Vertical Ethiopia

There are riots in Kenya, and the glaciers are melting off Mount Kilimanjaro. So author Majka Burhardt and photographer Gabe Rogel went elsewhere to create Vertical Ethiopia: Climbing Toward Possibility in the Horn of Africa (Shama, $37.99). They’ll be showing images from the photo book on the huge IMAX screen at this World Affairs Council event, which includes cocktails and appetizers. It’s easy for peak-bagging Westerners to ride a chopper into some untouched corner of the Third World, hire local porters to lug their gear, claim their trophy, and fly home with their digital snapshots. To her credit, Burhardt, an accomplished big-wall climber and mountain guide, isn’t just some adventure diva looking for the glory of a catalog shot. In the northern Tigray province, close to the Eritrean border where military skirmishes regularly occur, she finds children who wear the crosses of the ancient Ethiopian Orthodox Church as ritual scars on their foreheads. In Addis Ababa, she’s told: “What are these extreme sports? They are an American invention. In Ethiopia, we don’t need them. Life is extreme.” Pacific Science Center IMAX Theater, 200 Second Ave. N., 443-3611, 21 and over. $17-$20. 6 p.m. (Also: Patagonia, 2100 First Ave., 622-9700,, $10, 7 p.m. Sat. April 19.) BRIAN MILLER

Thu., April 17, 6 p.m.; Sat., April 19, 7 p.m., 2008

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