RIYADH: The Saudi Climbing and Hiking Federation (SCHF) concluded its summer academy, which took place over four days in Tanomah.
Youths aged between 15 and 19 organized a camp through which they were introduced to the basics of rock climbing, hiking, self-reliance and coping with the desert environment.
Trainers held educational courses, field training and a “leave no trace” course, which focused on preserving and developing the environment.
“The academy witnessed significant interaction from many young people and their parents, which encouraged us to hold the event on future occasions,” said the SCHF’s executive director, Yasmine Al-Qahtani. “The academy aims to increase the number of climbers and hikers.”
She commended the support of Asir Gov. Prince Turki bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz, who ordered the provision of facilities for participants’ comfort.
“Tanomah was chosen because it has all the necessary elements for climbing, such as rocks, mountains, and natural and safe spaces,” Al-Qahtani said, also citing “its summer atmosphere and moderate weather at night.”
She added: “The mountains that surround the region make it a safe place for camping. Tanomah’s location 2,300 meters above sea level gave it a distinctive characteristic with its sceneries and various rock formations.”
Promoting the importance of physical fitness as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan is one of the objectives of the SCHF.
Al-Qahtani said: “Participants changed their lifestyle as they got used to waking up early and left the place better than it was.”
She lauded the trainers, adding: “Climbing and hiking are dangerous sports that need to be practiced safely.”