/ NEW ARTICLE: Tafraoute, Morocco - Warm Winter Trad

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UKC Articles - on 22 Feb 2011
Sarah Burmester heading in to the unknown on 'Crag K' - a four pitch desert version of Gogarth's main cliff, 4 kbAre you looking for sunny mountain trad routes in the mid-grades?

"The well featured and easy-angled rock lends itself to protect-able traditional climbing, mainly in the VS to E2 bracket. The crags are generally between two and four pitches long, and can usually be gained with a thirty minute walk..."

Jack Geldard shows us some winter sun on the quartzite of Tafraoute.

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=3430

Dr Toph on 23 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

For a basic hotel in Tafraoute, try the Hotel Tanger, by the river. No frills, but friendly and at ~3 quid a night you cant go wrong. You can still visit the Amandiers for beer and a look a the Livre de Escalade (ask at desk).

If climbing on the north side of Jebel el Kest, then there are wild camping possibilities. We stayed for many nights at the Schoolhouse junction near the Flatiron, where there is a small almond grove. Also there is a small spot by a culvert near the Lekst Tower.
Just be sensitive to the locals (i.e. no bare chests or drunkenness).

It works well to stock up for 3-5 days camping, then back to Tafraoute overnight for showers and tagine, restock and repeat. Wednesday is market day by the river. A good chance to stock up on cheap fruit and veg.
gear boy - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: can you tell us what "cumbly" granite is? Is it a Geological term? ;-)
In reply to gear boy: I'm no geologist but I know exactly what he means. Some granite here in Finland is very crumbly, often within yards of solid stuff.
In reply to gear boy:

It is where the surface layer has eroded and leaves a loose gritty surface. It is surprisingly common.


Chris
gear boy - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to gear boy: cRumbs, never thought of that!
pete johnson - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: Nice to see a mention of Tafraoute in UKC. A few comments. The granite is generally poor. Not worth travelling all that way for. However, the quartzite climbing around the Jebel El Kest massif is excellent. There are in excess of 1,000 routes documented; ranging from easy to E6 in terms of difficulty and from single pitch to 600m+ in length. The predominant ethic for first ascents is on-sight, ground up, trad climbing. Sources of information in addition to those mentioned in Jack's article are: Emma Alsford's recent article in Climb magazine's March edition; Ben Wintringham's website www.tafraoute-climbing.com (This is still 'in development' but with crag topos being added daily gives a very good flavour of the area). A convenient place to stay for climbs on the north side of the massif is the Kasbah Tizourgane near Souk Khemis Ida Ougnidif (www.tizourgane-kasbah.com)
Michael Ryan - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to gear boy:
> (In reply to UKC Articles) can you tell us what "cumbly" granite is? Is it a Geological term? ;-)

exfoiliating granite is another term, usually granite without glacial polish that erodes in cumbly layers like an onion

In reply to gear boy: sorry! read your post and the article evidently too quickly as I missed the typo in both. :-)
Mark Reeves - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: I broke in that random virgin boulder back in 2001 Jack!

Looks like you had a awesome trip!
Michael Ryan - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to Mark Reeves:
> (In reply to UKC Articles) I broke in that random virgin boulder back in 2001 Jack!


I did it in 1992 Mark!
In reply to Mick Ryan - Senior Editor - UKC:

The crumbly granite is due to surface weathering, especially of the mica. Exfoliation is the characteristic 'onion-skin' layering that occurs in granite (and causes all the overlaps). It is caused by the expansion of the rock mass as the overlying material is eroded and the pressure on the buried granite is reduced.


Chris
Mark Reeves - on 10 Mar 2011
In reply to Mick Ryan - Senior Editor - UKC: Probably not the first time I have followed you up something! Fanha Fanha!
Steve Broadbent - on 22 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:
Further to Pete's comments - I agree about the granite, but there are people out there who claim to have found some really nice climbing on it, in amongst the crumbly stuff. Details at http://tafraoutclimbing.blogspot.com/

For the quartzite trad there is info and details of recent new routes at http://www.climb-tafraoute.webs.com

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