On September 1st I flew to Marrakech to join the rest of the “Climb Again” project team. Along with Cosmin Andron, Claudiu Miu, Hargur Jaggi and Nora Dorian I was up for this interesting adventure meant to prove that anybody passionate and motivated enough can climb.

I had heard a lot of nice stories about the town of Marrakech and indeed, I really liked the atmosphere, the culture and the people. Exhibiting a strong influence of the western culture – shopping malls, McDonalds, fancy cars – and thousands of tourists on the streets, it was the old town of Marrakech that got our attention, with its Jamaa el’Fna, the crowded and energetic market where one cand find almost anything from local art to delicious food.

We couldn’t stay too long in this fragrant place since we had to focus on our real objective. Southeast Marrakech, but not too far, lays the Great Atlas Mountain Range. From the distance we could recognize its mountains on the skyline. The Great Atlas Mountain Range doesn’t seem that tall, however it shows a few massifs that rise above the 4000 m altitude and in summer time there are no glaciers or snow to create a contrast in these desertic landscapes.

Mount Oujdad

Mount Oujdad

The road towards Taghia ends in one of the deep valleys of Atlas. From the valley we had to walk three or four more hours to reach the remote village of Taghia. Anywhere our eyes could gaze, we could see the dry mountains and their brown rocks, the small bushes and the few small trees. The village of Taghia is situated on the bottom of the valley, very close to the river. It is the water that creates life here, and along with it the agriculture, the food and the happyness. On the riverbed we found rich and green gardens filled with fruits and vegetables. The growing crops were carefully taken care of by the local people, the Berbers. While children were playing loudly outside, collecting the freshly ripen nuts, women were taking care of the households. Such a simple way of life, yet filled with happyness!

Big brown limestone cliffs surround Taghia. We could see the proemiment Oujdad Mountain rising right above our small guesthouse, dividing the valley in two, like a strong pillar withstanding the eroding power of the rivers.

Soon, we started looking for Baraka (680 m/7b), the route we had chosen for our climb. And day by day we were discovering more about this place and its mountains.

[Part two of the story coming soon] 🙂 .

Read about the project in the dedicated section, here.