The day we, eleven Pangaea Young Explorers, all met in Marrakech was special for me. We shared the excitement about the next days together and the adventure ahead.
The first challenge of the trip – how to find transportation to Imlil, a small mountain village? We ended up in a taxi with many less seats than people (remember, each of us had a big backpack!), but nothing could disturb the great atmosphere and laughs. The only thing left to do before heading for the mountains was getting crampons, poles and some delicious nuts!
The way up was picturesque, we passed some rivers, donkeys, a small village and finally some people trying to sell us the local stones and argan oil, in places you don’t expect anyone to be. The temperature was changing quickly, as we started with short-sleeves and ended up wearing jackets, hats and crampons. Getting to the Refuge of the French Alpine Club and having the Moroccan tagine for dinner was the perfect ending of the day.
Unfortunately, some of us got the altitude sickness (in 3200m above sea level) and we decided to stay one day more in the Refuge to acclimate. The easy hiking day was full of fun in the snow, as we found out that going down is much easier on our bums than on foot. All accompanied by the shining sun, monumental peaks around and the clarity of the air.
At over 3000m above sea level some got altitude sickness.
When the big day came, we all woke up at three in the morning, ready for the challenge – summiting the highest peak of North Africa. No words can explain the feeling of standing on the peak of Toubkal towering more than 4100m in altitude, with the sun rising simultaneously. The people and the scenery are the most rewarding experiences that I took home. No matter what peaks you climb or aspire to, it is the intense sense of the team that I enjoy the most.
We got down to Imlil and finally in the evening to Marrakesh. But not all of us. Simon, Livio and Constantin didn’t really feel it was the right time for them to say goodbye to the Atlas Mountains. Another peak for the sunset for them! Maybe I felt a bit jealous about their adventure, but wasn’t sure of it while enjoying the Hammam and dinner on the roof in Marrakesh recalling all the great moments of our mountain time!