The summit area viewed from the west summit
|Elevation||4,550 m (14,930 ft) |
|Prominence||3,997 m (13,114 ft) 
|Isolation||1,483 kilometres (921 mi)|
|Listing||Country high point
|Parent range||Semien Mountains|
|First ascent||1841, by French officers Ferret and Galinier|
Ras Dashen (alternatively Ras Dashan or Ras Dejen Ge'ez ራስ ዳሸን rās dāshen or ራስ ደጀን rās dejen, Amh. "head guard") is the highest mountain in Ethiopia and tenth highest mountain of Africa. Part of Simien Mountains National Park located in Amhara administration of north Gonder zone, it reaches an elevation of 4,550 metres (14,928 ft). The more common form, "Ras Dashen" is a corruption of its Amharic name, "Ras Dejen", used by the system of the Ethiopian Mapping Authority (EMA) which means "the general who fights in front of the Emperor".
According to Erik Nilsson, Ras Dashen is the eastern peak of the rim of "an enormous volcano, the northern half of which is cut down about [a] thousand metres by numerous ravines, draining into the Takkazzi River." Its western counterpart is Mount Biuat (4,510 meters), separated by the valley of the Meshaha river. The mountain is often place to violent snowfalls during the night, but, since daily and night temperatures vary greatly, the snow is almost completely melted in a few hours (during the hottest period of the year) since temperature may be over 5 Celsius degrees by midday. In winter snow falls rarely, since the majority of yearly rainfalls in Ethiopia are in the summer, but if it does it usually lasts for weeks or months.
A mapping survey of the country in the 1960s and 1970s established an elevation of 4,533 metres. The elevation given here is taken from a 2005 publication by the EMA, and is supported to within one metre by a 2007 DGPS Franco-Italian survey (Vigano'-Salvat). The widely quoted elevation of 4,620 metres is inconsistent with all modern surveys and SRTM data.
First Eurasian ascent
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 still partially standing at around 4,300 metres and at less than one hour walk from the summit, was the location of a battle in the nineteenth century.
- "Africa Ultra-Prominences" According to Peaklist.org: "There is a high-divergence of published elevations for Ras Dejen (also spelled Ras Deshen or Ras Dashen). An Italian military survey measured it at 4620m mi, a height that is still often quoted.peaks.html?pk=215 Peakware.com quotes this measurement A new elevation of 4,533m emerged from a 1970s triangulation survey.example: Peakbagger.comand Summitpost.org A subsequent Franco-Italian survey established a height of 4,550m."Peaklist footnote #2. See also Elevation misquotes. Retrieved 2012-09-02.
- "Africa Ultra-Prominences" Peaklist.org. Retrieved 2012-09-02.
- Erik Nilsson, "Traces of Ancient Changes of Climate in East Africa: Preliminary Report", Geografiska Annaler, 17 (1935), p. 13