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Morocco.Trekking and ski touring

Discussion in 'Less Travelled' started by Mister Tee on XC Skis, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I have been looking at the trekking options in the High Atlas mountains for 2018 and have discovered that ski touring is also possible.
     
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  2. rowdyflat

    rowdyflat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I was in Morocco 1 month ago . it snowed down to about 1200 metres in the Atlas mountains .
    There seemed to be snow deep enough for touring above about 3200 metres.
     
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  3. BillyKidd

    BillyKidd One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Would be an interesting tour!
     
  4. kamishah

    kamishah First Runs

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  5. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Morocco and Atlas are awesome. Amazing culture, amazing mountains. Toubkal, whilst high is not too hard a treck in summer, but definitely need guides in winter. There are some really cool multi-day ski tours, with several high altitude refuges. There was a heli-ski operation operating out of Marakesh but they've been shut down recently by the government.
     
  6. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Which months in Morocco would permit some BC XC skiing as well as a possible trek up Jabal Toukbel?
     
  7. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    skifree likes this.
  8. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good surf in Moroc.
    Same swells as France, Spain and Portugal just quite a bit further south.

    My old Man surfed there in the late 60’s and/or early 70’s.
     
  9. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Was a nice break at Rabat last Jan, but the water was cold and filthy so wasnt tempted
    Kitesurfing big too, especially Essouria (spelling?).
    We had snow in Fez and the surrounding hills, and the Atlas were spectacular as we left. I took my skis a couple years before, but the snow was marginal. Its always a gamble.
     
  10. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I would be most inclined to focus on the hike up Jabal Toukbel as well as the culture and architecture in the cities.
     
  11. rowdyflat

    rowdyflat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Essentially Morocco is a fairly dry country so to get a decent base you would need a big snowfall in late autumn / winter.Its cold enough at 4000m to stay .
    When I was there in November they had had that .
     
  12. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    It looks Iike I will be going to Morocco in April 2020.I will look into what Atlas Mtn.s trekking can be done in that season as well as walking in the Lake District in the U.K. I will be back in time( Early May ) to get fit for the 2020 Oz Ski season.
     
  13. buckwheat

    buckwheat One of Us

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    We hit up oukaimden ski resort in the middle of the season but snowpack was measured in mm not cm. Def a cool country to check out though.
     
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  14. rowdyflat

    rowdyflat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Went back bike riding this May , saw all sorts of stuff from green coastal to desert sand dunes camel riding .
    The High Atlas still had snow on north aspects dont know how deep it would be up high but skiable.
    Previously went to Oukaimden ski resort temp below zero and but no snow but it is only about 3200 m max so cold to mtbike down from but Atlas goes to above 4000m.
    That time other bits of Atlas had heaps so obviously depends on snow direction.
    Anyway no prob trekking the drier bits of Atlas, v rocky but a lovely country.
     
  15. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I am reading about the trekking and skiing options in the Rough Guide to Morocco. I should be there in early April which is apparently the last phase of the ski season .I may well just go to 'Ouka ' as they know it in the vernacular and if they have some snow I will rent some gear and have a bit of a ski. The book also says that going up Jabal Toukbel[4167 m] in April is a snow climb with ice axe and crampons. I have done that sort of thing before but may opt for some hiking routes below the April/spring snow line which seems to be at 3200 M..
    I would be inclined to spend 5 -6 nights in the High Atlas and 6-7 nights looking at Mosques and markets.
     
  16. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Ifrane

    Built during the French protectorate, this city resembles any Alpine village in Europe. Jebel Mischliffen is a small ski area a few miles outside of Ifrane. It was built in the 1950s and has remained largely unchanged. The runs are short and the chairlifts unreliable. This is a good ski hill for amateurs or families. If you’re nearby, it’s worth a trip to see the city and say you skied in Africa!

    Oukaimeden

    This resort is located about 30 miles south of Marrakech and is Morocco’s largest and most well-established ski resort. It sits at 8,500 feet above sea level and the chairlift rises to 10,650 feet. Jebel Attar is the highest peak and has five runs, the longest of which is about two miles. There are shorter lifts if this hill is too intimidating. A day pass for Oukaimeden is only $10 and rentals are around the same price. Beware of “guides” on the slopes offering assistance for a fee. Ask for a true instructor if you’re unsure of ability and skills.

    Tazaghart

    Are you an expert on the ski hill? For the truly advanced or expert skiers, Tazaghart, in the same mountain range as Oukaimeden, is the hill to conquer. The only way to access this slope is to physically climb Mount Jebel. There is a small hut available at about 9,900 feet, but there are no other facilities on this hill. This is a completely raw hill and conditions are dependent on weather patterns.

    Heliskiing

    One of the newest options for skiing in Morocco is heliskiing. This type of adventure skiing has been popular in the U.S., Canada and Europe for several years and is now making its way to Africa. Skiers travel by helicopter to the top of the mountain peak and are then dropped off so they can ski down the summit. For safety reasons, they are often followed by the helicopter and/or a guide. For the true adventure seeker and expert skier, this opportunity allows distance from the crowds and an adrenaline-charged experience. Heliski Marrakech currently offers this service to interested parties. New mountain skiers should not consider this.

    Though skiing might not be top of mind when it comes to Africa, take advantage of lower lodging and airfares during the winter months and include skiing on your list of must-do items when you travel to Morocco.
     
  17. stansi

    stansi One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I rekon the Heli skiing would be pretty exciting for You on Your XC BC Rock hopping cross country Nordic skis. You wouldn't need Your XC BC kicker skins for that. Probably should take Your BC Micro Spikes though.
     
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  18. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I think more correctly you would say the BD XC BC kicker skins. XC BC skis with NNN seem a bit AC DC to me but would not pass as AT. OK? I wonder if Mr. T ever has the urge to unblock me?
     
  19. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I am just looking into the options. I think Heli skiing anywhere would be too tricky for me at present. I need to learn to parallel turn properly.
     
  20. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I am looking into skiing in Morocco in Early April 2020. This is what I have found out from the interwebby.
    The rental equipment is sub standard. Is it worth taking my own boots, skis and poles?.Esp. if it is just for 3-4 days out of a 4 week travel experience?


    If you want to ski in Oukaimden here are a few takeaways;

    1. Come prepared. While at the base of the hill the weather can be warm the higher up you go the more windy it gets. Cover your face. The sun also can be quite bright, glasses will be helpful.
    2. Look around for good skis. There are lots of people with skis for rent, unfortunately many have seen brighter days. They’re not well taken care of (I doubt ours had been waxed or sharpened in a decade). Make sure they fit well.
    3. If you DO NOT know how to ski well DO NOT go to the higher lift. There is a lower lift and a tow rope. This is much better. The large hill is NOT for beginners, no matter what a guide may tell you.
    4. Remember you’re skiing more or less at your own risk, there may be a few ski patrols but they are not actively on the hill. If you have an accident higher up it’s going to take time to get to you.
    5. If you’re not sure of the ski conditions, get off the big lift at the first stop. The higher up the harder the pack.
    6. The hills are not groomed, or if they are it’s not well. The conditions varied from icy hard pack to slush and soft pack. Varying conditions on mediocre skis can make for an interesting situation. This may have just been due to the time of year and temperature but something to be aware of.
    7. There are not many restaurants or places to stay in Oukaimden but it’s an easy day trip from Marrakech.
    8. The lifts stop running around 4pm.
    9. Skiing in Morocco: Oukaïmeden
      Thanks to its high altitude, the Oukaïmeden Ski Resort ensures pretty reliable snow conditions from January to late March and often into April. Situated at elevations between 2,610 and 3,268 m, the ski & snow-boarding area offers some 10 km of slopes covered in crisp, dry, virgin snow. Compared with the ski areas of Europe and North America the ski area and resort infrastructure is limited but competent skiers can still enjoy a day or two on the slopes taking advantage of the excellent snow conditions in the highest mountain area of North Africa.

      Equipment hire is available on site as is a ski-pass for the 7 lifts (1 chair and 6 drag lifts) which transport visitors to the ski area’s upper slopes, most of them higher than those of France’s Val Thorens, one of the most “snow-sure” destinations in Europe.

      Promising an unconventional, fun day out for experienced skiers, the resort can be readily accessed by car via routes P2017 and P2030, a journey of around 90 minutes from Marrakech.
     
  21. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Their equipment is seriously comical.
    Take your own gear.
    April is getting late even for the Alps, probably far too late for the Atlas. Hiking only
     
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  22. rowdyflat

    rowdyflat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Been to Morocco for mtbiking twice late November + late April.
    It would depend on the year I agree w Boodwah + would go earlier than April.
     
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  23. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    It seems it would be inconvenient for the rest of the trip to be carting a ski bag full of ski gear around esp. if the rest of the trip will not be about skiing and I will be visiting the U.K. too . If I travel abroad to ski with my own ski gear then it will be all about skiing full time for 2 weeks somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere.

    So Hiking in the Atlas mountains is looking more likely . However Jabal Toubkal , the highest Peak in the Atlas Mountains is snow bound until June. Any ascent in April will require crampons, ice axe etc. I do own such gear and know how to use it but it could be easier to just hike below the snow line which seems to be at 3200 M. in April.
     
  24. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I am flying out of Gatwick airport in the UK to Casablanca on March 29th. I will do a trek in the High Atlas with a trekking firm who was recommended by a forum user.
     
  25. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    My trip to Morocco has been postponed for 6 months. I am taking a financial hit along with many other travellers and travel industry operators around the globe as result of the global pandemic.
     
  26. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Shame.
    But very low snow year in the Atlas anyway, had a friend/guide there last week who really struggled to find skiable snow.
     
  27. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yes , it is a pain in the hip pocket nerve but I was all set to go high altitude trekking rather than skiing there. I am going XC skiing in The NE of the USA in January 2021. Insh`Allah.
     
  28. rowdyflat

    rowdyflat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yes insh Allah.
    Morocco will be better next year .One of my favourite countries.My friends have cancelled.
     
  29. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    The only Thing Emirates airways could do for me was to put the trip off by 6 months and move the flights to late Sept. and returning on 24/10/20 2020. They did not charge me extra for this.