Mountain Rose is an award-winning start-up based in the highlands of St Katherine. It gathers organically-produced fruits from a network of centuries-old Bedouin orchards, drying them in the sun and using them to produce energy bars, trail mixes and other hiking superfoods for Egypt's growing adventure tourism industry. Many orchards around St Katherine have been abandoned in modern times - some estimates suggest as many as 90% - and initiatives like Mountain Rose offer an extra incentive for their owners to keep their orchards alive, tending their trees as generations of Bedouin did before. Mountain Rose pays fair wages to Bedouin orchard owners and also employs Bedouin women in its work, ensuring work is created for a wider section of the Bedouin community. It is an official supplier of hiking foods to Egypt's two long-distance hiking trails: the Sinai Trail and Red Sea Mountain Trail. It also supplies a special range of products to the Three Peaks Egypt Challenge and Seven Summits Sinai Challenge. Anybody buying snacks from Mountain Rose will be supporting a local business creating jobs for the Bedouin community and working to preserve its ancient traditions and ways of life and we encourage hikers on the Seven Summits Sinai Challenge to get in touch.
Orchards of St Katherine
The orchard tradition goes back over a thousand years in St Katherine, to the times of Egypt's early Desert Fathers. Small communities of Christians settled in the region for spiritual solitude, all aiming to be as self-sufficient as possible. These communities built dams and cultivated small plots of land. Later, bigger orchards were created around chapels and monasteries - some still visible today - with Bedouin communities following in the next centuries, building orchards around wells in the mountains. Orchard produce like apples, apricots, pomegranates, figs, grapes, mulberries and almonds gave food and an important trading commodity. Over the last decades, many orchards have been abandoned and their long-term future remains uncertain.
Mountain Rose Superfoods
Mountain Rose gathers fruits grown 100% organically from orchards around St Katherine, buying them at fair prices from orchard owners. Apricots, dates, apples, mulberries, figs, almonds and mangoes are a typical harvest. Fruits are cut and dried in the St Katherine sun, then made into different kinds of products for the hiking industry. Energy bars, energy balls, trail mix, granola and dried fruits are the most popular products with hikers. Dried herbs such as oregano and mountain mint are also sold, which hikers can use as seasonings on the trail. Mountain Rose has a small shop in the Bedouin area of El Rasees in St Katherine. All products are homemade and hikers should order ahead.