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International Mountain Leader, Winter and Summer Mountain Leader

Blog for May 31st, 2015

May 31st, 2015
Morocco, Down to valley then up to Adrar n'Ouaourege ridge
Wild camp at 3,800 metres

I still needed to finish the descent into the valley and through the village of Azib Likemt to get to the Adrar n'Ouaourege ridge
Wild camp spot to north of Azib Tamenzift
Stream flowing down from Cresta Fouzrou n'Ougouti
The gulley continued to have steep sides as I descended but eventually it opened out
Steep sides to gulley
Nearly at the valley
Looking south to Azib Tamenzift
Walking along the valley, pausing at each small hamlet, I hoped someone would wish to get some money from me by offering mint tea
Path going through terraced fields
Damaged roof showing construction method
No tea
The men were working in the field and as women weren't meant to approach men there weren't the usual offers of mint tea

I chose to explore the valley to Azib Akoutchim village where the map showed the path would end
Stream flowing in path
Food
When I got to the last house at Azib Akoutchim, I spotted a couple of ponies. This probably meant someone connected with tourists, although I hoped there wouldn't be any

A young man, called Bribe, came out to greet me. He offered me tea and whilst boiling water he asked me if I wanted to eat. After my meal he offered me a tomato, green pepper and onion as a 'picnic'. I gratefully accepted these and paid for them and the meal

Bribe told me about a shortcut to the other side of the valley to avoid going back around on the main path. Walking along the path I could just about make out hoof marks in the pebble scree
Looking back down after shortcut
The gradient of the path ascending to Tizi Tougroudadene was lower than the previous day's one to Tizi Likemt so the walk was easy
Tizi Tougroudadene col at eastern end of Adrar n'Ouaourege ridge
Arriving at Tizi Tougroudadene I saw a hillock a short distance to the north so I went off to explore
Small hillock to north of Tizi Tougroudadene
When I came back to the col is was 17:00 so decided there would be enough time to ascend the 400 metres and go along the Adrar n'Ouaourege ridge
Looking up to start of ascent to Adrar n'Ouaourege ridge
There were still snow patches to the side but the broad ridge itself was clear of snow
Snow patterns on Adrar n'Ouaourege ridge
As I was going up the mist came in and visibility reduced to 50-100 metres
Mist starting to come in
Navigation
There were a number of small tops along the ridge. I'd approached one of them at an angle to avoid some large rocks. I stopped for some water

Visibility was less than 50 metres so I took a bearing to ensure I started in the right direction. It felt different to the direction I thought I'd be heading. A quick check on the map that the bearing was in the right direction and time to trust the compass and head off into the mist
It was starting to get darker. A change in the direction of the ridge near its end gave a good navigation feature to help identify my location in the mist

I dropped down to a broad col. It was rocky and I didn't want to lose too much height but eventually I found an area I could clear of rocks to camp at 3,800 metres

Visibility improved
Looking up to Adrar n'Ouaourege ridge
I camped behind a rock to shelter from the wind. The ground wasn't flat and I knew I'd be sliding down the tent during the night. That combined with the noise of the tent flapping in the wind meant it was going to be difficult to sleep. Still, I'd be resting my legs

For dinner, I just had the biscuits that Bribe had given me
Looking south to Adrar Azrou Isoualen