Ascent to Irhil M'Goun-Broad col on 2013-06-07

Climber: Martin Richardson

Date:Friday, June 7, 2013
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:Irhil M'Goun - Broad col
    Elevation:9977 ft / 3040 m
    Remaining Elevation:3379 ft / 1030 m (100% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

If you read further there are details on how to do at least the first part of this route. Even though this is clearly a route often used, I have not seen it described anywhere else! Unfortunately the GPS track is too big for this site

My first attempt was from the remote village Tighouzzirin N31.39316 W6.43141 (2340m) Almost from the beginning I lost the route and used a lot of time and energy struggling up the wrong slopes. Eventually I found – and then lost – the main path near a hamlet.
Beyond there I found another path that unnecessarily took me down into a small valley that would have been avoided by the main path. Below me there was a shepherd shouting at me and gesticulating to join him. I decided I did not want to lose more height and sat down to eat an orange. Within moments he reached me despite only wearing pointed toed slippers on a slope of scree and crumbly rocks. I gave him half my orange and he produced a large bread from a hessian sack. Saying hello and thanks for the piece of bread used up my full knowledge of Moroccan Arabic and he spoke no French. However, he still managed to explain to me how to get to Oumsoud and his equally non-French speaking grandson (clearly compulsory education does not get all the children into school), who appeared from nowhere, lead me up to the well used and maintained path. I followed the path for a while until reaching a height of about 3100m when the maladie d’altitude and the still long distance to go to get to the summit made me give up for the day. The annoying thing about the malady is that as soon as you start descending the symptoms subside and then disappear; this made me feel a bit of a wuzz and a softie for not struggling on.

How to get to Tighouzzirin – take the Toundout road from Skoura and just keep going for many kilometres until you come to an upside down speed sign. Shortly afterwards the tarmac stops in an unnamed village. Just beyond the village, unbelievably, there is a signpost N31.38251 W6.42414 (2082m). Turn left at the sign and it is up a steep rough windy track to the first village of Tighouzzirin where there is space to park. However, as this is also the area where the villagers gather in the evening to chat, I parked in a narrow re-entrant further down the road at N31.39129 W6.42569 (2202m).

The proper route to the point where I gave up is:
From Tighouzzirin follow the ‘main road’ to N31.39322 W6.43346, turn right between the houses up towards a water tank at 31.39478 W6.43520. There is a choice of paths that seem to head for the same oued/valley to the left. Cross the stream and then at N31.41063 W6.43561 (2680m) keep right. This takes you to the right of a small but well watered hamlet. At N31.41717 W6.43478 bear left from the stream and head for a hidden entrance at N31.42134 W6.43968 (2890m). The track traverses above a valley to a col at N31.42750 W6.43477 (2884m). This is where the young Arab boy took me. And the path now is quite obvious as it traverses around in a wide semi circle to N31.44550 W6.43642 (3090m) and onwards to N31.45560 W6.43293 (3116m). From there the route dropped to a broad col at N31.46042 W6.43045 (3041m). My headache and short breathing told me that I did not really fancy going much further and I was not really in the mood for trying to figure where the route went next. Whatever, it does it looks like it involves more descent before the final rise. Also, I realised that even if I had another go at the same route another day it would be a rather long day.
Summary Total Data

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