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Mariam Korkor Day 3, Gheralta



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The finale of a 3-day hike in the Gheralta, the ascent of the north face of Mariam Korkor to reach the summit of Nehrab Mountain (2550m) before plunging down to the churches of Mariam and Daniel Korkor, perched atop this fantastic mountain, which dominates the Tigray plain. A shorter day, but with a nice difference in altitude and an unusual approach from the north, with some scrambling and magnificent views of the Gheralta range to the north. On arrival, we spent a long time with a monk who has been living up there for over 30 years, with whom we shared lunch. Impressive.

Technical summary

Type ✦ Hiking

Location ✦ Megab

Region ✦ Gheralta

Country ✦ Ethiopia

Length ✦ 10kms

Dénivelé ✦ 1250m

Difficulty ✦ MD

Max altitude ✦ 2550m

Duration ✦ 5h to 6h

Interest ✦ ★★★

Access to the place

The starting point under Mariam Korkor, on the north side, is accessible by road. We set off from the bivouac. We're a few kilometers north-west of Megab.

Itinerary description


1250m of ascent with only one climb this time, for a walking distance of around 10kms. No difficulty, but the climb up the north face has a few exposed passages to negotiate.

Climbing the Nehrab

Cutting across fields and the road, we come within sight of the base of the cliffs. The faint path climbs fairly steeply in stages before attacking the sandstone walls. A few scrambling passages lead to a 1st platform overlooking the plain. The trail then continues, clinging to the fairly vertiginous slopes before finally climbing to the Nehrab summit at 2550m. From here, the view is breathtaking over the plateau below, where the 2 churches are located.

The churches

Retracing our steps and then descending a little, we reach the 2 churches, Mariam Korkor, open on the inside, and Daniel Korkor, tiny, after 50m on a ledge at the edge of a 300m void. The monk accompanies us with no problem. We also visit his quarters, also carved out of sandstone. A tiny monkess (?) joins us for lunch.

Descent to Megab

The descent takes the same classic route as the ascent. A series of steep switchbacks and balconies allow us to continue admiring the view. At the bottom, after descending a series of fabulous sculpted sandstone staircases, we return to the pass we climbed the day before. This time, the path heads south along a large volcanic fault that joins the cow floor. We cross villages, stop for a bite of Injera at our guide's house, then return quietly to Megab town center, the end of our trek. return to Mekele via Hausien.

Map & topo

The routes for the 3-day trek: 1st day orange, 2nd day blue, 3rd day green.



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