Morocco 2010 - Mt Toubkal


It’s surprisingly mild as we leave camp at 5am travelling by moonlight and headtorch, no need for thermals. By 6 the sun is catching the mountains behind us. A fabulous 3 1/2 hour ascent across boulders and loose scree, steeply angled snowfields trenched with deeply trod footsteps. An everchanging vista of snow and black mountains. We cross two cols before the south col - where we get our first sight of the ugly tripod that marks the summit. I’m unaware of the plan to summit as a group and steam on ahead over the last hundred feet, elated at the beauty of the day and the splendor of the view. Khaled is singing what I take to be some local homage to the spirit of the mountain. Half choking with elation I recite some similarly intentioned verses of Tibetan. My elation is crowned when I see the summit is decked with Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags printed with the symbol of the windhorse. Time to burn some Tibetan incense. 4167metres.

Mohamed points out the summit of Jebel Sirwa, the high point of an area south east of the Tichka pass that he and I have discussed trekking into.

A careful descent to base camp where the crew drum us back into camp. Followed by a long but happy descent all the way to the walnut orchards of Imlil, and a light shower of rain. Tips and goodbyes to the crew and a 2 hour drive to Marrakech including a stop at a rather fine Argan oil cooperative run by widowed and divorced women. I buy a sold block of amber perfume and a jar of argan butter, like peanut butter but runny and tasting of argan.

TO VIEW THE PHOTOS: Click on the first photo then scroll through using the arrows below the newly enlarged enlarged image or the forward key on your keypad.