Our challenge is located in Bale Mountains, approx. 400 km south of Addis Ababa, The Bale Mountains Challenge is 115 km long, over 5.5 days of trekking. At altitude. With 4 peaks over 4000 meters to summit..
Ethiopian climate varies according to the different topographical regions. The central plateau has a moderate climate with minimal seasonal temperature variation. The mean minimum during the coldest season is 6° C (43° F ), while the mean maximum rarely exceeds 26° C (79° F ). Temperature variations in the lowlands are much greater, and the heat in the desert and Red Sea coastal areas is extreme, with occasional highs of 60° C (140° F ). Heavy rainfall occurs in most of the country during June, July, and August. The High Plateau also experiences a second, though much milder, rainy season between December and February. Average annual precipitation on the central plateau is roughly 122 cm (48 in). The northern provinces receive less rainfall, and the average annual precipitation in the Ogaden is less than 10 cm (4 in). The westernmost region of Ethiopia receives an annual rainfall of nearly 200 cm (80 in). Severe droughts affected the country in 1982–84,1987–88, and 1991.
This event is open to adults 18 years and above, and 15 to 18 with a guardian.
GEOLOGY OF THE AREA
The Bale Mountains were formed prior to the creation of the Rift Valley, from lava outpourings, which covered all underlying rock formations between 38 and 7 million years ago. The rocks of the volcanic outpourings are predominantly trachytes, but also include rhyolites, basalts and agglomerates, and tuffs. The Bale highlands area consists of a vast lava plateau with at least six volcanic cones, each more than 4,200m. These cones have been considerably flattened by repeated glaciations. There have been at least two glacial periods in the history of the mountains. These specific mountains were glaciated as little as 2,000 years ago. During the last ice age, the Bale
Mountains were one of the most extensively glaciated areas in Ethiopia, with a total of approximately 180km2 of ice. There was a 30km2 ice cap around the peak of Tulu Dimtu on the Sanetti plateau and individual glaciers of considerable thickness reached down to 3,200m. As a consequence, the landscape as we see it today is the lava outpourings modified by over 20 million years of erosion by water, wind and ice.
There are certain geological features that remain an enigma to geologists and glaciologists, such as the striations (or boulder grooves) that appear on shallow hillsides on the Sanetti plateau. Boulder grooves, till ridges and numerous glacial valleys, such as the Togona Valley on the northeastern slopes of the Sanetti plateau, provide evidence of the ice age effects on the landscape of the Bale Mountains National Park. Until the beginning of de-glaciation (13,000 to
14,000 years ago), the snowline was at 3,700m and the upper tree limit in the Bale Mountains was well below 3,000m. Fluctuations in climate over the last historical period, including the last 3,000 years, have dramatically affected vegetation and other biodiversity in the highlands.
Day 1: Sat 07-Nov-15
Flight LHR to Addis Ababa. Breakfast with British Ambassador. Transfer Transfer Dinsho. Overnight Dinsh expedition camp (full board)
Day 2: Sun 08-Nov-15
Start trek. Dinsho to Sodota. Overnight expedition camp (full board).
Day 3: Mon 09-Nov-15
Trek to Morobawa – summit Doda peak on route. Dinner & overnight
Morobawa expedition camp (fullboard).
Day 4: Tue 10-Nov-15
Trek to Wasama through Kyresnsa valley. Dinner & overnight Wasama expedition camp (full board).
Day 5: Wed 11-Nov-15
Summit Wasama Peak. Trek. Summit Batu Peak. Trek Guerba Kuracha. Dinner & overnight Geurba Kuracha
expedition camp (full board).
Day 6: Thu 12-Nov-15
Trek to and summit Tulu Dimtu. Trek Rafu. Overnight Rafu expedition camp (full board).
Day 7: Fri 13-Nov-15
Trek to base of Harenna escarpment. Transfer to project site. Overnight Camp (full board).
Day 8: Sat 14-Nov-15
Project visits. Transfer to Addis. Day room & dinner. Flight to LHR
THE EVENT MANAGEMENT TEAM
This challenge event will have the following key people who will be introduced at the challenge briefing on the first day:
• Event Manager: direct all movements and manage all personnel. Liaison and rescue management. Ake Lindstrom
• Head Guide: day to day local staff management. Elias Berhe
• Nysala Guides Association / Local guides guides x 2
• Cooks x 2
• Driver guides: vehicle support
• Camp crew: setting camp and camp waiters. Arrange water / food services / making tents / breaking camp
• Horses + Horsemen – approx. 3 to 4 horses per person.
ON THE GROUND TEAM
Operations base: in contact normally 3 times daily (does depend on the day’s route) with our challenge team, our operations team monitors your challenge from our base, checking your performance as well as all crew members. The base team check every item that goes on the expedition and also ensures that everything is checked in, washed, dry cleaned and repaired on return.
MAIN EXPEDITION EQUIPMENT
|CLIENT TENTS||3 Pup Tent used for 2 people|
|3 Inch Mattress|
|MESS TENT||Walk in Mess Fly Sheet|
|SAFETY DEVICES||Stocked First Aid Kit|
|Custom Evacuation Stretcher|
|Satellite Phones (NOT for personal use)|
|Full Trip and Safety briefing|
The following are the basic layouts and information on accommodation for the camping
sections. There are some nights that are spent in lodges and or hotels, notably at the end. It is
important to note that most nights will be spent camping. That means that whilst we try to
make this as comfortable as possible, water for showers will be limited to around 15 liters per
person per day. Most toilets will be short drop style with a portable toilet seat and toilet tent.
On the challenge it is essential to try and eat as much as possible and to keep very well hydrated. We cannot stress enough the importance of keeping hydrated. A CamelBak or some similar water bladder that you can have easy and continual access to water when riding is an essential item – do not forget it.
The basic routine is:
1. Morning fuel up: carbohydrates with a mixture of other food and fruit.
2. Daytime snacks: keep your energy levels up and replenish lost fuel and minerals.
Bananas are always on hand but bringing your favourite energy bars / goos / energy
tablets, and plenty of them, is a good idea.
3. Lunch break: some down time with breads, fruits, mixed nuts and fluid.
4. Afternoon snacking as per the day time snacks.
5. Dinner: plenty of carbohydrates with a meat / sauce / vegetables.
Please note that people with special dietary requirements can normally be accommodated, but
please let us know if you have ANY allergies or dislikes.
A Sample Menu
• A selection of fresh fruits
• Cooked meal – eggs, tomato, toast
• Tea / coffee / hot chocolate
Lunch is often taken on route in the form of a picnic lunch. Your cook sets this up in advance. A typical picnic lunch would include:
• Fresh vegetables
• Fruit juice
• Sandwiches with cheese and ham or some similar
• Chocolate bar
• Hot soup
• Tea / coffee / hot chocolate
• Entrée of soup with bread
• Main course of a carbohydrate, such as rice or pasta with a meat or vegetarian dish
• Dessert, for example banana fritters or fruit
• Tea / coffee / hot chocolate
Mineral water will be provided throughout. We budget around 5 liters per person per day but do not limit it to this.
Each day you should have 3 liters of water on you when you start. For the entire day you should be drinking between 4 and 6 liters of water. Each person is different, but a simple rule is that your urine should be clear and copious: if it isn’t, keep drinking. We cannot stress enough that keeping hydrated is essential. Your guides will be carrying extra water on route every day in their packs – if you run out just ask them for some water. Extra water is in the support vehicles which are in front of and behind the group.
We are very keen to ensure that where possible, we leave as little trace of our time on the trail as possible. Our crews are instructed to remove all rubbish from each and every camp, including all food scraps. Crews are also instructed to avoid damaging any flora in setting up of camps. We ask our guests to be very sensitive to the environment as to make sure that all waste, from paper wrappers to bottle tops, are given to the crew to pack away so that we can
take it all back to town or to a suitable disposal point. Please report any litter abuse and if you see other companies being reckless then let us know. We can inform the authorities and apply pressure through our member associations.
We practice Leave No Trace Principles and also Carbon Offset our climbs. For more info see our website.
KIT LIST / WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING
If you know you will not have an item please let us know well in advance. This is especially true of items such as sleeping bags – we have plenty in our stores but everything is pre packed and so advance warning is required.
SUPPLEMENTARY KIT LIST
These listed items are simply things that could make your hike more comfortable or items that
are not seen as essential.
• High energy bars: you should keep eating all day long and our guides will be handing out extra chocolate and sweets on route, but having extra is fine.
• Wet wipes, antibacterial: great addition
• Personal first aid kit: we provide first aid kits but you may like to bring your own, especially if you are allergic to certain drugs, or want added items. Knee supports,
sanitary towels, sun block (listed in essential items), blister treatment, oral re-hydration sachets and talcum powder are all potential items you might like to bring with you.
• Cordial or other water flavoring
• Plastic bags – to separate dirty laundry and as a failsafe if you do not have a rucksack cover. Keeps out water and or dust.
• Playing cards
• Pencil & paper for the trip log!
• Ear – plugs.
• Pocket – knife.
• Spare contact lenses* and/or glasses and/or dentures.
MEDICAL / INSURANCE
We advise that all guests have a medical check up before attempting this event. This is especially relevant if you are above 40 years of age, or if you have had any conditions in the past that limited your ability to exercise. This event is 6 days long – your body will be exposed to more stresses and strains than normal life and so being prepared – having a medical check up being one part of your preparation, is a good idea. We also require that all guests take out comprehensive travel insurance that specifically covers mountain biking / adventure sports. For more info: http://www.adventureinternational.com/footer/insurance/ This should cover you in case of hospitalization as well as
evacuation from Ethiopia if the need arises.
Most people bring a camera with them.. We have found that over the years the specification and
performance of small digital compact cameras has improved phenomenally, and they are
lightweight. These sorts of camera are ideal for day-to-day shots as they can be kept on your
person tucked away in a pocket. Here are a few points to consider:
• Weight matters. Better to use decent phone camera OR compact camera
• It will get wet. Bring a waterproof case to store any electrical items reliably
To read more on this Challenge event, trainig prgrams to undertake before going on this challenge as well as golden rules for this trip, please download the Bale Mountains Challenge Event Information Pack here.