• Choqa
  • 4095 m
  • Primary factor 2220 m
  • Ethiopia
  • Location: North 10.71420, East 037.84964 (GPS at the summit)
  • Difficulty: YDS class 1
  • Climbed February 17. 2019.


How to get there:
Debre Markos, some 40 kilometer south of the mountain, is a good starting point. Take the (secondary) road that runs north from Debre Markos, this is a pretty wide and somewhat bumpy dirt road. Follow this to location N10.70416, E37.84322, elevation about 3960m. The main road makes a distinct turn left here, and another pretty good dirt road forks right. The driving time from Debre Markos to this point is likely in the range 1.5 - 2 hours. Take the right fork and continue a short stretch to location N10.71346, E037.85118, elevation about 4060 meter. This is the closest point to the summit.
Route description:
From your car, stroll up on a nice open surface, you will reach the summit in less than 10 minutes. Looking south west, you will notice a competing summit, almost equally high. There is also a communication antenna nearby. This summit has a map elevation of 4094 meter and careful measurements confirmed that it is about one meter lower than the summit point. This competing summit is at location N10.71146, E037.84317, elevation 4094 meter.
We (Richard, Denise, Rob and I) arrived in Addis Ababa around 2200 on Friday, February 15th. We stayed in a nearby airport hotel, meeting our contact Meles that evening. On Saturday, we left at 0720 and got slowed down considerably by a traffic jam outside of the city. The road was actually pretty bad considering that this was a main road (A3). We crossed the Blue Nile, a very impressive gorge, almost 1500 meter lower than the terrain on either side. (The bridge was at about 1100 m elevation, perhaps 50 meter above the river.) We continued to the town Debre Markos. The time was almost 1700, too late to climb the peak (as planned). We had a nice walk of town, then dinner. We learned that many churches in Ethiopia are circular. Tomorrow, we should get our first ultra quite early.
We left at 0700 and rather careful (slow) driving got us to the trailhead in about 2:20 hours. The road was gravel and passed through local communities, then gradually going higher towards the summits that were hidden by clouds. We left at 0925 and were at the summit before 0935. We next walked across to the competing summit. Careful hand-level work by Rob and Richard (both directions) confirmed that our (first) summit was about one meter higher than this competing point. We descended directly down to our car around 1005 and arrived there at 1015. Our driver had moved the car directly below this second summit.
We continued our drive to a distinct saddle at location N11.08132, E37.78985, elevation 2010 meter, where we turned right onto a paved road. From here, we again crossed the Blue Nile at about 1200 meter of elevation and continued up on the east side to the town called Melkane Selam, location N10.74732, E038.75708, elevation 2635 meter. It had been a long day and it was time for a hotel here. The next day, we plan to climb Amba Farit.