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Guida Alpina - professionisti dell'alta quota

Ski mountaineering in Morocco

When one thinks of backcountry its difficult that ones thoughts wonder to Marocco. Instead the splendid place of North Africa, with peaks higher than 4 000mt. covered in snow from High Atlas that dominates the hot desert, its certainly a destination to take in consideration.

Roberto Rossi organizes 7 days (flight included from Italy) of delirious mountaineering skiing in a place extremely fascinating and different to what we are use to seeing.

The area in question is found about an hour and a half by car from Marrakech. The place where we part for all the itineries is Imlil village. The rock of the massif is volcanic, like the structure and form, quite a lot of our Giulie Alps for the steep channels or the Brenta group for certain spacious valleys and the flat peaks are in some ways alike. The primary exposure of the slopes and the steepness of the slopes in the north prevents an immediate transformation of the snow, in spite of the latitude and the remarkable suns rays that give a wonderful warm sensation, when there is no wind, already from early in the morning.

Minimum number of participants: 4 people

Rate for the guide: € 437.50 per person

Indication of the rate for the flight: +- € 350.00


Day 1: Plane flight to Marrakesch and transfer on bus to Imlil where we stay overnight.

Day 2: Starting on foot from the village to Nelter Refuge (CAF proerty). Altitude: +- 1 500mt. Duration: from 4:30 to 6 hours. From Imlil re-ascend the narrow valley on a path to Aroumd village. From here we cover the spacious plane and ascend the path along the valley on the right side of the orographic that takes us to S’Chamharouch sanctuary village (a miraculous place for its cure of impotence and madness, unfortunately only for the Moslems) with reasonable slopes and crossing over a mountain stream bridge at the end. After passing the village the path becomes steep to the altitude of 2 600mt. and, remaining on the left of the orographic, we see some balcony characteristics of reddish rock that welcomes a well deserved rest. From here the snow usually starts and in one hour we reach the Refuge.

Day 3: RIF. NELTNER – AKIOUD 4 010mt. Altitude: +- 800 + 100 mt. Duration: 3 hours + 30 min. From the Refuge following the main valley going up a hundred meters entering an altitude of about 3 350mt. The first visible channel on the left of the orografics, narrow and steep, leads to a spacious slope with a moderate angle that we re-ascend towards the left leaving on the right an evident forking (continuations of the structure and form from the first channel). Re-ascending the slope until the forking of the two channels. The crest is reached from the right oblique channel. From the small forking of the crest, following the slopes that are not always covered in snow on the north face, along gravel and boulders until the peak. Descending to the forking and putting on the skis to descend a steep channel to the bi-forking that we saw when ascending, then we re-ascend by foot with the seal skins to COL DE L’AMGUIRD another 100mt. altitude, from where we descend on the opposite face passing under the small channel of RAS N’PUANOUKRIM. Then on a steep channel we re-connect the route that descends from TIZI N’OUAGANE. Amazing trip with panoramas of Toubkal and the desert.

Day 4: RIF. NELTNER – TOUBKAL 4 165mt. Altitude: +-1 000mt. Duration: 4 hours. From the Refuge ascending 50mt. altitude then crossing a stream and traversing towards the valley that enters in a big channel with high slopes that become more sweet. The last steep descend takes us to the saddle of Toubkal, from the saddle making a big turn towards the left along gravel and the crest to the peak. With good snow covering, descend with skis without difficulty from the peak. Unfortunately the strong winds often sweep the snow away and we can only descend from the saddle area at 3 800mt. altitude. great panoramas. The classic trip for excellence from the High Atlas.

Day 5: RIF. NELTNER – RAS OUANOUKRIM – TIMESGUIDA 4 089mt. Altitude: +-900+150mt. Duration: 4 hours. From the Refuge to TIZI N’OUGANE; coming out of a narrow channel and off to the right to ascend another steep and narrow channel that takes us to a spacious slope. In the direction of the evident narrow and steep north east channel, wedged between the rocks that lead straight to the saddle area 10mt. under the RAS OUANOUKRIM peak. We ascend the peak, passing through a narrow area, following along the right of the saddle to the peak. From the saddle in the opposite direction we descend to a spacious basin from where the TIMESGUIDA peak is easily reached, which is flat and very spacious. Once returned to the saddle we descend the channel (from the beginning to the end of the narrow area it is very steep for this reason in case of doubt, its better to leave the skis at the base of the narrow area) and the spacious slopes below returning to the Refuge. This route is definitely more demanding than the others, but the hard work is rewarded by ascending two peaks above 4 000mt. altitude; with amazing panoramas, and technical skiing. Return to Valle and a berber party at Imlil.

Day 6: Bus to Marrakech… big night!!!

Day 7: return to Italy on the plane.

* Accommodation and transfers in bus are to be added to the costs (the foreseen amount is about 300 euro all included).

Necessary Gear: Other than the normal gear for mountaineering skiing its compulsory to have an arva, shovel and probe, crampons, harness and ice-axe and a battery operated head-light.