The cave of Wadi Shab — Geocache of the Week

Traditional Cache
GC4501Z
by baltic penguins
Difficulty:
3
Terrain:
5
Location:
Oman
N 22° 49.905 E 059° 13.633

Lights, camera, action! 🎬  

0700 hours. You’re a spy on a daring assignment. Your mission? Locate a secret treasure hidden somewhere in Oman’s winding ravine system. 

Pack your water gear and hold your breath; we’re diving into the cave of Wadi Shab (GC4501Z), our Geocache of the Week! 

As the sun rises on the vast deserts of Oman, your informant delivers your latest mission. A challenge fit for only the best, you must swim, squeeze, and climb to locate the hidden container. If you succeed, it will be an adventure for the ages. To begin your mission, start at the mouth of the Wadi Ash Shab River; follow it upriver and further into the Al Hajar Mountains.

Image by Lonisera.

As the sun strikes your face, it’s easy to forget the intensity of your mission. On this humble boat ride, your mind drifts as you think, “Could it really be this easy?” Suddenly, you realize that the wadi, a steep rocky ravine, is narrowing quickly. Is this the end of the mission? To make further headway, grab your gear, dive-in, head for the opening, and swim the rest of the way.

Image by kinderarzt.

Feeling around each jagged rock edge, you make slow yet steady progress through the tight walls. As you swim through these impressive formations, exhaustion wears you down. Without advanced warning, the walls narrow even further and require the tightest squeeze yet.

Image by Cache9974.

Thankfully, the squeeze only lasts briefly; the walls expand into the shape of a small cave. With adrenaline pumping and unsure of where to go next, you check the mission description. A helpful image suggests the path isn’t forward, but up! Then, out of the corner of your eye, you spot a perfectly placed rope… Could this be the final obstacle?

Image by kinderarzt.

Following the grueling swim and squeeze, the rope-climb up the slippery rocks is difficult! With all your might, you steady yourself and grip the rope tightly. Clearly well-loved, the rope appears weathered but steady. With each passing step, the completion of the mission comes down to this one final push.

Image by Weihnachtsmann.

At last, you made it up and it’s time to find the secret container. You search high and low, ducking under tight rocks. Finally, after a few minutes’ search a suspicious pile of dusty rocks that looks too good to be there by accident catches your eye. Eureka! Giddy with delight, you grab hold of the secret container to reveal its critical contents.

Image by wadi12.

Wait a minute… It looks like the super secret container was actually a geocache! A call comes in from your radio: “Agent, it looks like we confused the top-secret container with a terrain 5 geocache. Be sure to sign the log though!” Even though the mission turned out to be just for fun, you can’t help but feel impressed with your accomplishment. You sign your name and replace the container in its cozy home. 

Image by tspoorbeijster.

You retrace your steps, slowly lower yourself down the rope, and swim through each of the tight corridors. The shining sun greets you as you pop out from the narrow passage. As you wade out of the river and stand on dry land, you can’t help but feel a thrill from this journey. On to the next mission! …or geocache. Who knows? 

Image by Lonisera.

 Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world. Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.

Adam is a Community Manager at Geocaching HQ. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, you can find him laying out for a catch in ultimate frisbee, playing the baritone sax, or lacing up his boots to cache on a PNW hike.