Maroc

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Mark R
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Maroc

Post by Mark R » Mon Jan 15, 2007 7:58 pm

A handful of us are considering an impromptu 'mini-expedition' to Morocco at Easter with our WaGs...they have appropriate Grade 3-4 paddling skills and experience, now can they also negotiate the 'Expedition' element (commitment, gorges, portaging, self-support, no shoe shops) as well?

Anyhow..I've been to Morocco a few times in past years, but not for intermediate WW paddling and not with vast reserves of superfluous disposable income to spend on Landrover shuttles.

A few questions...

Transport...I have one contact name for someone to offer logistical support (um, drive us around everywhere and pamper us) but want to shop a bit...can anyone suggest any trekking agencies or suchlike out there who may be able to drive us?

Rivers...I am aware of the rivers near Marrakesh (e.g. Ourika) and I am very keen to paddle the Dades gorges, having spotted them whilst trekking on my last visit. The Ahensal (which is where the paddling tour groups go) is also in our wishlist as a multi-day possibility. Other recommendations? Comments? Experiences? Any thoughts welcome. Note that we are selecting rivers from the perspective of intermediate paddlers sticking their necks out, rather than hero-boaters doing laps of honour.
Last edited by Mark R on Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dave Manby
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Post by Dave Manby » Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:16 am

Mark I have river notes, in French, from years ago which detail several grade 3-4 rivers I will dig them out and scan them and send them you. I can recommend the Tessaout as a multi day trip took us two days but the drive in was "exciting" (in 1986) also the upper end of the N'Fiss south of Marakesh should fit the bill (whilst you run the gorge as a bonus aferwards)!

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Adventure X

Post by paddles magazine editor » Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:59 am

Mark, I believe 'Adventure X' run trips to Morocco and post on here - perhaps they could point you in the right direction?

www.adventurex.co.uk
jo at adventurex dot co dot uk

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:01 am

I think waterbynature have been running trips to Morrocco, it might be worth seeing if they can put you in touch with whoever they use for logistics.

Jim

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Morocco

Post by danielz » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:05 am

Mark

A group from the Poly did something very similar a few years ago, there's a write up + logistic info on http://www.thepoly.co.uk/

Failing that drop Frazer a line and he should be able to point you in the right direction.

Daniel

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Mark R
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Post by Mark R » Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:29 pm

Dave - thanks for the offer, although I have these French rivers notes, I dug through a cupboard and found them....I think Slime passed them to me years back. I also have incomprehensible guides in German and Italian!

Dan - the Poly link was useful (although...is that site dead now?) and gave me another contact address for transport, which I've made use of.

Jim - thanks, I've also contacted WBN although I don't think they do non-guided tour logistics.

Richard - tried Adventure X as well, thanks.

Any more thoughts welcome. Just bought flights, committed now!

This picture finally decided me on going ahead with the trip.

Gorges du Dades...
Image
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aliceg
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Post by aliceg » Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:04 pm

I've been trying to convince Rob that we should do a similar trip to Morocco - I'm now very jealous. Maybe vague hints such as "I'd like to go to Morocco at some point" should be replaced by "We're going to Morocco dear"

(I'm not feeling very inspired by work today - so if you need German translated ....)

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Mark R
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Post by Mark R » Wed Jan 17, 2007 3:33 pm

aliceg wrote:I'm now very jealous.
Don't fret, you don't need to go to Morocco at all - you can live vicariously through our exploits.

In fact, why bother ever leaving the house at all? There is enough paddling activity described and depicted here on UKRGB.
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Post by Chaucer » Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:21 pm

Nick Mawer

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Post by aliceg » Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:23 pm

Didn't look at the pictures .. but the article is hilarious (possibly not intentionally so). They're paddling inflatables - but don't actually say what river
Im Vorderteil des Kanadiers scheint der Rotschopf von Gaby Hirche wie ein Kobold über die Wellen zu hüpfen. Sie haut brav und vom Lebenspartner angefeuert mit dem Riemen in den weißen Schaum. An zwei Stechpaddeln sind schon Ehen und Freundschaften gescheitert! Meine Frau Ingrid ist wie immer voller Vertrauen und läßt sich vom Schwall den Schneid nicht abkaufen.
"In the front of the canadian, shines the red hair of Gaby, hopping over the waves like a kobald (whatever that is). She bravely paddles, spurred on by her life-partner, to feel the rhyme in the white foam. In canadians marriages and friendships have been wrecked! As always, my wife Ingrid is full of trust and doesn't get overwhelmed by the swell" *

* only a vaguely accurate translation - I'm not really able to convey the floweriness and badness of this prose


Right, better get back to living vicariously (and PhD - dirt)

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drought...

Post by liquidilogical » Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:07 pm

Morocco is suffering a very persistent drought at the moment. The levels when we were there two weeks back were literally rock bottom and much of the regular snow hasn’t fallen yet and is now unlikely to do so, do have a good look into the current climate as by Easter things may be worse..

Sorry to bear bad news

It is still a fantastic and exciting destination great biking climbing and trekking

Regards

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Mark R
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Post by Mark R » Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:27 pm

Oh dear - maybe we'll end up surfing if there isn't some snowfall before Easter!

What did you paddle?
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Post by robt » Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:40 pm

MarkR wrote:Don't fret, you don't need to go to Morocco at all - you can live vicariously through our exploits.
The sacrifices you make for the rest of us are... extraordinary.

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Post by liquidilogical » Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:49 pm

Was on a bike based river reccy...

The surf was about 5m on the principal breaks...

This time of year ( Jan feb) see some of the biggest swells from the north Atlantic. There will be some fantastic hidden breaks running perfectly if it holds

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Mark R
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Post by Mark R » Sun Mar 11, 2007 9:35 pm

So...we're off there in a few weeks.

Anyone know anything about the Ahensal River? Where do you get in/ out? Portages? Etc?

Cheers,
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JohnH
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Post by JohnH » Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:50 am

Anyone got details on the cost of a trip like this?

Also any details on the rivers and levels this year would be great, tempted to go but kinda lacking info...

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mole
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Post by mole » Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:33 am

I believe Canoe Control are running a trip out there this easter, I know 2 girls who are going. Maybe Stuart Woodward can help you out?


Neill
Sometimes it's just too much effor......aughhh

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Post by EVOvincent » Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:00 pm

MarkR wrote:So...we're off there in a few weeks.

Anyone know anything about the Ahensal River? Where do you get in/ out? Portages? Etc?

Cheers,
found on EVO
http://www.eauxvives.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=13355, last message of the topic
just need to practice your french!
this is from Paul Villecourt who knows Morocco quite well. Send him a mail if necessary

quick translation:
Ahensal
Access : from the cathedral rock lodging, deux hours (by 4x4) drive on a very bad road to reach the iron bridge (take in). Take out at the level of the cathedral rock lodging.
Description : 15 Km class III/IV. beware of low bridges and branches
Another superb section that you absolutely need to discover. Juste before the end of the gorge sections, the river passes though a tunnel created by the fall of a big rock. Beware of branches that migh obstruct it

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Mark R
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Post by Mark R » Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:10 pm

Brilliant Vincent, thanks.

I suspect that this is a description of the section above that which is rafted. Anyone able to confirm/ deny this?

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Post by Dave Manby » Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:40 pm

MarkR wrote:This picture finally decided me on going ahead with the trip.

Gorges du Dades...
Image


this was one of the coldest days on a river I remember. Bright sunshine hot weather and so we all got on with just lifejackets, helmets and spraydecks. The van left and we paddled off. DRY air, instant evaportation and next time we saw the van everyone grabbed cags; van left and next time the road came back down to the river everyone except me and Guy Baker got off. We paddled into the gorge and really I don't remember it as I was so cold once we went out of the sun!

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Post by EVOvincent » Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:01 am

another recent french video
http://kct.free.fr/Maroc.wmv

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Post by AdventureX » Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:46 pm

There are a couple of options - you can get in at Cathedral Rock (drive up stream from Tilouguite) or you could start a little higher on some of the tributaries. Spectacular scenery which ever you choose. The other option is putting on at Tilouguite itself where the road crosses the river.

If you put in upstream of Tilouguite then beware of the sunken/submerged bridge as you approach the village. Last year the levels were high so it was well covered for most the season - but two of us hit the bridge on the last trip which was just a couple of inches below the surface. These thing could be potentially lethal as most of the water gets washed or sucked under the surface/under the bridge and you really wouldn't want to be there in your kayak (no way to tell if there are trees under there or anything).

The rest of the river is fine and you could read and run all of it - though it is nice to take it at a gentle pace as it is a stunning place!

Image

The river empties into lake Bin El Quidane so be prepared for a long paddle out (after you have paddled through the surface litter that builds up where the silt laden river empties in to the clear fresh water of the lake). There is a german guy who lives on the banks of the lake who has a boat and picks groups up sometimes or maybe flag down anyone else in a boat and try haggle a lift across the lake)

Some more pics here:

http://www.adventurex.co.uk/photo-gallery-morocco.asp

Hope this all helps, and enjoy the trip!

Ben
Worldwide River Adventures
www.adventurex.co.uk

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jay
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Post by jay » Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:35 pm

Pascal Perron, a kayaker who lives in Morocco and sells paddling trips, has posted a message with mixed news. Here is a translation:
pascal wrote:The bad news is that the major of Ousoud village has not been allowing paddling on the beautiful waterfall section for a while. Though, that has now changed, you'll nevertheless need to go to the hydro-agency in Beni Mellal (a 2 hour drive away) and buy a permit costing 65 pounds per group.

The good news is that there is a normal level of snow at 3000m and 4000m and that rivers such as Ahensal, Oum Er Bia and Assif Meloul are running now and should be running until May.

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Mark R
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Post by Mark R » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:44 pm

Thanks Jay...that's really helpful.

Thankfully I've already paddled the Ouzoud.
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Mark R
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Post by Mark R » Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:12 pm

Off tomorrow night ... will let you know if there is any water in the desert!
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Kate
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Post by Kate » Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:52 am

Taken from recent posting on Eauxvives.org

For the « Tilouguitte - le lac de Bin El Ouidane » section of L'Oued Ahansal

section paddled on 04/04/2007 with 45 cm on the gauge of the tilouguit footbridge

Some rapids have changed or become unrunnable (syphoning rocks) after the november floods.
There are two obligatory portages, a low footbridge and a tree trunk crossing the river – both are visible. The portage of the treetrunk is difficult and takes about 45 minutes – engorged part of the river.

et l'original en francais:

L'Oued Ahansal

section « Tilouguitte-> le lac de Bin El Ouidane »

45 cm a l'echelle de la passerelle submersible de tilouguit

Suite a une crue de novembre, le pont de Tilouguit a ete emporté puis remplacé.certains passages se trouvent modifiers, voir infran (dalle syphon)...une passerelle basse oblige a un portage, ainsi qu'un tronc en travers, mais visibles...le bouchon d'arbre se trouve a un endroit delicat pour un portage ou les rives sont en fallaise, prendre en compte la traversé du bouchon dans le temp de naviguation (bien 45 mn de plus).

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Post by Brock » Thu Apr 05, 2007 6:34 pm

This is from a friend who has just got back from a ski touring trip in Morocco.
"No snow at all on south facing slopes, as it had not
snowed for a few weeks and was pretty warm - (T-shirt weather), but plenty in north facing bowls."
Thought it might help someone planning a trip.
James Brocklehurst
Basel, Switzerland

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Mark R
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Post by Mark R » Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:57 pm

Just q quick updqte from the Sqhqra - qrqbic keybqrd so I cant do punctuqtion

We are roghing it in q rqther nice hotel in the villqge where Glqdiqtor qnd Lawrence of Qrqbiq were filmed - pqddled some glorious grqde 3-4 gorges and the pqddling here is ,uch beter thqn I reqlised from previous visits - hqving q greqt time - bqck on sundqy
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Post by Daffers » Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:46 pm

MarkR wrote:Just q quick updqte from the Sqhqra - qrqbic keybqrd so I cant do punctuqtion

We are roghing it in q rqther nice hotel in the villqge where Glqdiqtor qnd Lawrence of Qrqbiq were filmed - pqddled some glorious grqde 3-4 gorges and the pqddling here is ,uch beter thqn I reqlised from previous visits - hqving q greqt time - bqck on sundqy
Scaraly.. I can understand that perfectly!

Sounds cool though! Got mates out there at the moment, so will be cool to hear of all the stories!!
JP Lives Forever

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