Tash, Jake and I are off for a week of (hopefully) sunny climbing in Morocco, staying at the Kasbah Tizourgane on the northern side of the Jebel el Kest mountains. Agadir is only a 3:30hr flight from Manchester (not much further than Malaga) and only £60 return – how do they do that? After a low-hassle trip through immigration, we picked up our bags (eventually), some dosh, a SIM card (£5 for 5Gb) and a hire car, and set off into the night (it was about 9pm by now). Bizarrely, we were in thick fog for a nervous first half hour of the journey, with the occasional dark clad pedestrian or unlit bike looming alarmingly out of the gloom. This cleared as we left the coast behind, and it was wall-to-wall stars as we climbed and zigzagged up into the mountains. A couple of hours later we were entering the fortified walls of this restored hill-top citadel and settling down for the night.
Dawn brought blue skies, bright sunshine and a spectacular vista over the fertile valley.
Planning on getting a feel for the rock and the grades, we set off for the Anammer Crags in Afantinzar Valley, a half hour drive from the Kasbah.
This is a mile-long series of roadside single-pitch crags with a very sunny aspect. I’d perhaps taken too much note of the “might be chilly in December” warnings and too little note of the “obviously toasty actual weather” – we were roasting! This was compounded by the advice to avoid offending local sensibilities by keeping covered up (especially as we were in close proximity to houses) – I’d have had my shirt off and legs unzipped in a blink otherwise.
Anyway, despite the warmth (and let’s face it, that’s something of a curmudgeonly complaint when it’s been peeing down at home for the last week) we did a bunch of decent routes. St Clement’s, HVS 4c, was probably the pick of the bunch.
… and Park End E3 5b the trickiest (bold but not too techy) – nice one Jake!