Last Thursday after Arabic class, Catey, Rachel, Robbie and I decided to climb Mount Toubkal. So I threw the warmest clothing I had into my backpack, borrowed Allie’s hiking pants and socks, and set out for the train station on Friday morning. We met up and boarded a train for Marrakesh, with the following plan: Get to Marrakesh. Eat. Take grand taxi to Imlil. Find hostel. Sleep. Saturday: wake up, climb to Toubkal base camp at 10,522 feet. Sleep. Sunday: climb to the summit of the highest peak in North Africa, at 13,671 feet (4,167 meters), and then all the way back down to Imlil, take taxi back to Marrakesh, take train back to Rabat. YEAH.
And so off we went, exhilarated and excited! The adventures never end!
After a long train ride, a delicious tagine, and some confused navigating of Marrakesh buses and petit taxis, we finally crammed into a grand taxi and drove to Imlil. Imlil is a village in the mountains (elevation: 5,709 ft), and we found a hostel in no time, run by a guy named Hassan. In the morning, we asked him about hiking the mountain, and his eyebrows raised higher and higher as he learned of our plan.
“Do you have crampons?”
“No. But they’ll have crampons up there, right?!”
“…Do you have sleeping bags?”
“…No…But they’ll have blankets up there, right?!”
“……..do you have rain jackets?”
“YES!” we were jubilant at having answered a question in the affirmative. Whatever happened, we were at least prepared for rain!
We set off jauntily enough, after a dubious goodbye from Hassan, packs full of snacks, water, and hopefully enough warm clothes.
We walked along, down the path pointed by smiling Moroccan Mountain People, and saw a few curiosities, like this Pepsi Hanout sign:
And this helicopter taking off in the middle of rural Morocco:
But then we started up into the mountains in earnest, and it was freaking COOL:
Also, we saw goats. It was like Lion King but with goats instead.
We couldn’t stop making Lord of the Rings references throughout our trip, so we formed our own Fellowship. Let me introduce you!
Crows flew overhead. I hid.
And we hiked!
This one time I looked back, and the pass through which we’d come was shrouded in clouds. Wow.
After a good (how many hours did it take us? I don’t even remember) long hike, we made it to the refuge, Toubkal base camp!
AND THEY HAD BLANKETS!!!
And food. And we met some awesome people, like the brothers from Chicago, one who lived in London and the other a video game producer. They were cool.
I’m going to do another post to conclude this epic adventure, but here’s a link to ALL the photos: WOO!
Cool. I’m going to take a break and then regale you with tales of THE ASCENT.