Simien Mountains – Inclement Weather At Ambiko

by John Downey

Our second day of hiking in the Simiens was a 24km slog of depressing elevation gain, then loss and repeat, ending in a final push to Ambiko campsite in a cold rain and four-pound muddy boots.  From Ambiko, trekkers usually climb to the Ras Dashen summit the following morning.  Instead, we hoofed it back to a rather insignificant town for a ride from local road construction workers, back to Chenneck for our own vehicle.  The following day, we returned, passing Ambiko and driving as high as possible on Ras Dashen for an easy and infinitely more fun 600m to the summit.

I made this image shortly after slumping into a crowded cooking tukul in Ambiko.  Wet and cold, the mule drivers and their buds shouldered together around a fire struggling to warm everyone from damp eucalyptus logs.

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