Ascent of Amba Farit on 2019-02-18

Climber: Richard Mclellan

Others in Party:Denise Mclellan
Rob Woodall -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Petter Bjørstad
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, February 18, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Amba Farit
    Elevation:14009 ft / 4269 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was the second summit after Choqa ( ) of a 2 week trip to Northern Ethiopia.

We leave Choqa at 10:35 and continue N on the dirt road crossing the high plateau, groups of Wattled Ibis, Pied Crow and the ever present Black Kites. Another long day in the car re-crossing the Blue Nile on the bridge recently built by the Chinese. At 18:10 the large dusty town of Melkane Salam appears mirage like on the hill ahead, this is where we will stay the night. We’ve driven 178miles from Debre Tabor. The uninspiring Hidasse Hotel gets our custom on the basis of having water, something which the Bahir Hotel is unable to provide. Day light rapidly fading into night.

One minute I’m walking through the town feeling fine, the next I’m violently sick; it’s all bit of a shock! Struck down by this sudden sickness and upset stomach disappointingly I’m unable to face dinner.

The next morning we depart Melkane Salam and continue our journey E for 50miles on road 22 to where the ridge of Amba Farit rises to the N. We leave the tarmac at N10.88722deg. E039.16750deg. taking a good dirt road on the left (NNW). The road ascends the farmed hillside bowl gradually gaining height and with the summit within 5miles and 700m of ascent we decide to make N10.90348deg. E039.13579deg our trail head (10:00). No sooner have we stopped than a fit looking man with sturdy staff appears at the car declaring himself our local guide.

I’m feeling somewhat weak and lethargic as we set off NW across ploughed fields towards an obvious gap between hillside on the left and small knoll on the right. The little farm paths soon merge into a distinct trail making a gentle rising traverse of the hillside. Groups of sheep, cows, horses and donkeys graze on an area of lush green grass in the valley. I’m finding it hard going with nausea and stomach cramps and have serious doubts whether I’m going to make the summit, clutching the side of a boulder I choke, our guide watches on. A few sips of water and I continue. Denise and Rob wait for me and provide encouragement; reluctantly I let the guide take my sac. We continue slowly as a group gaining height. It’s a good path travelled by people and donkeys. Fields to the side are being ploughed by oxen pulling a metal tipped wooden pole guided by farmer. A few fields are planted with potatoes. The track levels in a wide col beyond which a braided track ascends left across the steep hillside. Our way is all too obvious, straight up the steep grass with patches of 50cm tall daisy like weed. Denise and Rob are encouraging, happy to continue at my feeble pace. We set off, step by step one foot in front of the other, feet twisting in the tussocks I gain height, the local guide and Meles racing ahead stop frequently for us to catch up. We reach a rock outcrop, the angle relents and the summit rocks come into view, I can even make out Petter standing on the highest. Easier terrain of short grass and a few low rock outcrops. We head for the obvious summit rocks which we reach at 13:46, sac waiting for me! Not my best of days.

Summit is topped by group of rocks with obvious high point. Garmin etrex 20 GPS:- N10.95070deg. E039.10464deg. 4267m. No cairn or survey mark. Skies clouded over, cool in slight breeze. Extensive but hazy views.

Depart summit 14:10 descending by same route arriving car at 16:30.

Return to road 22 and on E to Dessie, Araga our driver doing a fine job in the fading light avoiding the endless pot holes peoples and animals which merge with the darkness. The 67 miles to Dessie takes us 3.5hours. Check into the ‘best hotel in town’, the Time Hotel.

From Dessie we spend a day driving N to Lalibela (168miles, 8.5hours) the starting point for our next peak, Rime Gedel - Abune Yosef
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2310 ft / 704 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2310 ft / 704 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9.8 mi / 15.8 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2310 ft / 704 m
    Distance:4.9 mi / 7.9 km
    Route:From the SSE
    Start Trailhead:N10.90348, E039.13579  11699 ft / 3565 m
    Time:3 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2310 ft / 704 m
    Distance:4.9 mi / 7.9 km
    Route:Same as ascent
    End Trailhead:N10.90348, E039.13579  11699 ft / 3565 m
    Time:2 Hours 25 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Richard Mclellan
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
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. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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