In AprilI was invited by World Challenge to go to Morocco and spend a week in the Haute Atlas mountain range. It was an opportunity to see what the company is all about and for them to get a better idea of the guides that will be working with in the future.
“The sun shines bright as we head up the valley towards the refuge, the snow is spotless and we become absorbed by the beauty of these wild mountains.”
A team of eight met up in Marrakech then drove out to Imlil. We walked up to Aroumd the final village that leads to the valley of Toubkal. The contrast of the heat from the city to the coolness of the countryside was impressive, and things were made even more extreme when it began to snow. We set up base camp in Mohamed’s Gite, a comfortable and very welcoming place. We met our guide then began our way up to the Toubkal Refuge. The further we enter the mountains the deeper the snow gets.
The sun shines bright as we head up the valley towards the refuge, the snow is spotless and we become absorbed by the beauty of these wild mountains. We pass mules, porters, hikers, skiers and pilgrims on the way. The refuge is a classic french style refuge and was established by the french alpine club. Each group is looked after by their guide. The different sounds of a multitude of languages fill the air. The ambiance is relaxed and the people are just happy to in the mountains. The sense of belonging and family can be felt amongst the different group members. The return to the city is always difficult. Marrakech is a busing city full of noise and colour. We visit the souks El Bahja, and enjoy some fresh orange juice in the Jamaa el-Fna square. The square come alive when the sun sets. Snake charmers, henna tattoo ladies and the stalls fill up the square. Groups of musicians are dotted in different areas of the square jamming away. The sounds rise in the air like exotic spice. We eat in a restaurant just off the square. The food is good.