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Toubkal winter Adventure part two - Ras and Timesguida.....

Toubkal winter Adventure part two - Ras and Timesguida.....


Postby wilkiemurray » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:28 pm

Date walked: 08/02/2014

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Following our successful summiting of Toubkal the rest of the adventure lay ahead of us.....

http://youtu.be/b_AWH6qj6-Y?list=UUJyJKu3ysdceGqK_JaZFUNA

The next day, Day 4, and we decided to have a rest day before heading for Ras and Timesguida on Day 5! We slept well and had a leisurely start, with breakfast at nearly 10.00am!!! The rest of the day was spent reading and drinking more tea. The wind had died down completely now and when the sun reached the patio we headed out side and relaxed in the sun. The heat from the sun meant we were reading and drinking tea in our tea shirts!

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Day 5 and we were headed for Ras and Timesguida n-Ouanoukrim early. The alarm had us up before 0500am and with no electric in the refuge at that time, we fumbled about with our head torches getting the kit ready. Another nice brekky and coffee and off we went in the dark.

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These two 4000m peaks had a much more remote feel about them and in fact we never saw another sole on the mountain until we returned to the refuge. We had these entirely to ourselves today, and what a day. As we headed through the flat valley floor before the rise to the Tizi, the dawn light lit up some high cirrus to a bright pink oil painting in the sky! – fantastic!.

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The wind was no where near as breezy as when we had gone up Toubkal , although it was noticeable on the East ridge. Having climbed up through a small gorge we headed directly up steep scree slopes and onto the East Ridge. The ridge was fantastic and a lot more hands on than expected. With a mixture of snow, ice and rock some scrambling on the rock was intermixed with ice and snow pitches. Much fun. However always in the back of the mind though was the fact that should anything happen, even a twisted ankle, then help is a long , long way away.!! However all was well and after some more scrambling we reached the top of the ridge. The weather was great, but we were aware should the clag come down then finding this spot would be essential. There were a few other ridges and a lot of steep ground around and finding the top of this ridge on the return was important.

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A little while later and the rocky summit of Ras presented itself! A spectacular snow bridge with far flung views awaited as we approached Ras A final easy scramblesaw us reaching the top of the third highest peak in the Atlas
We hadn’t expected there to be any scrambling and for me this was a step above Toubkal in quality – great fun- an amazing summit. However more was to come. Ras is the third highest peak in the Atlas and now we had the second highest to contend with. Timesguida was a stones throw away, and reaching it was reminiscent of crossing the high Cairngorm plateaux.

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The wind swirled and changed direction between these peaks treating us to a “snow devil” show with dancing spindrift captivating us for minutes at a time. Following a phone break (we called home on the sat phone) we headed for Timesguida which was an easy pull from Ras. Once again far flung vistas and a great perspective of Toubkal – perhaps similar to the Bens North face from this side – but on steroids – no walkers route from this view it seemed!!
Although the weather was fine we were wary about finding the top of the East ridge for the correct descent whilst the skies were clear – realistically it would have taken a very rapid change in the weather for the clag to appear – but it can happen. We were also very wary that reaching the summit is only halfway and scrambling down is more taxing than scrambling up, especially above 4000m! However all was well and we eventually found ourselves back below the Tizi and through defile and on easy ground. What a day!! Fantastic. We headed back to the refuge and put our feet up for the rest of the day drinking more – yes you got it – tea!!!

Day 7 and it was time to head to Imlil where we had booked the annex for the night. A leisurely stroll down after a meeting with Mo the porter and the weather continued perfect. Additionally our timing was rather good too as it seemed the refuge huts would be busy given the number of guided parties we met heading up! In addition there were also what seemed like endless mule trains once we had passed the mosque! The scenery really is impressive and when we reached the Mouflon annex in Imlil we spent the rest of the day on the balcony taking in the surroundings in the day light – almost as impressive as our first visit to the balcony when the start and white mountains impressed us!!

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Waking the next morning and the weather had turned with over night rain clearing – seemed we had the weather gods on our side too!!
Next up was a trip and overnight stay in the Old Town of Marrakech where we had booked a Riad. This seemed more scary than hiking in the mountains and indeed it turned out just that way. Although full of atmosphere I never felt 100% comfortable as we headed through the souks and to the Market square before returning to the Riad. Passing King Cobras, Falcons and lots of Monkeys (some wearing nappies!!) we decided that the second day would be spent relaxing in the Riad and on the terrace in the sun- much more comfortable!
All too soon and we were in a taxi headed for the airport. The adventure was heading for its conclusion! However as will such adventures there was a sting in the tail and one more adventure to be had!!

This occurred on the UK side and as we left Manchester airport for the 300 mile drive north the weather reminded us what winter is like in Scotland!! Leaving Manchester around 0100AM snow frequently drifted across both lanes and reduced the pace to a crawl!! Fighting sleep and caffeined up to the hilt – I stumbled into bed at around 0630 in he morning!!!

Last edited by wilkiemurray on Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Toubkal winter Adventure part two - Ras and Timesguida..

Postby ChrisW » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:16 am

Absolutely wonderful 2nd part write up, just breathtaking (no pun intended) :clap: :clap: I don't know where to start with my enjoyment of this report, the great video (the Barra with snakes etc was really interesting) but those summits in those conditions and all to yourself, who could ask for more.

Fantastic video and photos as well as a truly stunning write up, if a vote was available this would get mine for report of the month and then some.

Really enjoyable read/watch, thanks for taking the time to post two great quality pieces :clap: :clap: :clap: :D
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Re: Toubkal winter Adventure part two - Ras and Timesguida..

Postby wilkiemurray » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:53 am

Thanks Chris - hope you liked the video - "The Barras meets Star Wars"!! :wink: :lol:
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Re: Toubkal winter Adventure part two - Ras and Timesguida..

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:31 am

Two great reports of a grand adventure, sights most of us can only dream of :clap:
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Re: Toubkal winter Adventure part two - Ras and Timesguida..

Postby wilkiemurray » Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:07 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:Two great reports of a grand adventure, sights most of us can only dream of :clap:


Thanks John:)

It was not too difficult (or expensive) to do this one - did it ourselves and the most expensive part was the bloomin :lol: vaccines!) :lol:

Great memories though :)
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