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Ethiopia Rock Climbing 

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Location: 9.037, 38.7598 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrator: Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Leo Paik on May 9, 2013
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The crux corner between 9th and 10th bolt


This is an eastern, landlocked, African country on the horn of Africa that is also known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. It is Africa's oldest independent country. Its population is estimated to be over 80 million, 2nd most in Africa. It has some of the oldest evidence of human inhabitation. The population is multi-ethnic (with nearly a third being Oromo) and multi-lingual (90). The more dominant languages are Amharic, Tigrinya, Orominga, Guaraginga, Somali, and Arabic. English is the most widely spoken foreign language.

The capitol is Addis Ababa (pop. 3 million). Its currency is birr. The time zone is East Africa Time (3 hours ahead of Western European Time). There have been a number or well-known famines in recent time, political unrest, border wars, and civil wars. This has led to a life expectancy in the low 40s. Overall, the country has begun to recover. In fact, it was one of the fastest growing economies of the world a few years ago. Still, its economy has challenges with inflation rates that have exceeded 40% a year. The GDP is one of the world's lowest, ~$700/year. Coffee fiends, coffee is one of its biggest exports. The cuisine of Ethiopia is excellent with most of its food eaten without utensils but with injera (a bread). Pork and shellfish are generally not prepared.

Sports-wise, Ethiopians are probably best known for their long distance running prowess and soccer. Climbing is not a locally dominant activity. There is both sport and traditional climbing available here.

Land-wise, it is the 27th largest country in the world with over 400,000 square miles, approximately twice the size of Texas. Overall, its climate is tropical monsoon with topographic-induced variation. Most of the country lies between 6000-8000 feet in elevation, high plateau with a central mountain range. The geologically active great Rift Valley is subject to some earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Climactically, the dry season is typically October through February. There is often a light rainy season March through May. The rainiest season is July and August. The eastern part of the country is lower in elevation, hotter, drier, and has less interesting terrain for climbers. In fact, Dallol has the highest average temperature in the world (93 F). There are mountains here, especially in the western part of the country, including the Semien Mountains. The highest point is Ras Dashen Terara, 14,868 feet. There are a number of 13,000 foot peaks.

Getting There 

Most non-Ethiopians will travel to Adis Ababa by air. Dire Dawa (pop. 270,000) also has an international airport. The elevation of Adis Ababa is 7800 feet. From there, the travel will be dependent on where you wish to go. There are only 20,000 miles of road, gravel or paved. There are 58 airports in the country, 17 have paved runways. There is 400 miles of railway under joint control with Djibouti and Ethiopia, but it is considered largely inoperable.

The 2012 exchange rate for US dollars was 17.8 birr to the dollar in 2012.


Click here for a general map provided by the CIA and here for a zoomable one from National Geographic.

Land issues 

The state owns all land in Ethiopia and provides long-term leases up to 99 years to the tenants. To provide more proof of legal occupancy, land use certificates are now being issued in some areas.

Link to a local perspective on climbing 

Click here for Nico Parco's blog.

Climbing Season

For the Africa area.

Weather station 4.3 miles from here

35 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',8],['3 Stars',17],['2 Stars',6],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',2]

Classic Climbing Routes in Ethiopia

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Ethiopia:
Easy Eshi   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 2 pitches, 150'   Amora Gedel (Addis Ababa)
Atkilt Tera   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 70'   Amora Gedel (Addis Ababa)
Tenish Tenish   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Amora Gedel (Addis Ababa)
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Ethiopia

Featured Route For Ethiopia
Rock Climbing Photo: This photo shows where these two new climbs go.

The Coffee Break is Over 5.14a 8b+ 32 X+ 32 E8 7a  Africa : Ethiopia : Amora Gedel (Addis Ababa)
The Coffee Break Is Over is my signature route at Amora Gedel. I made quick work on it and was able to do all the moves in just a few days. It is a proud line. It starts 1m left of the Zohan, with an optional (bomber) #.2 before the high first bolt. Step left onto a rest-ledge left of the edge, clip the 2nd bolt then commit to a tedious unrelenting sequence on underclings and hard sidepulls that will stretch you out and test your body tension. Get a shake at a deep undercling, and pull dif...[more]   Browse More Classics in International

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