High Atlas Trek – part 1 Imi Oughlad to Azaden Valley

I’ve not had time to write up much from my holiday, but will share a few photos with you here. The first batch of pictures I’ve uploaded to Flickr are from the trekking part of our holiday.

We had a lovely group of fellow trekkers – 16 in total, including two guys (father and son) from Iceland. (Small world moment: Will showed us a photo of his old family home (now only used as a summer holiday home) in the uninhabited peninsular of Hornstrandir, in NW Iceland. We had walked past this house when we backpacked through this area on our last trip to Iceland).

Mohamed, our guide was brilliant. He had a great sense of humour and managed the group very well – even if we teased him a bit when he told us one night “Bedtime is at 8pm”. The early night was because the following day we had wake up call at 4am, breakfast at 4.30 and start walking at 5am.

The trek started at the small mountain village of Imi Oughland about 2 hours drive south of Marrakesh. Our luggage was loaded onto the mules who carried our stuff for the week and we started walking. The first day we had about 600m of climbing to the Tacht Pass at 2000m, then about 300m descent to the Azaden Valley. It is good practice to ‘walk high; sleep low’ to help acclimatisation and prevent altitude sickness.

Toubkal start - Imil Oughlad

Toubkal Trek

It may look as though we are going in different direction below; that’s ‘cos the path zig-zagged down the steep slope!

Toubkal Trek

They are extending the road netowrk and soon this former mule track will be a surfaced road

Toubkal Trek

The irrigation channels in this area provide water for apples amongst other crops.

Toubkal trek - irrigation channels

We passed this local Berber woman carrying a huge load of grass

Toubkal trek - heavily laden Berber villager

Our first night’s accommodation on trek was a basic gite in this small mountain village

Toubkal trek

Toubkal trek - basic gite accommodation

Dinner on the terrace

Toubkal trek - dinner on the terrace

Toubkal trek - one bedroom in the gite

More photos here

Part 2

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