Category Archives: Summer

Alpine Ridges Adventure

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Felix on the crux pitch of the SW ridge of Toubkal West 21-6-14

 

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of guiding Felix on some of the classic alpine ridges in the High Atlas. Felix is a seasoned climber with both summer and winter and single and multi-pitch experience climbing experience, so he was well up for a Moroccan climbing adventure.

 

 

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View from the NE ridge of Afella 22-6-14

 

After walking up to the refuge on day one we spent some of the evening going over short-rope techniques that would be useful for the following couple of days. After that, we made our plan for the following day, which would mean a pretty early start (5:00am) to give us plenty of time to enjoy the SW ridge of Toubkal West, AD+.

 

Alpine climbing is all about efficiency which means quick route finding, dialed rope systems and moving quickly and, with Felix being a strong, experienced climber, we managed to stick to the rules of alpine climbing. After finishing the ridge in good time we managed to summit Toubkal as well. For those of you who want the “hard way” up Toubkal then the SW ridge of Toubkal West is the route for you!

 

 

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Me and Felix on the summit of Toubkal 21-6-14

 

On day three we climbed the NE Ridge of the north shoulder of Afella, gaining a height of 3,980m. This ridge is 600m long and an alpine grade of D+. It is a route of commitment and stamina. After a bit of slower start, we gained the ridge and made good time to the summit. The descent is down the main route of the peak of Afella 4,040m. We found the north-facing gully in not the best of conditions with big, weak snow bridges, which meant lowering Felix down 50m rope lengths and me down climbing after him. All was fine, but it did slow down our descent. This gulley line in winter and even into early spring is generally pretty easy going for a descent, but if you are climbing in the area in summer make sure to have the equipment and experience to deal with it in lean condition. This is all part of alpine climbing; you have your toolbox of skills, experience and equipment and you choose the appropriate tools for the situation the mountain throws at you!

 

 

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Gully descent off Afella 22-6-14

 

Well done again to you Felix on taking on some of the biggest and best ridges in the Toubkal Massif and good luck to you on your future climbing adventures!

 

For those with a good amount of rock climbing experience looking to take on some of the great challenges of the High Atlas in Morocco please have a look at our High Atlas Alpine Ridges trips here!

 

Here is some feedback from Felix from the trip:

 

“I had a fantastic time climbing alpine ridges in the Toubkal massif. From the amazing logistics help to the delicious prepared food at the hut, everything was in place to make the most of my short time in the area and get as much climbing in as possible. Climbing with James was a treat, and was a perfect mix of professionalism and friendliness. I was able to use and expand my skill set under a watchful friendly eye, and overall had a tremendous experience with some fantastic people.

 

 

Categories: Alpine Climbing, Blog, High Atlas, instructional, James, Morocco, Mountaineering, Summer
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Trips and Courses for the Summer and Autumn

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Quick update on some of the trekking and climbing trips and courses we are offering over the summer and autumn! The High Atlas still has so much to offer outside of the winter season: great scrambling and trekking, stunning views of colour-filled  landscapes and ancient villages, and epic multi-pitch routes offering hundreds of metres of adventures. Our summer and autumn season lasts from the end of May to late October.

 

Please click on the links below for more details:

 

Drop us an email at morocco@the-mountain-people.com for more details.

Categories: Anti-Atlas, High Atlas, James, Mountaineering, Summer, Tafraout, Trad, Trekking
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Toubkal Winter Conditions #23

 

Latest Toubkal Winter Conditions Report

 

Here are some photos I took yesterday morning of the current snow cover! As you can see winter is officially over. This will be the last winter conditions update from us at The Mountain People. We will start posting the Toubkal Winter Conditions update in the autumn at the first sign of winter!

 

If you are interested summer trekking & mountaineering or rock climbing get in contact with us to find out more about the trips and courses we offer.

 

 

Traverse into the south cwm of Toubkal

Traverse into the south cwm of Toubkal

 

Looking up at the Clochetons and Tadat Col

Looking up at the Clochetons and Tadat Col

 

Last third of the trek into the Toubkal refuges (middle peak Akioud)

Last third of the trek into the Toubkal refuges (middle peak Akioud)

Peak on right Ras, 7-5-14

Peak on right Ras

 

 

Categories: Blog, Conditions, High Atlas, James, Morocco, Mountaineering, Summer, Trekking, Winter
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Toubkal & Trekking Trip | High Atlas, Morocco

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It has been a remarkably cool and wet week in the High Atlas where I was leading a large group who were raising money for charity by trekking from village to village, and finishing with a Toubkal summer ascent.

 

Check out our Facebook page (public album) for some photos from the trek.

 

Our first day ended inauspiciously with a massive thunderstorm, having trekked up from the village of Tamatert in Imlil into the next valley system. The lightning caused thunder to rebound from one end of the sky to the other, and reminded me of the volley of fire from a Tennyson poem I mentioned recently. Some words came to mind as we rushed to escape the storm:

 

A racket of thunder volleying in the eaves of the sky

 

Luckily the damp weather kept the temperatures relatively low, and, of course, brought well-needed moisture to the fields and crops. As we made our way to the Toubkal refuge, one passer-by commented that there had even been snow on the summit at noon the previous day. However, thankfully our summit day was clear of any bad weather, although a little chilly before the sun cleared the surrounding high ridges.

 

All icefalls had long fallen down since James’ last visit in May, and no snow patches or gullies lingered within visible range, so scree and loose rock are the order of the day until new snowfall in the autumn. The refuges seemed busy and easy ways up Toubkal thronged with parties, but I did not notice any climbers or parties on more technical routes.

 

Overall, it was a very enjoyable trip. It is always good to meet a big group of new acquaintances, as I find fascinating the interactions with people from all walks of life and satisfying being able to pass on new skills and knowledge about Morocco.

 

 

This trip was a custom package, combining village to village trekking and a summer Toubkal ascent. If you are thinking of planning a custom trip, see our Custom Trips & Courses page. Otherwise, for accurate information on conditions, weather etc., feel free to get in contact.

 

Categories: Blog, Conditions, High Atlas, Morocco, Simon, Summer, Trekking
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