Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Popping the Blog Cherry, Morocco new routes

So to pop the Blog cherry I thought we should do a post on getting to Morocco.
We actually, believe it or not had a minor epic getting there, it had snowed in Gatwick.  Yes it had snowed in London and as expected everyone was running around crying and waving their hands in the air, this meant that I had arrived fine and on time, and managed to find a pub, by the time Will phoned and told me he wasn't coming and would have to get me in Morocco. Being a little fresh by this point I might have blamed southern fairies... (loudly) got some funny looks in that pub... anyway a nice Irish lady approached me and asked me what was wrong, I explained that apart from the fact that I could see two of her my climbing trip was potentially ruined, she then replied, “don't worry he can stay at my B&B tomorrow night at a discount price”, sweet! phone number and address in hand I went outside to phone Will, read out the phone number and address fine(ish) He then asked what the names of the lovely couple were, I told him that they were called Mary and Joseph, this had not even clicked 10 minutes ago in the pub, he was going to stay at Mary and Joseph's inn! The only thing missing was a pregnant bird and a donkey. 

Anyway I arrived, Will arrived eventually (turns out the phone number was wrong, oops!), and we went climbing!!! More funny stuff happened, such as the hotel disaster in Marrakesh (this might have been my fault again) but I don't was to give it all away at once, 

Here are the route descriptions of the two new routes we climbed out there, more pictures to follow once Will gets back in the house 

III 680m   we climbed the right hand start of the left hand gully line.

120m. follow easy snow to below a chock stone, belay 15m below in a bay on the left 

Pitch 1 
30m (Crux) tunnel under for the through route, will be harder if the tunnel fills in but easier if banked out. Bring some lube and breathe in. steep ramp on the left also possible. Belay after the squeeze.

Pitch 2 
60m, leave the belay and descend into the gully proper, and follow it, chock stone belay before next step.

Pitch 3 
60m, follow the left slanting gully to a traverse (short) behind a spike to join the main gully line, belay below an ice step.

Pitch 4
60m, climb the step and follow snow to a sh**e belay 

Pitch 5 
50m, trend right on snow, ice and choss, several belays possible. 

Pitches 6-8 
150m, come back left between two rock bands (escape possible to left)

150m, traverse up and right to summit ridge. 

Multiple options, we descended back to pitch 6, and continued traverse to the col (Tizi Ouanames) (route finding hard) it is also possible to descend the ridge in either direction.

Fox on a Spit area 
Stand-geblasen (pronounced shtund ge bla zin)
WI 4+, 5 pitches 
The photo just does not do it justice, there was so much ice!!!

Pitch 1
20m, (crux) start on the lowest ice fall which is climbed direct 

Pitch 2 
At the back of the terrace (40m) climb the ice fall 20m 

Pitch 3
Climb the short ice pitch directly above at the back of the terrace, this leads to the first amphitheatre which gives many options, 

Pitch 4 
On the right there is a long steep ice fall left of a gully. This leads to another large amphitheatre.

Pitch 5 
After crossing easy ground there is an easy ice ramp on the right hand side of the amphitheatre which leads to another terrace

 Traverse down and left on easy snow into the first of 2 gullies, one 50 or 60 m abseil from a huge block in the gully leads to the start of pitch 4. Descend steep snow down and right to the top of pitch three, to the far right a steep down climb of short abseil takes you to the terrace at the top of pitch two, traverse left or right to easy ground and the start of the route.

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