Our Ski Tour in Morocco took us to 3 different major drainages, each featuring
it’s own hut. Part 2 is about our first trek and our stay at the Lipiney
refuge, also known as the Tazaghart hut, next to the Tazaghart Plateau.
Our skis waiting for the donkey train.
This is the end of the road, but the beginning of our trip.
Princess trying to keep up with the donkeys, free of the souk salesmen at last.
A tale of two villages.
Photo by pp.
Photo by PP.
I love this shot. All the houses on the red dirt side of the canyon are red. All the houses on the grey dirt side of the canyon are grey. What color house do you want?
Pretty sure there’s snow up there somewhere…
In Salt Lake City, skiing usually starts directly outside your car door. The approach to the skiing in Morocco is a little bit longer. First there’s the 10hr flight to Paris. Then the 1 hour commute across Paris to change airports. Then the 3 hr flight to Morocco. Then a couple days to recover and drink orange juice in Marrakech. Then the drive to Imlil, the trek over the pass, the hike through the villages, the continuing up the canyon a few more hours and then “Voila!” your ready to start skiing.
This is where I really started wondering how we would get past a large cliff band that seemed to block our approach. Photo PP.
Princess below the waterfall that you really don’t want to fall off.
Princess above the waterfall that you really don’t want to fall off.
I’ve thankfully never been on Ciochetti’s Ribbon (a semi-famous, puckering traverse at Alta), but skinning up this thin ramp felt like a mini Ciochetti’s to me..
The Lipiney portion of the trip was a very introspective time for me. I felt about as far from home and the modern world as I’ve ever been. At first, the hut seemed to to be perched in an almost impenetrable drainage, isolated. The picture above captures this mood.
Lipiney hut. Wearing crampons to go to the bathroom is highly recommended.
The next morning we tried to keep bruno in our sights as we went up to the Tazaghart Plateau.
We ascended this amazing, twisting and turning couloir.
John, Caroline, and Scott nearing the end of the winding couloir.
This is on the highpoint of the Tazaghart Plateau, where we found a short couloir down to the main drainage.
Bruno set up a hand line to help with getting over a rocky crux.
This is everyone happily regrouping below the couloir. Photo PP.
The night after skiing the Plateau was incredibly windy. I don’t think anyone slept from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. as we layed in our bags, listening to the tempest and even feeling the floors of the stone shelter shake under the strongest gusts. Trying to make it to the outhouse in the middle of the night was probably my most epic adventure ever. In the morning it was obvious that we couldn’t do our intended route up and over to Toubkal. After a Sat phone call that informed us of a bad weather forecast, we retreat to Imlil throught the howling, angry grey.
Thankfully, the winds died down by the time we reached the waterfall traverse.
Hiking down to Imlil was incredibly beautiful and dramatic as the sun went in and out of the clouds.
One of the many beautiful doors we walked by in Imlil. In one of the villages there was a door wrapped in steel that had a very modern pattern printed on it. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that the pattern said “sardines”. The steel sheet originally intended to become a hundred cans of sardines looked far more beautiful as someones front door.
Our boots resting on the steps of Amhed’s Gite. His comfortable headquarters (and a steaming kefta tagine) were a welcome change from the stark, cold and wet Lipiney shelter.
On the next phase of our tour, we head off to the Toubkal shelter.