/ A Moroccan Adventure
Morocco, 13. December 2017
Day 5 - TOUBKAL DAY! Alarm went off! I was very excited, I was like a kid at Christmas. Leanne was anxious as she didn't want to let me down by not being able to summit, she had already had a couple of moments with altitude and we were going quite a bit higher, 547m to be precise and over the 4000m line which neither of us had ever experienced. My plan to be out the door by 6am back fired as i was faffing loads, I'm usually quite organised (I know quite a shock to a lot of people) when it comes to things like this but not this morning. Everyone had the same plan by the looks of it but we were still one of the first teams out, we set out up the hardest section of the day, 200m of steep walking through deep snow. There was a team quite a bit ahead of us and at first thought this was good as they were breaking the trail for us, once on the route though the wind was depositing a lot of snow on the slab so in the end I was breaking trail anyway, all the other teams thanked us for that. After an hour and a half we got to the lip of the Cwm and it was light and our first glimpse of what we had to come came into view. The next hour went by very quickly and we made very good progress, even pulling away from the Canadian and English teams up to the South Col. It was bloody freezing! Must of been about -15, so we whacked on a layer, put our crampons on and bit into a very frozen Twix bar which could of easily broken my teeth! The South Ridge we followed wasn't that steep nor dangerous and Leanne lead us up towards the Summit Pyramid with ease even though she was struggling towards the end with the altitude. At 10:10am we stood on the summit of Toubkal, I was exceptionally pleased as we had succeeded our aim on getting to the highest point in North Africa. I was also really proud with Leanne because before today the highest she had ever summited was Cairngorm in Scotland which compared to Toubkal is a small hill and only a year ago really struggled getting to the top of Glyger Fawr in North Wales! So this to her it's a massive achievement. We spent only 15 mins on the summit taking pics, getting our breath back and congratulating the English team who were only about 10 mins behind us. We were contemplating heading down a different route but decided to head back the same way, we wanted to get back to fire and some warm food and we didn't mess about. What took us just under 4hrs to get up took 1.5hrs to get down and we were back at the refuge by 12:50. The afternoon was spent chilling, chatting about the day and mountain boots (my inner geekiness came out) and also writing this! A very very good day and one we will remember for a very long time.