Ascent of Jebel Mussa on 2013-06-03

Climber: Martin Richardson

Date:Monday, June 3, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Jebel Mussa
    Elevation:839 m / 2753 ft

Ascent Trip Report

For pictures and context, see my blog 'Went up a hill and came down' at:
Pillars of Hercules>

Extract of text from my blog:
...there were clouds and, in particular, there were clouds obscuring Jabal Moussa 839m (prominence unknown, by me). I nearly let this put me off – I didn’t have a map, I suspected that there would be no signposts/waymarks or any other form of encouragement and it was going to be stumbling around in the mist. However, I decided I would at least have a look.
It was almost by chance that I ended up driving down a road to the village of Ben Younech which hugs the coast at the foot of Jabal Moussa. This road crossed the mountain at quite a height but there seemed no obvious way from it and when I stopped to have a proper look I was waved at by a soldier across the road to move on. It took me a while to figure out a possible route from the village. In the end I drove through to the other end of the village and parked by a little house (61m) N35.91111 W5.40246 – it wasn’t until I got back I realised that it was a cafe and that it was called the Populare Jabal Moussa - see the sign.
From there I followed a goat/goatherd track that lead into a dry oued/stream This track then goes up to a few houses which could be reached by a road, but there was nowhere to park, I passed by a few chickens and then into the scrub. I eventually hit upon a mule track that lead in sweeping traverses all the way up to a col at 593m N35.90183 W5.41508.
The final mule track traverse turns back to the col
Then it was back to goat tracks and the occasional small cairn. I picked my way through the limestone rocks, loose stones, endless flowers, goat droppings and messy scree on a broad ridge to a second col from where the summit came into view. The summit was marked by a goatherd’s shelter and what could have been the rusty remains of a beacon - 828m N35.89808 W5.41133.
The cloud swirled around – so that sometimes I was in mist, sometimes above the cloud with views over the Straits of Gibraltar and along the coast to the Port of Tangier.
Going down I decided to follow the mule track more diligently than I had on ascent – mainly out of curiosity as to where it would come out. Eventually I got fed up with it, as it wasn't really that much easier walking than the ascent route I had chosen. I came out in the village by a mosque N35.90849 W5.39984 – just as the overwound cassette tape of a prayer was played loud and tinnily and set off the village dogs barking in unison.
I reckon if I had followed the mule track all the way I would have come out near the taxi rank N35.90731 W5.39286 where there is a small carpark.
So, there you go. My first African mountain (if you count the Canaries as European) – Jabal Moussa, Jbel Mussa, Jebel Sidi Moussa. And it gets my vote as the other Pillar of Hercules because at least you can get to the top, even though it is a bit of a ‘labour’.
9.08km 1640m ascent
Summary Total Data
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Martin Richardson
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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