Teresa messaged me to say ‘we’re all in grey t-shirts and neckerchiefs so easy to spot’ and sure enough I soon spotted the group smiling and laughing despite the 1 am start to get to the airport. After the flight and a night in Marrakesh we were off on our journey to the mountains.
We started at the ski resort of Oukaimeden, a bit of a less-used trail and didn’t see many others for the first day except three excited Danish guys who kept running past us and then would be napping round the next corner and so on. The last 15 minutes before we reached Tacheddirt, a hail storm hit and we were in for a bit of a drenching, however, this was our only bad weather for the trip so not too bad overall. Arriving we had a late lunch and then were free to enjoy the peace and quiet of the surroundings. With beautiful views across the valley this was a great place for some Tai Chi in the sunshine!
The next day we headed on towards Aroumd and stopped at a café in the pass for refreshments. Once in Aroumd we had time that afternoon to search for the Berber’s Secret Geocache. The next day was a longer one and we walked up to the Mouflons hut, stopping by the river for a luxurious picnic lunch. Millie the mule followed us up (we’d named her Millie as her owner simply said her name was ‘Mule’).
On arrival at the huts we didn’t rest for long before heading out to get on some snow and practise crampon and ice axe skills – a first for everyone in this group. A lot of good practice went in and next on the agenda was a well-deserved coffee and tea break. After dinner it was time to get an early night in preparation for our summit attempt the next day.
The next morning we set off as one big group but soon split into a 6 and a 3 as there were different speeds within the group. It was a lovely day, sunny and low winds, as we made our way steadily upwards. A lot of persistence was put in by the group to reach the summit and it was well deserved. On the way down the group rejoined as it had been pleasant enough for the others to stop for a long lunch.
Arriving at the hut to a feast prepared by Hamid, the group had a night to rest before we made our way back to Aroumd. At Aroumd it was an afternoon of enjoying the sunshine on the veranda and singing guide songs which was very entertaining. After dinner there was some time to play Mafia and sort out the suspicious members of the group!
We wandered down to Imlil the next day and it was time to say goodbye to Mohammed, our local guide. Back in Marrakesh we spent the afternoon eating on the rooftops around the square enjoying the bustling atmosphere and then exploring the souks. The week went quickly but it’ll be a week for everyone to remember and already they’re planning their next expedition – Everest Base Camp.