Cliff Diving (and Fear-facing) in Wadi Shab, Oman

Posted by - October 15, 2012 | Category: Escapes, Middle East, Oman

Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012, Wadi Shab, Oman

Some people just have no fear, but I’m afraid I’m not one of them.

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The finalists at the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012 managed to stare down buckets of the stuff in the paltry 3 seconds it took to plummet from a platform perched high above a gorge in Wadi Shab, Oman recently: the fear of plunging to a watery grave, the fear of cocking up in front of thousands (both the British way and the way you were thinking), and that innermost fear harboured by most men – the fear of being seen in a Speedo.

Me? I was afraid I wouldn’t find parking.

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Several thousand people made the 90 minute drive (45 if you’re Omani) from Muscat to confirm their fear of heights, and some (like me) of crowds in sweltering heat.Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012, Wadi Shab, Oman 045Red Bull Cliff Diving technical data sheet

(*click on image to enlarge)

In the grand scheme of things though, my fears were minor. At least I wasn’t doing this…

Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012, Wadi Shab, Oman 020Or this…Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012, Wadi Shab, Oman 021Or any of these…Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012, Wadi Shab, Oman 033Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012, Wadi Shab, Oman 034Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012, Wadi Shab, Oman 035Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012, Wadi Shab, Oman 039-001Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012, Wadi Shab, Oman 041Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012, Wadi Shab, Oman 043If any of them had any fear, their faces never showed it. I think the safety divers situated nearby had the most trepidation – like the very real fear of a human carcass plummeting 90 kilometres an hour towards them.Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012, Wadi Shab, Oman 044Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012, Wadi Shab, Oman 048Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012, Wadi Shab, Oman 053Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012, Wadi Shab, Oman 054Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012, Wadi Shab, Oman 068Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012, Wadi Shab, Oman 090Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012, Wadi Shab, Oman 027Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012, Wadi Shab, Oman 110

But really, the only way to truly appreciate how fast these fellas plummet — and how fearless they really are — is with video.

Please excuse my amateurish attempt. I’m afraid, like these guys, it was the best I could do that day. But I’m always trying to do better.

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51 comments - add one
  1. I’m with you on the quease factor – good grief, that first pic is uber-chilling. I mean, that pool below looks sooooo bitty!

    But surprisingly, the video makes it seems a tad more doable (albeit, most certainly not by ME!)

    Great pics, and even more kudos on the video. Granted it was a mere 29 seconds (ah but a most perfect half-minute to illustrate the trio of dives), but… whatever you did in the processing – it loaded ever so much more swiftly/smoothly here (in Vietnam) than is usual – thanks!

    1. Glad you liked the video! I realized after I took it that the setting was on the lowest quality possible — hence why it was so easy for you to load.

      Hope you’re still lovin’ Vietnam!

  2. Oh wow, that cliff looks….so unsafe! Hats off for those brave men. As someone who failed from doing a 10 m jump, I wonder how many guts it took for a man to jump from such height.

  3. Yikes. I did the 30ft + cliff dive at Rick’s in Jamaica and it was nutty. You can feel your body tilting back and forth as you’re falling, and you’re thinking at any moment you’ll tilt far enough back to hit the rocks. I can’t imagine 90ft – that is a LOT of time to think about your imminent death.

    Though I was mostly thinking – what the hell is Rick’s insurance bill like?

  4. whoaaa! I actually read about the competition on the Red Bull magazine. Your photos are even better than the ones I saw on the magazine! Haha. Awesome stuff. I wish I would have been there

    – Maria Alexandra

  5. Although I truly dislike Red Bull, I *adore* watching cliff diving. I have seen some in Sardinia, also friends of mine who enjoy doing acrobatics I can’t even think of. Amazing. I’ll never do it though, I’ve only tried from very low heights 😛

    1. I’m with you Angela — I get butterflies in my stomach and kinda want to throw up when I look down from those heights. Wouldn’t want to be caught in THAT on the way down. 🙂

  6. I LOVE jumping off things! This looks like such a fun event to watch… and maybe even to participate in? Love the crowds of spectators half submerged, trying to escape the heat.

  7. Wow! I jumped off the curb once – felt lightheaded and a tiny bit woozy afterward. These people have cast iron cajones!

  8. Pingback: Wordless Wednesday – Dive into Oman | Accelerated Stall
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