Traverse of the High Atlas of Marrakech (June 18-24, 2006)

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The itinerary is shown below (red line). Click here for a high-resolution topographic map of the area.

itinerary3

 

Notes: This map is extracted from Montagnes du Maroc, by Herve Galley, Editions Olizane, Geneve, Suisse, 2004. ISBN 2-88086-302-3 (in French). This excellent book describes several treks and ski trips in Morocco. For this particular trip, I used the services of a guide (and a mule). My guide, Brahim Ait El Kadi, was arranged through Mohamed Bouinbaden in Imlil (iminouAsif@wanadoo.ma, http://www.imlil.ma/)

 

 

June 18: Imlil (1700m) to Azib Tifni (2820m), through Tizi n-Tarharat (3460m)

 

I left Marrakech around 6:30am and start hiking from Imlil at 9am. It was raining in Marrakech, and it continued raining most of day in the mountain. The weather was cool (but not cold), making the ascent of Tizi n-Tarharat easier than I had expected, despite the 1800m gain in elevation.

 

My Berber guide, Brahim Ait El Kadi...

 

...the muleteer, and his mule.

 

Descent from Tizi n-Tarharat toward Azib Tifni.

 

 

June 19: Azib Tifni (2820) to Asif Taroukht (2600m), along Asif Tifni and through Tizi n-Oumchichka (3000m)

 

This was an easy day, sunny in the morning, but cloudy again in the afternoon.

 

Sunrise over the mountains above Azib Tifni.

 

Rock cliffs above Azib Tifni (toward Djebel Aksoual). This looks like a good rock-climbing area.

 

Looking east to the Asif Tifni valley from the small pass above Azib Tifni.

 

 

Large azibs before reaching Azib Likemt.

 

 

 

 

Another view of the same azibs.

 

Fields at Azib Likemt.

 

View toward Jebel Toubkal from the Asif Tifni valley.

 

Between two layers of clouds at Tizi n-Oumchichka.

 

The first azib below Tizi n-Oumchichka near Asif Taroukht.

 

 

June 20: Along Asif Taroukht and Asif n-Oufra to Azib Assaka (2000m), through the village of Amenzel (2350m)

 

This was a sunny day. As it was a relatively short hike to reach Azib Assaka, I started the day by hiking upward along Asif Taroukht, before turning back. Later in the afternoon, from Azib Assaka, I went down the gorge of Asif n-Oufra toward the village of Tamatert.

 

Juniperus on the rocks.

 

The village of Amenzel (it does not seem well protected against rock falls).

 

 

 

 

 

Cultivated terraces below Amenzel.

 

View over the gorge of Asif n-Oufra below Amenzel.

 

 

At the pass between Amenzel and Azib Assaka, with the Yagour plateau in the background.

 

Summit of mount Arjout (3741m) in the background on the left, which we will climb on the next day, seen from the pass.

 

Looking down at Azib Assaka during the descent from the pass.

 

Asif n-Oufra near Azib Assaka.

 

In the fields of Azib Assaka.

 

Some amazing water canals along Asif n-Oufra below Azib Assaka.

 

 

 

June 21: From Azib Assaka (2000m) to Imi n-Tilst (2200m), through the Aguerskaoun ridge, mount Arjout (3741m), and the high gorges of Asif Zat

 

This was the hardest day. From Tizi-n-Tamatert, we climbed along the long (but easy) Agerskaoun ridge to reach the summit of Arjout. Then we hiked down into the narrow gorges of Asif Zat. Some short passages in the gorges were quite steep and somewhat exposed. On that day the muleteer and his mule took another path via the village of Setti Fatma and Tizi-n-Tilst.

 

The trail above Azib Assaka (this picture was actually shot the day before) from the other side of the canyon.

 

Morning view of the village of Tamatert still in the shade, from the Agerskaoun ridge.

 

 

Looking north while climbing along the Agerskaoun ridge.

 

View toward the east from the summit of mount Arjout (3741m).

 

The source of Asif Zat, just slightly north of Arjout.

 

Descending from mount Arjout into the gorges of Asif Zat.

 

In the high gorges of Asif Zat.

 

 

 

June 22: From Imi n-Tilst (2200m) to Tillouguit (1400m) along Asif Zat

 

This was another cloudy day. It was a fairly long hike, but an easy one. We passed by several villages.

 

Village of Tarzirt.

 

 

Village of Zrouene.

 

 

Another village.

 

Snack along Asif Zat.

 

The end of the gorges of Azib Zat just before reaching the village of Imerguene.

 

 

June 23: From Tillouguit (1400m) to Aguerd (1600m), through Tizi n-Ikkis (2300m) and the plateau of Yagour

 

View from Tizi n-Ikkis.

 

Views of the Yagour plateau and some of its villages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Azib n-Ikkis.

 

Adrar Meltzene (3595m).

 

Waterfalls in the small canyon descending from the Yagour plateau to Aguerd.

 

 

 

June 24: From Aguerd (1600m) to Tazzitount (1250m) in the Ourika valley

 

Mount Arjout (again) viewed from the village of Anammer.

 

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