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Gheralta Massif and Samayata, new routes.

In January 2012, the Spanish team of Marco Jubes, Edu Marin, and Toti Vales established two long, difficult free climbs in Ethiopia’s mountains. The first, Arenas Movedizas (350m, 7b+/c), ascends a wall above the village of Hawzen in the Tigray area. Corners and poorly protected chimney climbing were highlights, along with meeting a 76-year-old “monk” sitting on top with his feet over the edge.

They then moved to the Adwa Mountains, where Jubes and Marin found a long, difficult line on Samayata. Costa Brava (850m, 8a) climbs nine pitches up a steep lower tower, followed by two rappels and traverses to reach the upper wall. This brought five more pitches and scrambling, with the crux on the 60m 12th pitch, which Marin led at 8a with only three or four pieces of protection. They spent a cold night without food or water after this pitch, and then summited the following morning.

Dougald MacDonald, from information at Desnivel.com and Edumarin.blogspot.com