/ Morocco: Punter trad?

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Kemics - on 24 Dec 2012
I'm looking to go for a 10 day ish climbing holiday to Morocco. The trad climbing looks really good but it seems to be on the adventuerous side of the scale. Big loose chimneys etc a bit old school ... though I hear Joe Brown put up a bunch of the routes so no huge surprise I guess

What's the scope like for safe trad cragging? Racking up lots of S-E1 routes in a day? I'm happy climbing most things but my partner for the trip is a fairly inexperienced second so I dont want to drag them on scary multipitch stuff that will put them off ...though that quartzite looks rad

I guess heading out sometime end feb/early march. Happy to go anywhere in the country, it seems like (looking at ukc articles) there's 3 main areas?

Is it possible to do on a budget? By the sound of things a rental car is the biggest expense. Do I need to brush up on my French or can you get by with English?

Any advice would be awesome
Kemics - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to Kemics:

p.s thread title was tongue in case it came across as douchey
AJM - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to Kemics:

We went to tafraoute and stayed in a hotel that cost maybe 3 quid a night, so our biggest expenses were hire cars and petrol (we drove over to the north side predominantly so did rack up a bit of petrol, but it was split down and also was counteracted by the cheapness of the hotel.

We got by with English fine. It's a place that's popular with French and German motor homers it seems, but basically anyone who wants to sell you something will find a way to communicate with you!

There's plenty of shorter cragging style venues around - Ksar Rock springs to mind as a convenient cragging venue for 2-odd pitch routes, there's Robin Hood rocks where we did a fun route or two, there's tons of grit-length single pitch stuff at Anammer, and so on and so forth. We went mainly new routing when we were there but managed to find a good mix of stuff from the fairly friendly to the moderately out there. Do try and take in some of the bigger stuff if you can - whilst the cragging was nice, the rock good and the cultural aspects definitely made it a fun trip I'm not sure I'd have had as much fun just hanging round doing shorter stuff.
Kemics - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to AJM:

What would you roughly budget per person for a week? Happy to dirt bag as much as possible? Sounds like there's a huge amount of potential for new routes then? Would be pretty cool to put one up
AJM - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to Kemics:

Near infinite potential.

Dunno, budget a hire car split 4 ways, some flights (best to Agadir IMO, the drive from Marrakech takes basically a full day and is a faff), maybe 2-3 tanks of fuel depending on whether you trek about much, and on top of those fixed costs you could live on a tenner a day per person I guess if you get the cheapest hotel you can find (we stayed at the one by the petrol station) at about £3, that would allow you to eat out for every meal plus buy lunch mind you.

I dunno really, I'm guesstimating, we went a few years back now.
Jones_88 - on 25 Dec 2012
In reply to Kemics:
Still on my list of things to do is write a bit of a blog/story of our trip in morocco ( trad in the tafraoute area climbing VS4c at best)
It cost me £800 for 2 weeks whilst sharing car rental with 1 friend.
That included everything and here is a bit of breakdown - airport beers, sleeping in the car/tent for 3 nights and eating jam and biscuit sarnies, a hotel + eating out for the rest of it and going out on the piss in london and agadir for a night.
And we paid about £40 more for convenient flights to make the most of our time off work.
If you wanted to you could slim that price down a bit more.
Kemics - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to Jones_88:

Okay, sounds like it should be doable. I've got about £500 but will probably only be out for 1 week ish (maybe a few days extra if I'm lucky).

Thinking of flying to Agadir and hiring the car there too.

The one thing that keeps cropping up is "bring large gear". I don't have any large gear as it's normally too it worth adding a few larger cams to my rack for the trip?

Let me know if you write a blog, be keen to read anything, trip researching is always a good way to spend some christmas time

(this might be a point of conflict) but which is the best guide book for the Atlas region as there seems to be a few that cover Morocco? I reckon i'll be based in Tafraoute ...atm.
Jones_88 - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to Kemics:
Depending how hard you climb -e1 and above the new guide written by emma alsford and paul donnithorne is worth while.
If there is two of you I would also suggest getting the steve broadbent one and then you can compare books like we did.
The new book has steve's routes in them but it's definately better to read route descriptions out of the original book rather than third hand.
It's definately worth staying in the kasbah for a night as its far closer to the crags than tafraoute (£20 a night isnt to bad if its a one off and you can meet climbers there easier than in tafrauote)

Large Gear wise we used a variation of sizes- my number 5 dragon cam a fair bit but I bought a number 6 dragon cam ( big bastard grey one) specially for the trip and though we didnt use it on every route we did use it most days. It was a pain in the arse carrying it up routes some times but then you soon forget about that when nothing else will protect that big crack half way up a route.
AJM - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to Kemics:

We took and were glad we took a Camelot 4, but we didn't have anything above that and I can't remember whether we missed it, there's no gripping moments that have stuck in my mind.
tony howard on 31 Dec 2012
In reply to AJM: if you are driving, you could also check out Todra which has some single pitch low to mid grade routes. Taghia canyon and nearby cliffs are more serious, bigger and remote. If you drive around morocco there are also other cliffs scattered around, some with nice bouldering or 2 -3 pitch routes.have fun!
Ron Kenyon - on 31 Dec 2012
In reply to Kemics:

You should check out the two guides by Steve Broadbent (2012) and Paul Donnithorne and Emma Elsford (Oct 2012) on the Anti-Atlas. These cover teh north side of the range west of Tafraoute. The Cicerone guide by Claude Davies (with Joe Brown etc) covered developments on the east/south side and some on the north side. Look up

What do you call adventurous - there are one pitch routes (30 seconds from the road) to 850 metres ridges. The rock is fantastic - it is loose in places (in blocks) but generally is sound. There were 33 new routes between 1st November and 15th November and no doubt more since then. We did 5 new ones (4 single pitches and 1 200 metres long)

With the two guides available (which duplicate each other) there is much more information available for the north side - but maybe worth a trip to Tafraoute for a look see.

Steve Broadbent is working on a new guide for the south side.

Kasbah Tizourgane is an amazing place to stay for the north side.

Todra is also good - but is quite a distance from Anti-Atlas and Tafraoute.

Lots to do - both established and new.
silo - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to Kemics My copy of Morocco Rock has just arrived and the climbing looks amazing.From a brief look at the book the best climbs are on the large side but they all look 3 star!with a variety of styles needed to ascend.
Ive not been so excited for a trip for a long time.
Only eleven sleeps to go!
Nadir khan - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to Kemics: here's a short blog about our last trip to tafraoute . its a great place and you'll have a good time . Food and accomodation is cheap , we stayed in the Les Amendiers hotel which is fine . The best valley we found was the Afantinzar area with good rock and interesting routes
donners - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Kemics: Easyjet are doing cheap flights to Agadir at the moment. If heading for the Anti-Atlas area around Tafraoute, we stay at The Kasbah Tizourgane, superb value at £23/night with traditional breakfast+evening meal. Very comfortable and on the doorstep of the climbs on the North Side. If staying in Tafraoute, its an extra 45 minute drive at least, to get to the climbing. There's a huge variety of every type of climbing on the North Side of Jebel el Kest, usually very short walk-ins (but roughly vary between road-side to 1 hour max). I always carry a full rack, up to friend/camalot 4 and a couple of large hexes. Most routes are very well protected but take plenty of slings as the routes can wander a bit and there's loads of spikes for runners. The rock is usually of perfect quality and has weathered into beautiful shapes with good friction, but nevertheless it is a mountain environment so needless to say, helmets are highly recommended.
Steve Broadbent's (2010), guide works quite well and contains 650 routes. The new guide however, Morocco Rock (2012) has cleared up most inaccuracies and contains 1000 routes, which includes all the more recent development as well as the Jebel Taskra range, which contains the fantastic Tizi Escarpment near the Kasbah Tizourgane (its worth having a look at more recent developments here on the website also, as the classic routes keep going up!!).
Even since the publication of Morocco Rock last September there's been about 60 new routes added, and if you want to do any new routes, there's still plenty of scope - details of these can be found on our website, where there's a New Routes Page. You'll find the 6 climbing areas starting with Sidi M'Zal on the left side of the page. This gives detailed info, including topos and some great action shots of recent activity..Greek Buttress (Sidi M'Zal) and Dragon Buttress (Samazar Valley) should not be missed !

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