Walks and Scrambles in the Moroccan Anti-Atlas
Tafraout, Jebel El Kest, Ait Mansour, Ameln Valley, Taskra and Tanalt
By David Wood
Guidebook to 41 graded walks and scrambles in the Anti-Atlas mountains of southern Morocco. Routes from 3 to 25km, including a summary of a 1-week long-distance trail from the north to the south of the Anti-Atlas. Covers 6 main areas, including Tafraout, Jebel El Kest, Ait Mansour, Ameln Valley, Taskra and Tanalt.
SeasonsOctober through April with hotter periods moderated by altitude, low humidity and a frequent light breeze. Weather events can sometimes bring cold conditions and snow on the summits especially in mid-winter.
CentresTafraout and the Ameln Valley are the major bases with the Kasbah Tizourgane at Ida Ougnidif providing a shorter-stay option.
DifficultyThe routes best suit confident walkers and scramblers with a sense of adventure. Walks range from easy (2hr) to very difficult (13hr) explorations. Easy and moderate options require basic fitness and route-finding ability. The graded scrambles (1 to 3S) should appeal mainly to experienced scramblers.
Must SeeThe mountains of Jebel El Kest (2375m) and Adrar Mqorn (2344m) which dominate Tafraout, the strange eroded and weathered rock formations, the deep gorges of Ait Mansour and the skyline rim, the springtime flowers of the Tizi N'Takoucht escarpment, the Ameln Valley villages and the elusive Adad Medni.
The walks and scrambles in this guidebook explore the wild and rugged landscapes of the Anti-Atlas mountains of southern Morocco, with Tafraout and the Ameln Valley as the main base. 41 adventurous routes of between 3 and 40km include Jebel el Kest, Adra Mkorn and Ait Mansour, with an outline of a 1 week long-distance trek across the north-west Anti-Atlas. Walks are mainly moderate to difficult, and scrambles are Grade 1 to Grade 3+, with ropes being required for some sections. Often remote and challenging, the routes are suitable for confident walkers and scramblers with good navigation skills.
Each route description is accompanied by mapping, with some photo topos to aid route finding in tricky sections. The guidebook also gives background information on the people, culture and history of the region, as well as a wealth of advice on planning a trip, making it an indispensable guide to exploring this dramatic region.
The mountains and landscapes of the Anti-Atlas extend over 300km north east from the Atlantic Ocean to Jebel Sirwa (3305m). This guidebook covers an area of more than 4000m² in the north-west of the region. The spectacular, rugged surroundings include mountains, gorges, valleys and desert landscapes - whether it is the iconic Lion's Face which dominates the Ameln Valley and the Tafraout oasis, the deep canyons of Ait Mansour, the ancient villages of the Ameln Valley, or the Tanalt backcountry.
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Based in West Lancashire, David is a keen walker, photographer and rock climber. As a frequent traveller he has followed his pursuits in over 20 countries across five continents. David worked initially in the police service, following which he taught in secondary and adult education. He subsequently worked as a psychologist with children and adults in the public sector. After developing an interest in the mountains as a young teenager through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, David completed the Pennine Way at the age of 17. He improved his rock climbing in his thirties largely through the influence of the Fylde Mountaineering Club. During frequent climbing visits to Morocco with the Club he became increasingly aware of the potential for walking and scrambling and in March 2015 he returned with his partner Halina to explore and document the routes in this guidebook.View author profile
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