American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Africa, Mali, Hand of Fatima, Further Notes to Wright's Report

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2004

Hand of Fatima, further notes to Wright’s report. The Hand of Fatima towers close to the town of Hombori within a region mainly occupied by the Fulani tribe. Hombori’s unique position shares tribal borders, so the regional market trades between many clans: Dogon, Hogon, Senufo and the still feared Tuareg from the barren Sahara only 70km north. Feared because in recent history they attempted a regional coup and occupied Hombori and the surrounding area, their insurgence Finally suppressed by Mali’s military.

Cedar Wright secured the Fulani Chief’s permission to dwell and climb on their land. Kaga Tondo—the largest “finger”—was our first objective. In native Bambara it translates very simply as “Big Rock.” Kaga Tondo’s North Pillar is dubbed the world’s longest sandstone route. The rock was of good quality, sometimes brittle and blocky, but never dangerously loose. Most importantly it proved a very, very fun outing. We neared the summit as residents enjoyed their feeding hour: cracks spilled all sizes of birds into the sky, including swifts, hawks, eagles, vultures, and a pair of massive storks with the proportions of a small Cessna. They created a wonderful and unique summit experience.

Kevin Thaw

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