Sunday, April 24, 2011

Jebel Toubkal Day 2 - Only Idiots Ski North Africa's Highest Peak

Of course the Sun came out and any question that we had about summiting went away with the clouds! I gave my skis and skins a good test and they seemed like they would work so we headed up, passing a group of about 10 British folks that were moving painfully slow. There were a few sections of exposure that were a bit sketchy with the old skins but other than that it was relatively straightforward. The wind looked like it was really howling at the top and a few people who had already summited told us it was not pleasent up there. The skiis came off at about 4000m and it was a bootpack to the top. About halfway up the bootpack I realized that crampons would have been really really handy, nonetheless we made it to the top for some incredible views of the desert to the SE and to a sea of clouds to the NW. It was pretty weird seeing palm trees and desert while standing on snwo in ski boots! The way back down the bootpack was a bit of a terrifying experience without crampons and made me realize why I like to ski right from the top!

We were so lucky the sun came out.

This is where crampons would have been helpful, to the lookers right at larger cliffs than I cared to fall off of. 
Baby blue pants are in.
The desert ...look for palm trees. 
We took a few deep breaths when we got back to the skis and saddled up for the way down. There had been about 6cm of new snow the night before but the midday sun had heated it up enough that it was not fantastic to ski on. The rest of the snow had a think layer of dust on it which looked really neat! Since the hose on my water pack had frozen on the way up I was feeling very dehydrated and had to rehydrate myself for an hour when we got back to the Refuge. We splurged $6 for a mule and a hilarious mule driver Hamid to carry our skis down. Strapping our skis to the mule made me ridiculously excited.

Desert sand on the snow, nice turns although I would have been better off with cross country skis, mine were awful 

It is 2011, you just cant tell from this photo

A highlight, I think so. 
Gorgeous hike down to pizza in Imlil and arriving back at the hotel after dark. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jeff,

    Came across your article while looking for information about Jebel Toubkal. I'm heading to Morocco early next May and I'm dead set on getting some turns in. I'll be spending the majority of my time surfing outside of Agadir so I was just wondering if you had any suggestions for getting to the mountain/refuge without renting a car. Any smaller tour operators you know of? Any info would be appreciated.