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Morocco, Toubkal climbing

Morocco on, from the side and from the inside.

(author A. Trubachev)

photographs

Africa, Morocco. Mountaineering and climbing, climbing Toubkal

Morocco - the kingdom in North Africa, on the Atlantic coast. Capital - Ribat, a popular tourist destination - Casablanca and Marrakech. On the territory of the country is mountainous Atlas system, which is the highest point is the peak of Toubkal 4167 meters. Population - Berbers and Arabs, religion - Islam, the state languages of Arabic, Berber and French. As a result of my visit, was developed quite an interesting program, based on the ascent of Toubkal and supplemented familiarization route around the country, including a small hike through the Sahara desert. Duration of the program 11 days, category - basic mountaineering and outdoor activities. Unfortunately, in the format of the event, visit the climbing area of Morocco was not possible, because, if they exist (in which there are some doubts), it is very far from Marrakech and the Atlas.

Jebel Toubkal - Arabic is the name can be translated as "Mountain of Memories", in the language of the Berbers - the locals name sounds more prosaic - the highest mountain. Toubkal is located in the central part of the Atlas mountain range, the mountain known as the geographical object since the development of Africa Spanish and Portuguese travelers. In Greek mythology, perhaps, is referred to as a place of exile titan Atlas, brother of Prometheus. To date, the top of Toubkal is a popular object for rock climbing, skiing (skitour) winter hiking and trekking in the summer. All programs are easy and fun combined with historical, ethnographic tours, routes associated with a visit to the Sahara Desert, to the benefit of it here at hand, because the Atlas Mountains, in fact, it is this same barrier between the Sahara and the Atlantic Ocean. In the Russian market these programs almost never offered, because the main focus of our tour operators to make pop Egypt, and a little less pop, but frankly beach Tunisia. Morocco - a country of more exotic tours here are more expensive and difficult to organize, but about climbing and skiing in Africa in general, few have heard. However, the mountains of Morocco has long mastered European climbers. The main flow of tourists here comes from France (historically justified by the fact that Morocco is a former French colony), as well as from Spain, Germany and Austria.
The first day in Morocco and meeting with mountains. Atlas frowns

Morning walk to Marrakech enabled bit streamline impressions received from this town the night before, after arrival. Area, where the night was something incredible, completely empty in the morning, just at the corners of the chest some rags littered with carts - it seems that these are the booths, which took place on the eve of the night life of Marrakech. Sleepy people rushing to work, crowds at bus stops, along the alley shifting from foot to foot-drawn carriages in horses. It is not clear - whether purely tourist attractions - ride in a cab, or, indeed, there is this kind of transport necessity, because the horses do not need gasoline, hay is much cheaper.

Well, okay, look around and be that I have not seen a tourist town? At 8 o'clock I was waiting for breakfast at the hotel - nothing special, coffee and scones and jam, and more in an hour (by the way we must pay tribute - Mohamed as a bayonet at the time) plunged into ugly old Mercedes and drove off. By the way, while collecting things in the room, and took the weather changed. Only that the sun shone brightly, and then, out of nowhere, came flying cloud, and poured in torrents. Lilo long, but quite abundant. Naturally, no enchanting views of the mountain range of the Atlas Mountains, just a huge cloud, transshipped through hidden rain mountains. And the wind. Spooky. Bearing streams of red sand, palm trees bending almost to the ground and nearly razing the road car.

While riding, yesterday's impression of truschёbistosti Marrakech strengthened and has acquired additional images. Firstly, in the daylight, it became clear that the favorite color of the locals is a reddish brown clay - the same as the ground beneath their feet. Houses built from the same clay look like termite mounds, incomprehensible even move from the soil to the walls of buildings as if they themselves grow from the earth. And the richest houses painted in the same (I want to say terracotta, but not quite sure what to use that word correctly) color. The effect of the final results in amazement when you realize that the more traditionally dressed locals - the more they are likely to use in the clothing of the same color. Rather unexpected impression, since, so far, from Africa I was expecting only the most clusters of bright colors and unusual colors - than is typical, by the way, Central Africa, where I have been many times. There are also cottages from the land, but, even so motley dress that can be seen from space. And here - stands like a ghost, a silhouette in a robe with a pointed hood, leaned against the stones, and disappeared into the landscape as shevelnёtsya - unprepared viewer myocardial enough, after all, with two steps no different. So it turns out that North Africa in relation to the colors and paints a much more calm, if not prudish. Even more unusual for a stranger to the attitude of local smoking and alcohol - there was not a drinking or drunk or smoking. That's what all Moroccans and most sincere thanks, so I have something to compare with after Moscow, where sober scared to sit on the subway at night - a foreigner can take, with all the consequences.

We traveled about two hours on a dusty, but good asphalt road, and got to the crumb-three villages in the house where the car parted, and met another party of my study program - local guides, Berber, however, good speaking English. The first day of the journey than any particularly noteworthy not marked. Gone pass with the long name of some sizzling consonants, which I do not particularly remember, however, no pass, and remember not even particularly like. There was a terrible wind from the distant clouds hanging, apparently, on the very top, where we climb a couple of days, the water is blown out, and despite the completely clear sky overhead, went not strong, but it is significant rain. From the pass, the situation became even more clear - a strong wind brought in the high mountains cloud sausage, which is caught on the top and not going to deflate. Besides this sausage and other weather problems were observed. By the way, the general direction of the wind was from the south, from the Sahara - as a good sign - winter driving out cold and dry desert air, precipitation, with this wind is not abundant. But if the blow from the north, from the Atlantic - here the problems begin - rain, snow, thunderstorms, and the whole set of pleasures associated with them. But fortunately, it is only in theory, because today it was not our case. The descent from the pass towards the next village - quite nice. Rain from a clear sky on this side of the ridge quickly stopped, the clouds rose higher and exposed rocky slopes, heavily covered with snow, the wind is not so rushed predatory impulses. After an hour of leisurely descent, under the fascinating conversation with deep linguistic bias - were discussed especially dialects of Berber language in Morocco, we come to the village, nestled in a valley and a reddish slope based on tiered basis terraced fields. By the way, the use of terraces for growing vegetables - quite characteristic of the region, where any flat surface tend to use for agricultural purposes. And for the housing and can be on the rocks stick house. In this small village called Tizi-Ussem scheduled the first night on the route of the track to the top of Toubkal, which today can be seen more than once, if not cloudy. Authentic village in the extreme - all built of red clay mixed with straw, in pens mooing cows in the dust of the road swarmed numerous chickens and children. Rural idyll. Clay jungle. To have fun (since we came to the village around lunchtime and was nothing special to do) I'm a little walk around the streets - narrow, no wider than a meter, passing between the curves fences, caused a stir in the wild grubby kids, which is from the whole village came running to look at me, but quickly walk up. Above the village, in tears clouds were seen quite severe in appearance snowy mountains, but, for some reason, it did not add to the majesty of the landscape, but only makes it even more harsh and wild. Something like a bleached Peru - the same rare eucalyptus groves, dusty agaves along the dusty road, clay houses. Only in Peru the last village lazy certainly will dress so bright that all the greyness of the landscape immediately lit his radiance. Well and mountains in Peru and higher and brighter.

So Much. Something drew me to the comparison. If it goes up and rolled up Svanetia, and so forth. All the same, so you can not compare two different things, especially on the second day, yet did not understand and did not feel the features that make these mountains such. It's not so simple, and it is necessary to thoroughly understand before something with something to compare. And it is better not to compare and collect different impressions from the world, because it is always different, that's the beauty of it all.
The second day of the journey, the wind pass and descent in Imlil

The night was quite dark and starry, and has been pretty hectic. Spooky wind seemed ready to break down all the doors and windows in the house, all crackling and popping all night, and as soon calmed down a little in the morning - a terrible inhuman voice yelled from the neighboring bell tower Mullah, summoning all the faithful to prayer, it was five o'clock am. After mullah woke up and started screaming cocks, then dawn, and the day began. Weather pleased, despite the wind. Compared to yesterday afternoon clear progress. Cloud shaft drifted from the main ridge, opened after snow whitened the top of a pretty frightening types - steep rock walls with pointed teeth, abundantly covered with fresh snow. All this splendor contrast with the background of the desert landscape of the foothills - shallow reddish hills, with rare junipers growing thick, gnarled in three deaths and collapsed screw - does not seem very at ease they live on the windswept slopes. The trail gently climb up, gathering several villages along the road, do not differ from each other - red mud walls of squat buildings, sticky on steep rocky slopes, terraced fields, naked, on the occasion of the winter season walnut trees. Last village of Tizi-Mzyk, the highest in the valley, has remained at the bottom. The trail meanders serpentine, sneaking between the relict juniper trees growing out of a solid as a stone of clay - no hint of other vegetation, no grass, no bushes, only dense clay and writhed trunks of junipers. This landscape continues to the pass, where the saddle height of 2500 meters knit a tiny stone hut - in the hot summer season there are cashing in on the dying of thirst tourists and sell them water. In fact, I can not imagine this place in the summer - a terrible, radiant heat, water scarcity and hard shadows, dying crowd of visitors here for the exotic desert and get this exotic in full. Here's the conclusion I did on the second day of his stay in Morocco in the summer season it is necessary to be a complete pervert to come here. Oddly enough, most of these perverts - the official season in Morocco is considered summer. It can be assumed that the main feature of the Moroccan mountains is a contrast of seasons. Terrible heat in summer, locals say that there are about 50, cool, dry and windy autumn, snowy winter - on passes falls to 3-4 meters of snow. Then comes the spring flood (traces of this season too evident everywhere - a wide channel streams and numerous mud grooves on the slopes). Very unusual to observe the life and habits of the people to adapt to life in such circumstances - in fact everything from clothes and daily routine, ending constructs homes - all these thousands of years to adapt to the peculiarities of climate and terrain, and, as a result, made it possible in extremely difficult conditions there is quite decent and productive.

From the pass we quickly blown away - sit back and relax while admiring the views of the two converging gorges and snowy peaks at the top there was no way the wind was blowing so hard that without additional support, it was difficult to stay on his feet. A few photos and a run-down, the benefit is now the wind was blowing in the back. What is now at the top of Toubkal, which is closed from view near the crest of the cliff, did not even want to think. Hopefully in a couple of days when we planned out on top, the wind calm down a little bit, otherwise there is a good chance to go from the top of the return journey straight to Europe ahead of schedule and without aircraft.

Less than an hour from the pass we went down to Imlil - quite a large village, with decent houses, some nice hotels and the general look of a small, but very active tourist center. The most popular climbing route to Toubkal begins from Imlila. The road here from Marrakech takes about two hours, the local population, mainly busy with tourists and therefore not poor. However, all this does not mean that the ascent to the highest mountain in North Africa - Toubkal is simple and short walks. Height Imlila - 1700m above sea level. Height mountaineering shelter - 3200 peak - a little less than 4200. If I understand something in the ascent, this rate of climb - quite stressful, even for the trained and acclimatized climber. And given the fact that most of the tourists coming here, not burdened by high-altitude mountaineering experience - I can not imagine what is in fact the result the percentage of successful ascents. Well, tomorrow it will be clear what a refuge and the path to it, and while we are mentally prepared, and rest - is about to come Mohamed, who had promised to walk on Imlil, may still be the mood to add something to the description of the day . Incidentally, in a decent hotel in Imlil, where I now was lying on the bed huge posh worth Dubakov creepy as a cellar - the building is not heated in any way, in summer and probably quite cool without air conditioning. But now, despite the abundance of carpets, so I zadubela that fingers badly obeyed ... go out into the street to warm up.
Walk on Imlil and philosophical digression on the subject Objectives

While walking on Imlil come, finally, the feeling that I understand why I'm here pinned. This feeling I really missed the last few days. With Mohamed we leisurely toured villages, quite unlike the ones through which we climbed to the pass Tizi Mzyk. Imlil impressed tourist center in the good sense of the word - that is, residents are provided at the expense of the tourist flow, but it does not completely depend on it and maintain their independence and dignity. Pleasant, clean and friendly place, covered with an easy charm of late autumn, fallen leaves underfoot, withered grass, the smell of damp earth, and so on, from which all this feeling develops. As the sun dipped low enough to the horizon, and the snow on the tops acquired a pinkish hue, it's that same feeling when there ahead of Gore. It's hard to describe what it is, partly as a premonition of an important meeting when all that was on the way, gets a certain purpose, without whom none of this would be hopelessly pointless. In two and a half kilometers above us, on the background of the sunset sky allocated snow-capped mountains, from the forthcoming meeting which started rapidly beating heart. The effect of long familiar to me and repeatedly tested in different parts of the world, but every time this feeling comes as something very special and always sharp. All around takes on new meaning, it sounds corny, but how to say it in another way? After all, if I had come here to wander around Marrakech potaraschitsya distance the snowy peaks of the Atlas sfotkatsya memory on the background of something there and full of new experiences, fly away home - what I would have kept the memory - only chain lubricated standard images in the album, which is boring to watch? Would be an interesting, colorful program, but without the most important thing, without deep feelings, But Gore - it changes everything. Mountain - this event is basically the experience and the main purpose for which it has been spent so much effort. And no matter how this mountain is big or small, the main thing - that it was the goal.
Imlil again, after climbing

Well, finally, it's time to move on to the most interesting part of my story. Over the two days I spent without a computer, everything fell into place, I finally figured out his feelings, experienced moments of happiness and quite frankly do .... Mountain opened with his best side, I do not expect to get so warm welcome . Mountains smiled and showed his real, open and cheerful person - you can call it an incredible success and confused shrug - I repeat, even hope for such luck I had. But all in order.

We went down to Imlil after climbing all alive and well, thank God. Climbing managed just 200%, because instead of the planned ascent on December 11, I could not resist and climbed to the top of the 10th in the evening, experienced an unforgettable experience from the sunset, like the next morning, again inspired by the spectacle, but overslept and got upstairs after 1.5 hours after sunrise. And so it came to 200%.

Well, okay, that's really about this part of my journey worth telling in detail, delving into the details of experiences, good for these two days there were plenty. And we must begin, of course, with the fact that I was lucky unrealistic. Somehow I immediately felt that this mountain we will develop a good relationship. But it was hopeless, frowning, when I arrived, the mountain did not even show it was snowing and blowing a terrible wind. But, raising his hand, palm to the mountain, I felt a slight whiff of heat, and considering it a good omen, he said jokingly to his conductor Jamal - you'll see a couple of days the weather improved, it is no wonder that I have come this far, I need great views from the top. Jamal shook his head skeptically.

But the joke was prophetic. Weather is clearly improving, and to day, what was intended to start climbing the clouds are gone completely, even the wind and verse.

We got out of the top Imlila quite late, the sun was high and shining in the face, making it difficult to see the details of the rock in front of towering bulk. The road did not differ from those already familiar in the last few days and dusty reddish-color types villages and rocky slopes. The only difference was that now began to appear towards the rare group of people dressed in clearly Climbing - heavy boots, colored jackets and alpenstocks. The mood is upbeat at all, of course - after a long wait, the weather finally was adjusted. Judging by the contented people, they succeeded. By the way, I finally realized that for the feeling I had from Imlila. After all, what is the basis of this village is completely different from the ones we saw on the way here. Imlil - a more positive light and, moreover, without any apparent reason, as well, the village village, only a little more rest. As we went up in a straight line from the valley Imlila to the rocky foot of Toubkal, I had time to think about it. And it's such an explanation. Imlil - a place where people come, inspired by the aim of, and leave full of inner enrichment, as it would not sound snobbish, but if we analyze it so that's my theory. By the way, like the general mood is typical of many small towns located near the places that cause a person to a confrontation with the elements, his place, so to speak, with this element of contact. I think it may be not only the mountains

Weather rang like a bell Valdai. Sky and snow. Pure blue and pure white. Must often be in the mountains, not to forget the clarity and depth of color - in the plain, and even more so in this test impossible. On this day, the mountain showed its beauty. I have already said that beauty should feel. This is not always easy to get, and not always the beauty of anything was readily understandable. After all, it is different, the beauty of this. Can be bright and obtrusive, can and vice versa. Modest and discreet. Maybe so deeply hidden in itself, which is not seen until she gets used to you and will not open unexpectedly. In short, in these mountains there is no brightness, no field forms and diversity of terrain. And at first glance, the Atlas Mountains not seem beautiful. But it does not happen, and the chance to see this introduced. Rocky peaks of the snow-capped peaks were buried in an incredibly clear blue sky. Probably sounds too sentimental, very sick. But how to write more in my thick head of other words until it comes. How to explain the pleasure of movement, the trail steeply up from the crystal clear water in the creek and just a ringing off the air?

Surprisingly quickly and without significant effort, we gained altitude of 1300 meters, then hid the trail with snow and was openly slippery. In the snow were even traces of cats, someone descended in full armor. Donkey, which drove our things, refused to go any further - he went home hooves, and the owner, quite rightly concerned about the safety of their four-legged property. Ahead of snowdrifts already seen something square and topped with turrets at the corners, unfriendly black, and rather fabulous appearance. Do not be Holmes to guess that anything other than as mountaineering shelter, can not be this building, to serve the palace Kascheyu. Prior to this, the palace was still about an hour go, and with a sigh, I shouldered the backpack. Donkey sighed too, but unlike me - relief.

Near the shelter stopped to look sinister, most looked like something relatively hospitable and quite appetizing smelling preparing food. The inscription near the entrance dispelled the last doubts - well, of course, who would doubt how much time I spent the night in such houses, solidly built of huge boulders, strong as medieval castles and terribly cold inside. Culture construction of these shelters was born in the Alps, in the 19th century, and now has spread around the world. Very similar houses scattered in the depths of the Peruvian Andes, where they were built by the Italians. And here - a typical example of the French mountaineering design. Everything is thought out - strong doors, small windows, dining room, two bunk beds in the bedrooms, decently equipped kitchen. The kitchen is in full swing and shkvarchit brewed, satisfied inhabitants mill around the orphanage in slippers ...

After quite a hearty dinner me, quite suddenly and quite inappropriately visited a great idea. The time is only 3 hours the day before dark another three hours at least, why not go for a walk? And do not deceive myself like I knew perfectly well what end such trips - to the top of even 1100 meters. Until now, the climb rate have been approximately 500 meters per hour. If you hurry - you can still go down and dark. His eyes flashed Jamal longing when I told him about your plans. But the offer to stay at the shelter, he graciously declined. In fact, time was of course not so much, and by deciding, we immediately started to implement it - imposed on shoes cat, slightly warmed, took backpacks and cheerfully stomped upstairs.

The path was clearly visible on a dense asphalt, compacted snow wind. First, a bit traversnuv nekrutoy slope, she led us to a small ledge above the shelter, and then steadily moved up into a wide neck between two high rock massifs. From this strong muzzle neck, the sun here already lacking, and so as not to lose the external senses, they had to hide the matter in depth with my legs caps and collarless jackets. The rise was not anything special - boring kovylyanie up the steep slope firnovannomu, the end of which, in a strange eye distance, I could see some kind of access to the saddle, presumably a height of about 4000 meters. The purpose of the ascent - the top of Toubkal could not see, it concealed from view rocky bastion left, and as it turned out, and a few more kinks summit ridge. So, we just walked up about focusing on the time and the altimeter, which gradually approached the four tyscham. Finally we went to a small, rocky ridge surrounded by circus. The trail goes to the right steeply towards the saddle of the pass, and to its apparent reduction was still quite far away. Here Jamal looked very sad on the sunny side and expressed the assumption that maybe it makes sense to get out on the left ridge, it is a little cooler, but lit by the sun. The poor man froze. The assumption was quite robust, as the comb was not only lighted, but shorter way to the top.

The top of the ridge was decorated with snow pigtails, clinging to the rocks during prolonged snowfall. At the bottom of the ridge the wind already unstable poobryval these decorations, but closer to the top, probably due to frost, they are clinging to the rocks stronger, elegance and saved for my coming. The sun sank quite close to the horizon, snow and rocks gradually acquired a pinkish hue, while the eastern horizon began to turn blue. My local guide was somewhere in the middle of the ridge began to grumble, complain about the cold wind, toothache and approaching the dark night, but was sent down, which he did not go, and remained sitting under an overhanging rock, skukozhilas like a sparrow. This fact was not very worried - if at all freeze, then go down. The road is visible, will not be lost. As for the gentle snow dome seemed healthy tripod, indicating the top and the whole plastered with snow feathers, I felt a strange surge of energy. At the top, of course, no one was there, time was getting late and did not assume there is someone to meet. And in about half an hour alone, I enjoyed quite indescribable feeling, the essence of which I do not want to analyze here, let's call it the vertex euphoria.

Actually, this was the fundamental experience of this trip, everything else - just water and supply events. I guess everything is on the physiological causes. For example, the euphoria at the top can be explained by a combination of factors such as the long-term load conditions of oxygen deficiency, a sharp transition to a state of rest after this load, and achieve the planned long-sought goal, the joy of victory and so on. But if it can explain the moment of unspeakable happiness, then do it would not be desirable. Neither explains the essence of what happened will not change. There was something that goes far beyond everyday experience, and the experience gives meaning to the continued existence.

... To descend faster, running, periodically falling in dense crust, but it does not hurt much. It was getting dark eyes, and soon it was dark so that I understood the reason for concern his companion, who did not have a flashlight. I did not expect that at the clear sky, the white snow with a clearly visible trail can be so dark. And the transition from dusk to darkness occurred suddenly, without warning, as if someone had curtained window. The snow turned black, and the going became very uncomfortable, because in the dark it was hard to focus on the steepness of the slope. However, the shelter with its illuminated windows was close. The whole descent from the top to the house took less than half an hour. Then there was a dinner in the company of the Spanish and British - a huge dish of cous cous traditional tea and oranges for dessert.
Evening, morning disappointment and descent to Imlil

General feeling of lifting, covered me on top, and not passed after dinner - resulting in the morning, I again went to climb, already one, no company, in order to fully experience all the emotions of the lift. The second hike to the top is not particularly lived up to expectations, due to the fact that I slept corny. Had the idea to meet at the top of the dawn. And it could be really divine spectacle. But since midnight I could not sleep because of the fact that the two neighbors in the bunks arranged a competition - that louder - snoring farts one or the other. Under this cacophony of snoring, sleep was possible only in the morning, and when the alarm clock rang at 5, I showed moral weakness - woke up, but did not go anywhere. And lay until the light in the window awakened in me remorse. After all, after all, the decision to go in the morning, the day before I took quite firmly. On the go, a quick bite apples and tangerines, pulled gorteksovye pants and a jacket, as the barrel on the street, took a fotikom trunk and went. Despite waking up and lost time, I went first to the orphanage, the other only sluggishly prepared. It is sad, but on the morning of climbing left only physical satisfaction, both from the usual run. No trace of yesterday's experiences, as well as stunning views. In this I blame myself. The sun was already quite high, horizon tightened film clouds, still had to go here by dawn. Well, at least, looked at another way - this time I chose a route through the right slope and over the pass. So it turned out much further, but it should be, slightly different views of the surroundings - the pass well seen drifting to the east valley. A little after sitting on top, eating an apple and noting the success of his second collaboration with the vertices of a photograph, I rode down to where the lift to the top of the pass was approaching triple followers. I thought at first that it was the British - they left the shelter with me, but when, at the meeting, came the 'ol light brown! ", I realized that it's more nimble Spaniards. Chatted about the mountains in general and in particular routes, and went - they vertex portion of its impressions, and I - for breakfast, which is already strongly reminded me bored stomach. But he was on this day for a long time did not have to be bored. After quite a nice breakfast in a shelter, we hit the road back home to Imlil, where they were already for dinner. Noted climbing, sitting at a low table with a plate of hot already familiar cous cous.
Another climbing, school, fox and chipmunk

The program for the day meant a walk through the pass to the next gorge, descend on it with a visit to several villages, returning through another pass in our valley and rise back to Imlil. In fact, reluctant to walk so far not formed, and an alternative idea to continue to rise to the top after climbing to the first pass came at an opportune moment. Passing through the village on the way to the pass, I noticed a strange humming sound coming from the walls of the shed squat. The sound resembles something between a buzzing beehive and bleating flocks of sheep, very strange sounded as if from the earth itself. Surprised, I started to look for the source, looked into the dark tiny window, but there was nothing to see. Then I guessed to look at short break in the adjacent wall at a height similar to the chicken coop door. Looking back, I realized that he had found the source of the sound, but at first did not see in the dim light unlit room, only slightly when the eyes adjust to the darkness, I realized what was happening. Inside the tiny room with mud walls and virtually no light on the earthen floor, slightly disguised torn rugs, squatting about twenty children 6-7 years at most, each holding a book and read aloud. And each read something different and full inconsistency with the rest. Here is a children's din, muffled by thick mud walls and caused my confusion on the approach to this structure, in fact, turn out to be a rural school. And the rest - the village as a village, the same almost vertical climbing lanes, curves earthen walls, square houses built under the most unexpected angles to each other. Immediately after the village began the pine forest of pines planted rarely alternating even more rare cedars. The scale planting impressive - planted thousands of trees, which in the view from a couple to a few tens of years. Without the forest, pass quickly slid to the valley with the villages on the slopes, so that the appointment of the forest no doubts, I just thought, how many trees should be planted every resident to allow their children to live in the same village where they were born. After all, trees are needed not only to hold the soil. During the winter season, many mountain villages, cooped up on the slopes at altitudes close to 2000 meters, have no other source of heat, except wood, which is to be here at a premium. A little climb on the destroyed rocks wide and gently sloping ridge we climbed to the top, which is quite decent panorama opens to the neighboring ridges, gloomy snow Toubkal and scattered in the valleys of small villages, from which ran down neat terraced fields, sometimes even green, depending from planted culture. On the descent we scared fox - one more follower red-brown shades. I think that if Allah had compassion, and not painted white tip of the tail of the local fox breed, then they might find serious problems with personal life. They would have to meet only by touch or smell.

After all, with the help of a reddish substance found in reddish stone is absolutely impossible - even on the run, the fox does not stand out in relief, only the white tip of the tail bouncing and hung in the air until the fox invisible with all his ulepёtyvala on smooth as a tablecloth slope. By the way yesterday I met another old friend, who did not expect to see here. With neighboring stone near the road jumped and stood looking at me, a tiny burunduchёk, just like in the Altai, the same curious striped squirrel. Well, it is, by the way, why chipmunk or live in Morocco?
Departure from Imlila, distracted reasoning and general impressions of the road in Zagora

Well, missed a couple of days without their records, now came over so many new experiences that it is unclear where to shove it all now. Although, by and large, after climbing all the rest - only a set of vivid illustrations to the tale of the Thousand and One Nights. The country is very unusual, with a rich culture and tradition dating back centuries, but lying on the surface, as the roots of an old tree. Any passer-by spotted crocked in a tattered robe and gazing out from under the turban, or an old man with a bunch of crooked boughs for the hearth, or wrapped in black on the most beautiful eyes - all seemed to have gone from the pages of a fairy tale, which in this country has not ceased to be a reality . Let cruel and merciless to his characters, but it is true in relation to them. However, our reality is also able to please its inhabitants, so that neither envy nor regret another fairy tale characters, I will not, just gave me the opportunity to look at it, and thanks for that.

From Imlila left only yesterday, but in my head is spinning a kaleidoscope of bright images captured on the way .... Well, let's order.

We drove all day. The distance is a bit more than 300 km, but the road was winding serpentine constantly going up and down. As soon as we descend from the gorge Imlila the plain as the road slightly to the right and took again slowly climbed to the top. While riding in a straight line, I was a little nap in the car, woke up on what's ears. Woke up, yawned, looked at the altimeter and gasped, - we have been back at a height greater than in Imlil - about 2000 meters. Soon began quite steep serpentine, and after half an hour hanging out from side to side, we rolled out to the saddle height of 2600 meters, which offers a distant view of the snowy peaks of cloud and on leaving a dusty haze rocky plain on the other side. Only stones around - no sign of even a hint of some life. Even the thorns do not grow, only reddish clay and stones. Sadly. But in the midst of the gloom - absolutely wretched, ragged and subsidiaries tanned traders sold what gave them this land. And there's just look at first - such treasures not seen none Geological Museum. The most diverse and multi-colored stones, shimmering crystals all possible colors and shapes, a zoo any fossil antiquities, rough crafts incomprehensible nature of stones - here's clay and stones .... And inside - what is there not just need to know where lies . And do not pay attention to the outside dullness.

Long descent from the pass has led to vast desert plateau, the same bare and lifeless as the pass, only here and there between the stones began to appear stunted bushes of thorns. And once thorns is - that the sheep was right there, and shepherds with them. In general, we soon arrived at the famous Karzazat. The glory of the city worldwide, that's just so specific that it is unlikely anyone heard of him. However, the main scenes filmed here iconic Hollywood films where the action takes place in the desert - Mummy, for example, or Gladiator. Cyclopean scenery around Karzazata became the object of pilgrimage tourism, the city has a museum of cinema, many agencies offer tourists to survive the thrill of immersion in the story of famous films. For me - and there can be no decorations in any plot to plunge, even the city is not necessary, in every village there exists a crumbling castle, where the walls are still preserved notches left curved sabers Bedouins. Traditionally, all the fortifications were built in the valley of clay mixed with straw, apparently - the same red, growing out of the red earth termite mounds, like settlements in the mountains near the Berbers, the only difference is that here lived termites another breed - more aggressive and large (rich). The valley of the river - a life line in the rocky desert. On this river like beads strung pearls large green oases - where water has enabled life to prove himself. And then, it becomes clear to the bounty of nature - just around, there was nothing, nothing at all except the scattered stones on clay, and suddenly, over the hill offers an incredible view of the emerald green island jumble of date palms, tall reeds, bamboo, other small greens . But it's incredible wealth had to protect - all equally never enough, it is the law of life. Around it move a lot of hungry neighbors, whom fate has so generously endowed, as the inhabitants of the green oases. Here and there were palm trees over the harsh outlines of earthen fortress with high walls and towers, with tiny little houses huddled inside - everyone wanted to live closer to the garrison. Remains of the recent past at every step - every village on the way from Karzazata to Zagora - a small fortress somewhere already abandoned and dilapidated, somewhere Pestryaev hung out to dry and bright rags strewn grimy playing in the dust of the children.

Moving further to the north-east, we passed two more high-pass, and began to descend towards the Great Desert. Until Zagora was less than 100 kilometers.

Zagora - a gateway through which a person goes to a meeting with the desert. The mood, this is quite a big village is a bit like Imlil. Although outwardly and has nothing to do with this alpine village, dotted with bare walnut trees and wearily sad dank and carotid sadly late autumn. Externally - Zagora is bright and sunny bustling little market, with traders scurrying in pёrstnyh rags, windswept sand streets and dense shade of palm thickets. Zagora - this is the last oasis with shadow and clean water, followed by a continuous series begins sand dunes. But a lot of people coming in Zagora - it's more or less adventurers and romantics seeking a meeting with them to an unknown element. Here you have a resemblance to Imlil.
Zagora, the episode with a camel and injured Japanese.

In Zagora arrived late in the evening, when it got dark dull. From the village was just leaving the caravan camels uvozyaschih group of tourists to nearby in the desert camp. Since the plan was to spend the night in this camp, Mohamed (they Ibrahim stayed the night in the village) kept his head and got a hefty camel on which I stood, and perched at the end of the caravan. Sitting on a high saddle, swaying to the beat of a wide gait of a camel, I was preparing to feel like a real Bedouin. Suddenly, apparently bored of monotonous walk, my little ship of the desert decided to entertain themselves and others, slightly bowed his head, flattened his ears, and gracefully arched neck with full force bitten camel front of the left buttock. For of innocent animal it was, apparently, a big surprise, especially because my camel, releasing the left half ass, his teeth in the other half, with clearly with greater force. The result is a nuisance - the victim of a surprise attack camel began to try to turn to at least find out who and why is it gnaws at the ass, and give a fair repel an aggressor, but as the caravan went on fairly narrow path between high dunes, the opportunities for reversal was not there. Get more crowding, which resulted in a bitten camel, with a loud cry fell sitting on it a Japanese tourist. He fell to the sand, he was not injured, and indignantly shrieking, ducked under a nearby camel and hid behind a bush nearby.

Meanwhile, my camel bitten ass for vperediiduschego, got excited and began to bite all around and horrible, not excluding riders. Somehow influence the behavior of an animal I had no chance, since neither reason nor the reins was not provided. The only governing body camel - ring neck with knit rope through it - was not available for me - a rope was tied to the saddle of a camel going ahead, and to reach it from the saddle there was no way. So I sat on the top and, as a passive spectator, watching this comedy. The funny thing is that biting everybody camel did this with a straight face, even with some impish grin that he could be suspected of evil joke on the unfortunate tourists who are really worried - Japanese who jumped with fright with his camel, generally refused then go next to me. That such a nuisance is not repeated in the future, after the deserved punishment bamboo stick, which my camel calmly took from his master, we put first in the caravan, and biting his ass was already certain, except that the conductor Arab, but it could lead to more severe consequences and from such jokes camel abstained. And reached the camp without further adventure. The camp was a few hefty tents outstretched among low sloping dunes. Before we all get off the camel, as for the closest dune immediately ran affected by camel jokes Japanese, barely managing to run to highlight his feet cell phone. However, it is clearly not escaped to call in Japan - as soon as he disappeared into the dark behind the crest of the dune failure, as there could be heard quite clearly sounds, confirming the obvious connection with the nervous feelings of indigestion. The poor man has experienced serious stress, which obviously had a negative impact on his digestive system.

After a modest dinner - a kind of vegetable stew with oat scones, vegetable stew, whose form recalled the sounds of Japanese dune, still about an hour we sat and chatted about anything in the company of tourists from Italy, South Africa and the UK (the Japanese, due to experienced, isolated the farthest of all the tent). Then I felt Nakata sleepy and went to a nearby tent, where I had the privilege of segregation - a bonus, so to speak, status.

The night passed terribly messy and uncomfortable. Around 9 pm, went to bed, I prudently gathered all the blankets in the tent and folded them from some sort of nest - in a hurry and I foolishly left in the village with a sleeping bag and warm majority of things - the error was fatal. In the beginning, there were no signs of trouble, and I quickly fell asleep under a dozen warm blankets. However, closer to midnight, I felt some discomfort from which half woke up to find out the reason. Sticking his nose out of odeyalovoy heap, I realized that on the street is not cool, but damn cold - the nose immediately froze and was quickly hidden back, but sleep was gone - as soon as I, at least, slightly prikemarival through imperceptible cracks in the pile of blankets to me began to climb bitter cold and viciously biting his sides, not worse camel. We had to turn around, plugging the gap folds blankets, cold immediately creeping through other slits. And so - all night. I have extensive experience in the freezing cold of different places, including the extremely cold conditions of high mountains, and I must say, I was never cold is not so embarrassed that I could not sleep. And then - not even himself cold, but some of it penetrating sensation which does not leave, even if the dress warmly. Local Arabs call it the breath of the desert, which breathes death. Poetic, however, is quite accurate comparison. Standing on the edge of the ocean sand, which is situated on polkontinenta, vaguely feel the same sensation as before the high mountains - the element in front of you, not subject to man, indifferent to him hostile and cold. Heat of human life can be dissolved in it without a trace, and this emptiness tightens, attracts and teases. Here is quite different than the romance in the woods near a hot fire. Continuous contradictions and metaphors.


















Our Principles

AlexClimb Rule #1 - Safety First

From the very beginning of our activity, here nearly 16 years, the first Principle of work of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb is the Safety Priority. On the basis of this Principle all process of training is based, all programs and rounds are developed and carried out only within this main principle. We consider that at professional approach to development of programs, at personal discipline and correctly put motivation - occupations by mountaineering and rock-climbing are COMPLETELY safe. And from the return - all troubles and accidents in our sport come from nonprofessionalism, from ignorance or neglect by elementary standards of safety, from irrational motivation, from revaluation of own forces and opportunities. All these prerequisites we COMPLETELY EXCLUDE in our work - ours Rock-climbing, Ice climbing and Mountaineering are based on one Principle - the Safety Priority. In rock-climbing, mountaineering and ice climbing, the Priority of Safety of MCS AlexClimb-is your personal security and comfort irrespective of, than we are engaged - we train muscles and we work technology of the movement in the sports hall and on the rock climbing wall, we make the way through snowstorm to top or we relax on golden sand of the Caribbean beach after hot day of trainings on rocks. The Safety priority - the main credo of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb.

AlexClimb Rule #2 - Leave No Trace

Closely interacting with Nature, working with the active programs in mountains, woods, lakes and rivers, we perfectly understand the importance of carefull and respectfull bahavior towards the Nature, for its resources. From the very beginning of our outdoor-activity we adopted rules of  Leave No Trace technique - the standard of behavior of the person accepted in all the civilized world in relation to environment and especially - to the wild nature. After all on the relation of people to the nature near which they exist, itself can draw dalekoidushchy conclusions on the relation of these people to... Where and as we didn't travel - we don't reserve any garbage, we try to reduce whenever possible our influence on environment to a minimum. We clear earlier zagryazyonny tourist parking of the left garbage, we take out and we take out to utilization places that to us other people left there. We consider that only thus, at personal individual consciousness of each citizen, each tourist, climber or autotraveller, we will be able to keep the nature surrounding us in its state, natural, suitable for life, - in it pledge of the healthy future for ourselves and our children.

AlexClimb Rule #3 - Sober Concious

The position of AlexClimb Mountain and rockclimbing School regarding healthy lifestyle is quite clear - we consider that only sober consciousness is capable to fill sincere emotions,  to sympathize, to enjoy life in all its variety. Bright various enjoyable life is possible only on condition of keeping the absolute sobriety and purity of consciousness. Any way of obscuring our perception of reality is intended to do harm to our consciousness and bring harm to our physical health, to replace the true values by false ones, to destroy us physically - to turn us into flabby, weak, senseless, gray herd with empty hazy eyes. We don't force anybody to our point of view, everyone has a God's gift of making his own choice and to destroy himself if that is what he wants... But in AlexCilimb Mountain Climbing School we accept quite certain and very simple set of rules: neither alcohol, nor drugs.
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