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Discover the Moroccan High Atlas with a Cicerone guidebook

Cover of Mountaineering in the Moroccan High Atlas
15 Feb 2011
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.6cm
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Mountaineering in the Moroccan High Atlas

Walks, climbs & scrambles over 3000M

by Des Clark
Book published by Cicerone Press

This guidebook describes 50 walks, climbs and scrambles in the Moroccan High Atlas. The routes were written with winter conditions in mind and are suitable for experienced winter mountaineers and walkers. The routes cover 30 peaks and are all above 3000m with the highest being Jbel Toubkal at 4167m.

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Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 1.6cm
Weight: 280g

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The High Atlas mountains of Morocco have mountaineering potential galore. With 7 major summits over 4000m, and myriad other remote and little-climbed summits, the region offers countless challenges for experienced winter climbers and scramblers looking for adventure.

This guidebook contains full route descriptions for 50 walks, climbs and scrambles on 30 peaks right across the range from Taroudant in the south-west to Midelt in the north-east, all easily accessible from Marrakech airport. Each route is graded by remoteness, navigational difficulty and commitment.

The mountains of the High Atlas seldom drop below 3000m so naturally all the summits and routes are over 3000m, so some mild affects of altitude, such as shortness of breath, may initially be felt, particularly on the 4000m summits. This may affect initial performance, but most people should get used to the altitude in a few days. There are at least seven mountains that reach over 4000m; the highest of these is Jbel Toubkal at 4167m.

While the vast majority of routes in the guidebook can be undertaken in the late spring and autumn, the emphasis is on winter ascents (from early November to mid-April). All the routes in this guidebook assume a certain amount of winter mountain experience on your part, the majority of the routes were written with winter conditions in mind.

This guidebook divides the range into three regions, using two road passes as boundaries, and the routes are described under the following regional sections.

•    west of Tizi n-Test (routes from Taroudant)
•    between Tizi n-Test and Tizi n-Tichka (routes from Imlil and Oukaimeden)
•    east of Tizi n-Tichka (routes from Ait Bougammez, Zawat Ahansal and Midelt)

  • Activities
    scrambling, climbing, walking
  • Seasons
    All routes described can be undertaken in the spring and autumn, but most have been described with a winter ascent in mind.
  • Centres
    Taroudant, Marrakech, Imlil, Oukaimeden, Ait Bougammez, Zawat Ahansal, Midelt
  • Difficulty
    Most of the technical climbing grades fall within the Alpine F- to AD range; also included are the author's own grades for remoteness, navigation and commitment.
  • Must See
    all the 4000m peaks in the High Atlas, including Jbel Toubkal in the central region and Ighil Mgoun in the east, and Jbel Tinergwet, Jbel Awlim and the Tichka plateau in the south-west
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European exploration
The Berbers
Local customs and etiquette
Building styles
Plants and flowers
When to go
Visas and permits
Planning and maps
Tourist information
Getting to Morocco
Getting around Morocco
Mules and porters
Local guides
What to take
Health and safety
Communication and navigation aids
Respecting the environment
Using this guide

West of Tizi n-Test


Jbel Tinergwet

1  Jbel Tingerwet south-west ridge
2  Jbel Tingerwet west-north-west ridge

Jbel Awlim

3  Jbel Awlim south-west ridge
4  Jbel Awlim south ridge


5  Imaradene from the east
6  Imaradene from the south and west


7  Awlim north-east ridge

Awrir n-Said

8  Awrir n-Said west ridge

Additional routes

Between Tizi n-Test and Tizi n-Tichka


Getting to the refuges from Imlil

Traverses between Lepiney and Toubkal refuges

 9  Toubkal refuges via Tizi Aguelzim
10  Toubkal refuges via Tizi n-Tadat
11  Toubkal refuges via Clochetons breche
12  Toubkal refuges via Tizi Melloul and Tizi Afella


13  Tazaghart via Tizi Melloul
14  Tazaghart Diagonal Couloir
15  Tazaghart Descent Couloir


16  Biguinoussene from Tizi n-Tadat
17  Biguinoussene south ridge


18  Afella via Tizi Melloul
19  Afella via Aougdal Bou Tiouna


20  Akioud north-north-west ridge

Ras and Timesguida n-Ouanoukrim

21  Ras and Timesguida n-Ouanoukrim east ridge from Tizi n-Ouagane
22  Ras and Timesguida n-Ouanoukrim north-east couloir
23  Ras and Timesguida n-Ouanoukrim north-west ridge

Jbel Toubkal

24  Jbel Toubkal south cwm south col
25  Jbel Toubkal north cwm north col
26  Jbel Toubkal north-east ridge
27  Jbel Toubkal south-west (Ouanoums) ridge
28  Jbel Toubkal south-east ridge

Toubkal West

29  Toubkal West north-east ridge


30  Imouzzer north cwm north col south-west ridge


31  Angour north side ledge
32  Angour west ridge


33  Anrhemer west ridge

Bou Iguenouane

34  Bou Iguenouane via Amazzer Meqqoren
35  Bou Iguenouane ridge traverse (north to west-south-west)

Aksoual and Azrou n-Tamadot

36  Tizi Likemt to Tizi n-Tagharat traverse

Additional routes

East of Tizi n-Tichka       

Ait Bougammez

Getting to Tarkeddit refuge

37  Tarkeddit refuge from Agouti           
38  Tarkeddit refuge from Sebt Ayt Bou Wlli
39  Tarkeddit refuge from Tondout

Ighil Mgoun and Mgoun West

40  Ighil Mgoun and Mgoun West from Tarkeddit refuge
41  Ighil Mgoun and Mgoun West north-east ridge (traverse)

Oumassin and Aslad

42  Oumassin and Aslad from Tarkeddit refuge


43  Aklim from Tarkeddit refuge or Tatrarat


44  Tarkeddit ridge – east to west traverse

Zawat Ahansal


45  Ouaougoulzat west summit
46  Tagafayt


47  Azurki north-east to south-west ridge traverse
48  Azurki north face couloirs


Jbel Maasker

49  Jbel Maasker via Inifif

Jbel Ayyachi, Sayd ou Addi and Ichichi n-Boukhlib

50  Jbel Ayyachi, Sayd ou Addi and Ichichi n-Boukhlib via the Cirque de Jaffar

Additional routes

APPENDIX A  Further reading
APPENDIX B  Useful words and phrases
APPENDIX C  Route summary table
APPENDIX D  Refuge summary table

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