A description of a 10 day trip/trek into Toubkal area coming in from the West, Tizi-n-Test Road. Target was to trek in some less touristed areas and take in a 3500m + top or two.
Note: please don't rely on minor place names here, neither i , nor the maps are accurate with these.
30 April 2011 - 10 May 2011
Day 1 - Edinburgh to Marrakech
Good cheap (£90) Ryanair flight from Edinburgh, get into Marrakech centre late (9pm) because bomb at Argana on Jamaa el Fna means tight and slow security at airport. Enough time for some top nosh on the square and buy some dope. Marrakech is cool...
Day 2 - Marrakech to Ijoukak
Heavy rain in Marrakech, (much) later it dawns on me that this is snow in the mountains. Get trek supplies - dried fruit and nuts from the square, cheap cigs, lighters, unleaded petrol for MSR Stove. Everyone very friendly and i'm enjoying compliments and special treatment for my 'bravery' considering the bomb (this doesn't seem to extend to prices which still start off at tourist rates). Shared taxi from Marrakech to Ijoukak (60dhm) on the Tizi-n-Test road to stay at Chez Said. Said's as welcoming and helpful as ever and tagine is magnificent. Still raining on and off and the top quality rak afyum kicks in so I'm lazy... Quick walk in the hills, buy couscous, veg, sweeties and set up transport for Agoundis (market day in Tallat-n-Yaquob so a few minibuses going up next day)
Day 3 - Ijoukak to Agoundis
Agree 100 dhm for place in minibus to Ait Moussa three quarters way up the Agoundis Valley. I think 50dhm is the local rate but the drive is entertaining, weather is wet for walking and i get a front seat. Apparently it takes a day to walk up the Agoudis valley to the last village. The Agoundis valley is beautiful and spectacualr. I walk beyond the last village and camp up for night.
Day 4 - Agoundis to Assif n Tafklast
The Agoundis river splits at the last main village and I have wrongly started on the NE Assif-n-Ouanoukrim branch. This isn't helped by my understanding that I want to go to Ouanoukrim. I don't, I need the Assif-n-Tafklast and the Tizi n Ourgane route, which eventually someone gets me to understand.
Visitor at camp 1
Once i'm in the right valley following the stream is straightforward, with a bit of wading to-fro and up the stream. However I'm puggled and don't go far before finding an Azib (shieling) with friendly owner. I persuade myself this is the last Azib before pass and camp up.
Azib and owner camp 2