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Grad student talk - Jordan past and present: A personal story of international assistance

Thursday, January 29, 2015, 4:30PM - 5:30PM


Sarah Spaulding


RL-1 room 269

In October of 2014, I had the opportunity to travel to Jordan for the Department of Interior Technical Assistance Program. This presentation is an informal personal story, travelogue and report on rock climbing in Jordan.

Wadi Rum is Jordan’s largest protected area and is known as “The Valley of the Moon.” Wadi Rum is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for both its geological features and 13,000 year old archaeological history. Located in southern Jordan, Wadi Rum is a landscape of massive sandstone walls and formations jutting up from flat valleys, or wadis. For several thousand years people have sought the unique canyons and walls of Wadi Rum for water, food, shade, inspiration, and adventure. Since the 14th century Bedouin tribes have occupied Wadi Rum, and now they are settled rather than nomadic. The Bedouins discovered adventure routes while climbing the formations for hunting and exploration, and some of these routes are still in use. Rock climbing has also brought some challenges, most notably climbing related accidents and an inadequate system to manage climbing and guiding.