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International Mountain Leader, Winter and Summer Mountain Leader

Blog for June 3rd, 2015

June 3rd, 2015
Morocco, Arrival at possible Toubkal ascent
Lac de Ifni to Toubkal refuge via Tizi n'Ouanoums col (3,680m)

This is quite a hard walk as it entails ascending nearly 1,400m to the Tizi n'Ouanoums col 3,680m. The path has scree in places for additional energy sapping
Since all the tourist offices were shut the day before I didn't know how much snow there would be. I'd have to risk going up to Tizi n'Ouanoums col with the prospect of coming down again if there was too much snow. It was worth exploring
I had been woken early by the goats, which was good in a way as I could do some of the ascent before it got too hot. Reaching the col was tiring with the heat, lack of sleep and an upset stomach. The latter being useful as the digestive system hadn't produced anything for 4 days
Goats being rounded up for another day in the hills
Nearing the end of the moraine, looking west
The ascent east side of the col only had one patch of snow that could easily be walked around
Looking up to col during ascent
Looking back east
The far west side had more snow and several large patches covering parts of the path with long run-outs to boulders below. Without an ice axe I wasn't going to risk a slip turning into a slide so I bypassed them by descending on the very loose gravel and rock scree
One of the smaller snow patches on the west side of Tizi n'Ouanoums col
The southern end of the Toubkal valley had snow in all of the gullies so that would rule out routes that used Tizi n'Ouagane
First views of the Toubkal valley, looking north from Tizi n'Ouanoums col
I could see tents spread around both refuges and heading down the valley. It was quite a change to what I'd experienced over the last week

It's good to see people enjoying the mountains and tourist money coming in but I hadn't seen any other trekkers for three and a half days

Still my own fault, I had just walked into the most popular area of the region
It started to rain when the refuge came into view. Heavy rain soon turned me into a hypocrite
Looking north towards the refuges at Toubkal
I decided to camp so I could have a shower and use the building to dry off. The newer Les Mouflons refuge is more expensive than the original French one
The French refuge also had a shop so dinner was bought: bread and tinned sardines in tomato sauce. I made sure they were in tomato sauce