The alternative path to Mt Sinai's summit comprises the taxing 3750 Steps of Repentance, which begin outside the southeastern corner of St Catherine's Monastery compound. They were laid by one monk as a form of penance. The steps – 3000 up to Elijah’s Basin and then the final 750 to the summit – are made of roughly hewn rock, and are steep and uneven in many places, requiring strong knees and concentration in placing your feet.
The stunning mountain scenery along the way makes this path well worth the extra effort and the lower reaches of the trail afford impressive views of the monastery.
For those who want to try both routes to Mt Sinai's summit, it’s easier to take the camel trail on the way up and the steps on the way back down. The steps shouldn’t be attempted in the dark though, so those heading to the summit for sunset and not staying overnight should go up via the steps and come down the easier camel trail.