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Ascent of Ras Dashen on 2019-02-25

Climber: Richard Mclellan

Others in Party:Denise Mclellan
Rob Woodall -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Petter Bjørstad
Date:Monday, February 25, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Ras Dashen
    Location:Ethiopia
    Elevation:14905 ft / 4543 m

Ascent Trip Report

Summit :- N13.23693deg.,E038.37264deg. 4537m Stubby square concrete pillar on rocky summit.
West Top :- N13.23641deg.,E038.36831deg. 4538m Rocky summit with flattened cairn.

Up at 04:30. As we group in the mess tent for breakfast there are complaints of a night of noise, it’s only now I remember the rhythmic drumming as I’d drifted into sleep. Apparently this went on into the early hours accompanied by an enthusiastic chorus of barking dogs, all in celebration of a village wedding.

We depart 06:00 taking the stony dusty path up the valley, it’s still dark and we travel in pools of torch light. Almost immediately we cross the dry stream bed and then along its N side the path dropping away with frightening steepness to the boulder river bed some 5m below. Cool in the fresh E wind. Rocks and fields begin to take shape in the pale grey light on dawn and daylight quickly arrives. There are numerous tracks ascending through the fields and farms but they seem to all meet up, often the case of zigzag or short cut. Pass through a village and the track joins a wide bulldozed road no longer maintained for vehicle use. We follow the road to a height of 3700m where we take a well used track over grassy hillside with groups of Giant Labelia. A large flock of red billed Chough pick over the grass. The track short cuts a huge switch back and we rejoin the bulldozed road where it starts a long traverse E at ~alt .4000m before switch backing up to the wide col on the Ras Dashen ridge.(09:40). Basalt here has amygdales of turquoise green agate(?). Cool enough to merit a windproof before setting off for the summit unsure which of the numerous ridge top rock bands is the high point. It’s a nice area of gentle grassland to the S and dark crags to the N, a good path heads E then NE to the base of the central rock band/crag. We traverse the base of the rock band to its E side where a well worn scramble up solid rock (YDS3) reaches the spacious rocky summit. There is a stubby concrete pillar marked with ‘4543’. Very fine views. Peak to the W is very similar height, those to the E definitely lower.

Enjoyable scrambling W along the ridge to the W Top, a rocky summit with flattened cairn. The Abney (both ways) suggests only ~1m lower than the Summit. Descend the rocky SSW ridge back to the col then back down the road to Ambikwa camp(16:20).

Our cook produces a large plate of chips; with tomato sauce, the first thing I’ve enjoyed eating for a long while! Suddenly feeling much better and I’ve jumped up the team health league from languishing in bottom place for the last few days to mid place above our guide Meles now lying in his tent complaining of a broken hip (we considered only bruised) having fallen 2m from a rock band and Petter, with ongoing stomach problems and no Imodium left.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4862 ft / 1481 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4862 ft / 1481 m
    Round-Trip Distance:13.7 mi / 22 km
    Grade/Class:YDS3 - summit only
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Guide, Tent Camp
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4665 ft / 1421 m
    Distance:6.8 mi / 10.9 km
    Route:From W by dirt road
    Start Trailhead:Ambikwa camp  10240 ft / 3121 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4862 ft / 1481 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4665 ft / 1422 m; Extra: 197 ft / 60m
    Gain on way out:197 ft / 60 m
    Distance:6.9 mi / 11.1 km
    Route:As ascent
    End Trailhead:Ambikwa camp  10240 ft / 3121 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Simien Mountains (6 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Inatye2019-02-231112 ft / 339 m
2Bwahit2019-02-243862 ft / 1177 m
3Ras Dashen2019-02-254862 ft / 1482 m
4Arquaziye Camp Hill2019-02-263753 ft / 1144 m
5Silki2019-02-272677 ft / 816 m
6Mclellan's Molar2019-02-27125 ft / 38 m
7Silki East2019-02-27859 ft / 262 m
8Beroch Wuha2019-02-27755 ft / 230 m
8Chennek Hill2019-02-28 
9Chennek Peak2019-02-281385 ft / 422 m
10Chennek Pike2019-02-28 
Total Trip Gain: 19390 ft / 5910 m    Total Trip Loss: 18964 ft / 5780 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Richard Mclellan
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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