From Kim Havell's blog HavellsTravels-- Skiing in Morocco..though the French have been establishing routes there for years it remains a relatively undiscovered mecca of adventure skiing and free climbing. Located on the north-western tip of Africa, Morocco boasts magnificent coastline, far reaching desert (the Sahara), and mountain ranges that top out over 4,000 meters. For two weeks in March our team of five (Kristoffer Erickson, Chris Rubens, Dave Mossop, Jordi Montserrat, Kim Havell) embarked on an exploratory mission in the Central High Atlas mountains of this mystical country. With a starting point in the vibrant city of Marrakech, we traveled East and North to the Ait Bougmez Valley. It was an enchanting adventure that involved many unknowns but that resulted in great success in all our climbing and skiing endeavors. Highlights from the journey included a ski descent from the 2nd highest peak in Northern Africa at over 4,000m, Jbel M’Goun, as well as five additional summit ski descents and some reconnaissance missions. Along the way we skied some new routes/first descents, which added to the pioneering sensation of our travels.
Simultaneous to our ski tour adventure, we also filmed with Salomon Freeski TV for an episode due out next ski season 2010-11 with Rocky Mountain Sherpa’s Dave Mossop as the master mind, and Kristoffer Erickson as the expedition photographer and our trip leader. There was a lot of vertical covered in this trip in back to back big days in the mountains, covering anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 meters of vertical ascent along with miles of approach and travel along ridges and valleys. We had some big loads, some great weather, exciting ski lines, and some really fun corn skiing! We met warm, sharing, and impassioned people, and experienced some phenomenal villages, towns, and cities with pulsing beats and thriving culture.