Photos: Climbing an underground cave in Oman

It’s big, it’s dark and it’s deep. Stefan Glowacz and Chris Sharma go climbing in Majlis al Jinn.
By David B. Cooper

Stefan Glowacz and Chris Sharma have just completed the climb of a lifetime – and we've got the pictures to show you how they did it. After descending into one of the biggest cave chambers in the world, Glowacz and Sharma, cleaned, bolted and finally redpointed a route known as ‘Into the Light’ – where they climbed 13 difficult pitches to return to the earth's surface.

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Down, down, down...
Chris Sharma heads down into Majlis al Jinn in Oman
Down, down, down... Chris Sharma heads down into Majlis al Jinn... © Klaus Fengler/Stefan Glowacz GmbH
...into the darkness
Stefan Glowacz roping down into the cave.
...into the darkness After Chris, Stefan Glowacz dives in to Majlis al Jinn. © Klaus Fengler/ Stefan Glowacz GmbH
‘We can climb there, and there, and there...’
Stefan Glowacz and Chris Sharma looking for a proper climbing route.
‘We can climb there, and there, and there...’ Stefan Glowacz and Chris Sharma look for the best climbing line in Majlis al Jinn. © Klaus Fengler/Stefan Glowacz GmbH
Totally inverted
Chris Sharma climbing up the last pitch in the roof of the cave.
Totally inverted Overhanging pitches with questionable rock quality made for a mentally and physically challenging climb. © Klaus Fengler/ Stefan Glowacz GmbH
Roping around
Stefan Glowacz lifting himself up the rope.
Roping around The gear's got to come with – nothing gets left behind. © Klaus Fengler/Stefan Glowacz GmbH
Just hanging out
Stefan Glowacz hanging on the rope under the roof of the cave.
Just hanging out An intricate rope system allowed them to climb with protection. © Klaus Fengler/Stefan Glowacz GmbH
First me, then you
Stefan Glowacz and Chris Sharma climbing the roof of the cave.
First me, then you Chris Sharma (orange helmet) leads up while Glowacz follows behind. © Klaus Fengler/ Stefan Glowacz GmbH
Preparation in pairs
Stefan Glowacz and Christian Schlesener preparing for the climb.
Preparation in pairs Stefan Glowacz and Chris Sharma prepping a route for ascent. © Klaus Fengler/Stefan Glowacz GmbH
Bivvying below
Stefan Glowacz and Chris Sharma after the climb.
Bivvying below It's not often you get to set up a bivvy platform and not be above the ground. Only in Majlis al Jinn. © Klaus Fengler/ Stefan Glowacz GmbH
Calm before the fall...
Stefan Glowacz climbing the last pitch of the cave.
Calm before the fall... Stefan Glowacz may have an inkling of what's about to happen... © Klaus Fengler/Stefan Glowacz GmbH
Whip it real good
Stefan Glowacz hanging on the rope during the climb.
Whip it real good Stefan Glowacz takes a swing while on the last pitch of the climb. © Klaus Fengler/ Stefan Glowacz GmbH
Cracking up
Chris Sharma climbing the last pitch from the cave.
Cracking up One of the challenges of Majlis al Jinn was the variety of climbing techniques and styles required to ascend. © Klaus Fengler/Stefan Glowacz GmbH
Above and beyond
Chris Sharma finishing the climb from the last pitch of the cave.
Above and beyond Chris Sharma clambers out of the cave back onto solid (above) ground. © Klaus Fengler/Stefan Glowacz GmbH
Stefan Glowacz and Chris Sharma celebrating
Stefan Glowacz and Chris Sharma celebrating after the climb.
Stefan Glowacz and Chris Sharma celebrating Chris Sharma and Stefan Glowacz are finish the Cave climb, Cave Majlis Al Chinn, Oman on March 04th, 2014. © Klaus Fengler/ Stefan Glowacz GmbH
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