Waseya Cracks (near Hagere Selam, Tigray) Climbing
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|Shared By:||Nico Jah on May 28, 2013|
This is a limestone crag located in the Tembien Mountains two hours west of Mekele near a highland village called Hagere Selam. There are at least a dozen 1 pitch trad climbs up vertical and horizontal limestone cracks. The rock is fossilized - expect to pull on small seashells incrusted in the rock!
The crag was developed by a group of Belgian climbers back in 2004 that went by the Tigray Rock Climbing Team. They set up 2 bolt anchors with chains on all the climbs, but the local kids have taken rocks and destroyed all the anchors that they could reach from the top of the cliff, so be ready to create your own anchors for toproping, lowering, etc.
"The Tigray Rock Climbing Team is seeking to open new and challenging rock climbing routes in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia, to show the world that Ethiopia has more to offer than pictures of famine and war and to promote ecotourism as an alternative to the staggering agricultural economy."
The crag is beautiful and makes for a fun expedition in Tigray that requires camping gear, food, and water. There is a giant fig tree below the cliff that is perfect for camping. It's best to pay a local teenager to guard your campsite while you are climbing. They will also bring jerrycans of well water for washing and cooking. Some Amharic and/or Tigrinya language skills are necessary to negotiate the expedition..., but then again, we are all human, maybe you can get by with your hands!
Remember to always respect the local farmers' fields.
You can download the Waseya Cracks topos here: https://perswww.kuleuven.be/~u0019879/trc/trc-topos.html.
You can also read about our visit to Waseya here: http://www.nicoparco.com/waseya-cracks-tigray/.
Fly to Mekele, the regional capital of the Tigray region in Northern Ethiopia. Here you can rent a vehicle, a two wheel drive should be fine.
Drive to Hagere Selam in the Tembien highlands 2 hours west of Mekele. Here ask locals for the road to Waseya village. The road veers north by northwest for a few kilometers. Be ready to veer right to reach the top of the village, which sits in a small valley nestled between two bands of limestone cliff. It should takes at 40 minutes to walk from your car to the crag below. The climbing is on the cliffband on your left as you walk from your car to the campsite.
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