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Published: August 26th 2006
When someone says that the highest mountain in North Africa is literally on your doorstep but it's not on the itinerary as it's a really hard trek, what is one to do but take up the challenge?
With 3 other intrepid souls, and dubbing ourselves "Team Extreme", we set off to scale Mount Toubkhal which reaches 4167 metres.
First day we set off late in the afternoon after a tortuous 5 hour bus journey to Imlil. Got to our camp after 4.5 hours (last half hour in the dark as the sun had already gone behind the mountains). Went up around 1270 metres to 3200 metres. Felt buggered but managed to get through a 3 course candlelight meal of veggie soup, mutton tagine, and melon & mint tea to finish off. Then it was off to bed. Didn't get any sleep as the wind howled all night through the valley.
Arrgghh, woken up next day at 4.30am for brekky, and then hit the trail at 5.30am. Really tough going walking on slippery scree and loose rocks in a strong headwind and all at altitude. It was a 1km uphill climb with no respite. Got there after around 3
OUCH. Have to watch where you walk and what you grab hold of
hours. But it was all worth it once we saw the 360 degree view from the summit. It was so clear you could even see the Sahara Desert in the distance. I was thinking that the girls (Siah and her mates) would have loved this. Celebrated with whisky and some dodgy cigars (tasted like donkey dung, but then again maybe they were).
No pfaffing around though, we had to hotfoot it off the mountain and walk out of the valley to join the rest of the group. That day we walked for 12 hours including going up and down the mountain. Felt totally exhilirated but bloody exhausted. Within 27 hours we had traversed around 25kms.
Tot: 1.781s; Tpl: 0.042s; cc: 10; qc: 33; dbt: 0.0172s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb