A Climber's Ethiopia


Climbing and culture cross paths in Majka Burhardt and Gabe Rogel’s Vertical Ethiopia: Climbing Toward Possibility in the Horn of Africa ($37.99, majkaburhardt.com). This149-page, full-color vertical-format photo book documents the 2007 journey of Kristie Arend, Burhardt, Helen Dudley, and Caroline George to northern Ethiopia. “Extreme sports?” one Ethiopian asks in the book. “They are an American invention. In Ethiopia, we don’t need them. Life is extreme.” Vertical Ethiopia navigates a rarely explored landscape, with seemingly endless climbing opportunities… were it not for the soft, soft rock. (See Burhardt and Rogel’s feature in No. 263.) The photos document first ascents, but Burhardt and Rogel thoughtfully capture Ethiopian culture, too. Vertical Ethiopia is an artistic book, its appeal reaching far beyond the climbing set.

—Megan Parks