt/…index.htm

Wear layers, take plenty of water, a good torch, sun cream,hats, sweets and toilet papers, you can get drinks at small Bedouin stations on route and you can hire blankets, if it's very cold at the top.

Regards

Barbara

Knoxville, Tennessee
Destination Expert
for Pigeon Forge
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2. Re: Mount Sinai

Sara,

We climbed Moses Mountain in February and had a wonderful experience. It is one of those things you will never forget.

We had arrived from Jordan via the high speed ferry late the day before and just could not turn around and make the trip to Sinai and then the climb just a few short hours later. As a result we did climb Mt Sinai during the day and stayed on the summit for the wonderfully amazing and colorful sunset.

The drive from Sharm took 2 hours and we arrived at the amazing Monastery in time to visit for about 1 hour before they closed. We had lunch at a nearby hotel and set out to climb the mountain at about 1:30 pm.

Our guide from Sharm said all 'city' guides now have an agreement with locals to use Bedouin guides for the climbs so he had arranged for one to meet us. He was amazing. He will carry your backpack and extra clothes as you shed them during the climb.

Unlike described in your first reply only about 10% of those we saw on the mountain that day used camels to climb. Nearly everyone did it on foot. The climb will take 2 1/2 to 3 hours depending on your condition. We kept a good pace with 10-12 short breaks of 3-4 minutes and one 15 minute one at the foot of the steps and it took us 2 1/2 hours. Our guide said that was better than average for tourists.

The climb to the stairs is a strenuous but not severe. It is mostly a steady slope with a sandy and solid rock path. More uneven towards the top of the section. The 'steps' number over 650 and are steep rocks placed, cut or naturally formed and can be loosely described as steps. This section is the most difficult.

There were probably around 35-40 people at the summit at sunset. You will want to get to the foot of the steps before total darkness as they are very tricky

If you ride a camel up the mountain the cost is 100 LE or about 16-18 USD and you will be taken to near the base of the steps. Almost no one will ride down as the steps downward are very bumpy on a camel.

If you walk you will have many opportunities to change your mind and take a camel from one of the 5-7 'pit stops' along the way but the cost will be the same regardless of where start the ride. The pit stops have water, snack bars and various other small items at a cost that is not far from what it would cost anywhere.

One curious note: The Bedouin did not need a flashlight coming down the mountain. There was no moon and it was pitch black. We both used one but they can see at night like a camel. The climb down took 1 1/2 hours and we kept a fast pace and did not stop a single time.

My suggestion is to make the climb on foot if you are any decent condition. I was about 35 lbs overweight and made it ok with plenty of water and the rest stops. The feeling of accomplishment was very real and made the experience complete.

Gottagocit

Chicago, IL
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3. Re: Mount Sinai

Thanks for the (detailed) responses!

Is there any cost to "get into" Mt. Sinai, or is it completely open to the public (show up whenever you want and start climbing)?

sara

Nuweiba, Egypt
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2,176 posts
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4. Re: Mount Sinai

It is mandatory to have a guide. This regulation was introduced last year and the cost has been fixed at LE 50 per guide ( one guide per group it seems regardless of how many people in the group ). Sometimes this new regulation is not enforced but as a general rule it is.

I always recommend to do the climb in the afternoon, starting 2 1/2 - 3 hours before sunset. However, in the summer time the heat will be extreme and thus not adviseable for anyone regardless of how fit they are.

The sunset can be as, if not more, spectacular than the sunrise. And with much less people around. A very common complaint I hear practically everytime someone does the night climb is the masses ( we are talking about thousands sometimes ) of people doing the climb, combined with all the noise and litter such groups make.

Buckinghamshire, UK
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28 posts
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5. Re: Mount Sinai

hi Sara

we just got back from Sharm - had a fabulous time, although very hot! We climed Mount Sinai at night - took us quite a long time as we rested lots on the way, as we didn't want to be sitting at the top, getting cold.

I would recommend a guide, ours was excellent, very happy to help us and talk along the way.

I had never climbed any mountain before, and I found it quite hard going, also I wasn't prepared for this trip as it was a decision made by my friend to go, so I didn't have the right shoes, so it was hard, but definitely worth it (though I don't think I have to convince you of that).How hard is difficult to quantify.

The sunrise was excellent and well worth seeing. I don't know what the temperature was in the day, but it was extremely hot when we came down from the mountain, at around 10am when we were seeing the monastry. I would not want to climb the mountain in this heat.

I hope you have a wonderful time whenever you want to go.

Sarah

Flint, United...
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274 posts
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6. Re: Mount Sinai

only problem being its probably not mount sinia your on ,jabal-en-lawz in saudi arabia ,just across the gulf from nuweiba is a far more realistic candidate .have a look on youtube and do a search for "the exodus and red sea crossing" it certainly got me thinking

Chicago, IL
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25 posts
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7. Re: Mount Sinai

If I fly to Sharm from Cairo, would it be possible to land at 4PM and be able to set up a trip that same night to Mt. Sinai?

From the airport - where should I go to book and spend time until the bus ride to Sinai?

What time do the trips get back the following day? I'm hoping to catch a flight to Luxor at 5:30PM?

Thanks.

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Luxor
Luxor
70 Reviews
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Swansea, United...
Destination Expert
for Sharm El Sheikh
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8. Re: Mount Sinai

Hi Sara

The trips leave any time between 11 and 12am, they pick you up at your hotel, but leave from Naama Bay, so you probably would pick up the coaches there. The two companies I've used are Fayed Travel and Cataract Travel, the first is opposite McDonalds, the second opposite the Camel Bar, on the main street of Naama Bay, if these two can't accommodate you, there are plenty of other companies in Naama Bay that would.

You could spend some time on the beach, depending on the time of year (when it gets dark) then go and have a meal, there are plenty of coffee shops, shisha cafes, where you can sit and watch the world go by, until it is time to leave.

You will get back in Naama Bay at approx 1.00pm, that will give you plenty of time to catch your flight.

Regards

barbarah

Nuweiba, Egypt
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2,176 posts
5 reviews
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9. Re: Mount Sinai

Try and go to St Catherine directly from Cairo. Its a very long way round to go first all the way down to Sharm and then back northwards towards St Catherine. St Catherine is about 430 km from Cairo and would take about 5 - 6 hours by car, say 6 - 7 hours by public bus. To go by plane to Sharm first you lose time travelling to Cairo airport, checking in etc, flying, disembarking etc, and then still have to look for a trip to St Catherine, ( or take a taxi from Sharm Airport ). It will not be quicker, as St Catherine is still over 200 km north of Sharm Airport.

If you are alone, you could take the public bus to St Catherine, and then next day take a taxi from St Catherine to Sharm Airport. The taxi will be expensive, probably LE 300 - 400. If there are a few of you then get a car or minibus from Cairo to St Catherine and then onwards next day to the airport. This would be the best option as it gives you most flexibility and you will see a lot more.

The bedouin guides are now LE 85, and you must have one for each party doing the climbing regardless if you are alone or in a group.

North Yorkshire...
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10. Re: Mount Sinai

bumping this as want to do this next year and want to keep the advice!

Karen