These days, it's rare I get to go on a fun climbing trip. I mean, I go on a lot of climbing trips, they're just usually to large and snowy mountains, and never as plaisir as I'd like.
This winter was supposed to be no different. After my expedition to Cerro Torre I was going to go to the Himalaya for another round of alpine brutality. My partner backed out though, leaving me without a plan for the spring. Instead, I landed a gag for American television working in Morocco. After my month of work was finished, my girlfriend Elise came over from Squamish for some culture and some climbing.
The now famous Taghia Gorge was our first stop and it delivered the goods. We cruised classic bolted limestone routes up to 2000' long. Mostly vertical or less, these were the perfect routes to condition our arms for what was to come next. On the local 'chicken run' bus out of Zaoia Ahensale, the town at the trailhead to Taghia, we fortuitously met some Spanish climbers who told us about the Akchour Valley. They described 1000' overhanging sport climbs dripping with tufas in a lush valley a stones throw from the Mediterranean. That's all we needed to hear before making the necessary travel arrangements. We were on our way to check it out.
Our low expectations were shot out of the park by what we stumbled upon: amazing walls lined the valley and Mr. Abdul welcomed us into his centrally-located gite, a cosmic place to hang out after a day of first-class limestone. With only time for a sampler of the routes, we made the most of it, exploring the different sectors and taking note of the great potential of the place.
I highly recommend a trip to the adventurous climber looking to sample high quality Moroccan stone, and maybe add a route of your own!