Let’s be honest, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to stay active. If you feel like you lack drive or are simply in for an adventure, climbing is one of the sports that may help you stay fit in a non-traditional setting. Xtork joins the welcoming group of Doha Climbers in one of their regular weekly get-togethers in Zekreet as they give us a peak of how the shared passion for the sport built a rock-solid foundation not only in fitness, but in friendship.
The Roots: Doha Climbers (est. 2010) Doha Climbers started with a modest group of
people who decided to build a
climbing wall in someone’s house. “They would often meet there for bouldering*,” says Sabrina. “Then, they went to
Fuwayrit for bouldering. Leine Buyten Hek and Mitch Parker were among the first members.” *Bouldering is the type of climbing that requires the least amount of time and gear; just shoes, chalk bag, a crash pad, and an experienced spotter. The transition and big move happened when members Javi, Antonio, and Miguel took on Google Maps in search for spots. “They found some potential spots in Zekreet,” Sabrina recalls. “Then, they went out in the desert with their pickups to check it out and to find a rock that could be climbed,” she continues.
It has not been an easy task upon discovery. “Once they found a rock
that they thought had potential for top rope climbing, they spent several weeks working on the rock before they invited people to join on the Facebook group.”
The Playgrounds: Zekreet Crag, Fuwayrit, and Musfir Sinkhole
Climbing has a broad range of disciplines, with each requiring differing types of gear, level of fitness, and training. Beginners elsewhere usually start out with indoor climbing, bouldering, or top-rope climbing outdoors. While Qatar is a flat country that also seems to lack climbing facilities open to the public, the group managed to grow, sustain, and share their passion.
Sabrina advises on the limited spots available in Qatar. “At this point in time, Zekreet is the best place to practice as it is in a controlled environment and when the group is there, we have the equipment to ensure safety. Fuwayrit Beach and Musfir Sinkhole are two good natural spots to practice. It is advisable to have crash pads when bouldering,” she adds.