The Approach to Abune Yemata Guh, Tigray, Ethiopia, October 2007

The next set of photos, of Abune Yemata Guh Church in the Geralta Range of the Province of Tigray, Ethiopia, deserve a bit of a preface, which I will provide here. I apologize for the quality of these images–it was harsh light on the approach to the church, and I promise the story and the images from inside are the good part.

The church is located in some pinnacles in the Geralta Range, approximately on the other side of the prominent cleft. Since the road does not cross a river near the location where this was shot, one has to walk to the base of the pinnacles to continue.Pinnacles in the Geralta Range

Once you have reached the base of the pinnacles, you have to climb straight up–easy handholds, not particularly technical, but a companion with a knee injury could not make it. Here is a view from the top of one of the (easier) sections of climb.

The Climb

After climbing in this way for perhaps 100′ of vertical elevation, there is another trail that continues to a place where you must take your shoes off (no shoes in the church!) and, in this case, your socks. After crossing a log over a modest drop, you get to the part that has occassined people abandoning all intention of seeing the insides of the church:

The ledge.

This view is actually from outside the church entrance, looking back towards the trail. Note the bricks about 15′ in front of the place where Fabio’s left hand is. They will be your point of reference in the next shot.

The Valley

See the bricks, just above the 600′ sheer drop? The cut on the cliff face is the trail. As you probably noticed, it was not actually even, though it was smooth–I would not care to attempt it after a rain.

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