Photo by Jurgen Wohlfarter
|Best months for climbing:||Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec|
|Year first climbed:||1841|
|First successful climber(s):||Ferret and Galinier|
|Nearest major airport:||Addis Ababa, Ethiopia|
|Convenient Center:||Gonder, Ethiopia, (Semyen Mountains National Park headquarters)|
Ras Dashen is the highest mountain in Ethiopia, and the highest of the Simen range, a group of eroded mountains that rises stunningly from the surrounding 9,000 foot plateau in northern Ethiopia. Despite the overall high elevation of Ethiopia, the Simen range is the only place in the country that is regularly snow-covered in Winter. The mountains are composed of basalt volcanic rock, though there are no active volcanoes today. In the midst of the Simen range, Ras Dashen is a cluster of nine rocky peaks. The mountain trails of the Simen Range are dotted with many small agricultural villages. Traditionally the local people believed the mountains to be inhabited by hostile spirits, so the peaks remained unclimbed until Italy's occupation of Ethiopia in 1935.