Monday, 19 September 2011

A quick note

Although a little late this is a quick post to confirm James, Tom, Troy, Ben, Will, Adam and myself flew back to England late Thursday night. The other five will be returning very shortly as our goals have been realised and Africa Expediion 2011 draws to a close. On behalf of the whole group, a massive thank you to everyone who donated to SOS Children and helped us to raise over £3000.00 for an orphanage not far from Marrakesh. Over the next couple of weeks more photos will be uploaded to the facebook page (keep an eye out) and I will be working on an overall expedition write up. We also have a video to look forward to that Sam will be making shortly.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Monday 12th September 18:30

We made it! All 12 of the team summitted Jbel Toubkal on Sunday morning. After a 6 hour trek on Saturday morning we made it to the French Alpine Club refuge where we would rest at 3000 metres before making our summit bid early on Sunday morning. We ascended via the South Col enjoying the scrambling as the sun rose over the High Atlas mountains. On the approach to the summit Ben kept to his word and walked the last 100m naked much to the amusement of the rest of the group (problems uploading photos so documentation of this will have to wait).
The panoramic views from the top were well worth cycling 3000km and climbing 4000m for. The team are now resting in Imlil as we completed the descent all the way from the top of Toubkal to Imlil in one day. Tomorrow should see the team descend the mountain roads back into Marrakesh leaving us with time to visit the SOS orphanage on Wednesday.
The only photo I was able to upload - Some of the team looking out across the High Atlas

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Thursday 8th September 14:00

After 2 days of climbing on the bikes we have arrived at Imlil - the last village on the route to Toubkal. Yesterday was a very strenuous day as we climbed up to Asni in the heat of the day. The 40 degree heat really saps you when going uphill as there is little wind to cool you down. We spent last night in a hostel in Asni and ate at a local villagers' house for a very reasonable price. We were pretty much all in agreement that the Tagine we were served was the best Moroccan food we had eaten so far! The climb to Imlil this morning was much easier as we left at the crack of dawn and arrived before 9. The Atlas mountains that surround us in a valley make for some spectacular scenery. We will spend 2 days here before walking to the refuge on Saturday morning.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Tuesday 6th September 14:00

Nearly there! Arrived in Marrakesh on Sunday afternoon after cycling from Mohammadia by Casablanca over two days. Currently James, Katie and Tom are in Casablanca trying to collect our bike bags and walking boots that we sent over whilst the rest of us are making final preparations before our climb of Toubkal. We are shedding as much weight as possible from the bikes as we have a 45km long climb up to Asni gaining 650 metres before a very steep 15km climb from Asni to Imlil where we gain a further 600 metres of altitude. We will then say goodbye to our bikes for a few days as we trek to the refuge before our summit attempt. Including rest days if all goes to plan we should reach the top of Morocco on Sunday morning. A final and very fast descent by bicycle back in to Marrakesh on Monday will complete our 3000km distance.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Saturday 3rd September

We are currently about half way between Casablanca and Marrakech, having stayed in Casablanca last night.  Tonight we'll be camping out near a lake.  We're cycling to Marrakech over two days to ensure we get plenty of rest before our ascent of Jebel Toubkal!  We'll hopefully make Marrakech tomorrow (Sunday 4th).