Ras Dejen (Ge’ez: ራስ ደጀን rās dejen, Amharic “head guard”) in English traditionally spelled Ras Dashen, is the highest mountain in Ethiopia and tenth highest in Africa. Part of Simien Mountains National Park located in the Amhara Region, it reaches an elevation of 4,543 metres.
The English form, “Ras Dashen” is a corruption of its Amharic name, “Ras Dejen”, the term used by the Ethiopian Mapping Authority (EMA) which alludes to the traditional head or general who fights in front of the Emperor”.
Ras Dejen is the eastern peak of the rim of “an enormous volcano, the northern half of which is cut down about thousand metres by numerous ravines, draining into the Tekezie River.” Its western counterpart is Mount Biwahit (4,443 meters), separated by the valley of the Meshaha river.
The mountain often sees violent snowfalls during the night, but given that day and night temperatures vary greatly, the snow is almost completely melted in a few hours (during the hottest period of the year), for the temperature may be over 5 degrees Celsius by midday. In winter snow falls rarely, since the majority of Ethiopia’s yearly rainfall is in the summer, but if it does it usually lasts for weeks or months.
The first recorded ascent by a Eurasian was in 1841, by the French officers Ferret and Galinier. There is no verifiable evidence of earlier ascents by locals, but the summit climate and conditions are relatively hospitable, and there are nearby high altitude pastoral settlements. A small fort is still partially standing at around 4,300 Meter. Contact Us . . .