Jebel Saghro alone
Replies: 18 - Last Post: Nov 17, 2013 1:24 PM Last Post By: wingit
Jan 4, 2012 8:28 AM
Jebel Saghro aloneI'm interested in doing a few day hike in Jebel Saghro. I'm flying into Marrakech on 21 January and will be in Morroco for 11 days.
Because I will be traveling alone and not able to share a guide I would like to know if it's possible to do the hike alone. It is probably pretty expensive to hire a guide with a mule (if anyone has been there recently would be nice to hear about the prices)?
I'm wondering if there is possible to find water on the way at this time of the year. Some guides advise to buy all the food in advance but is it also possible to buy something on the way. I'm interested in these details because I would like to know if I'm able to carry enough supplies without a mule.
There is another thing. Do I need a warm sleeping bag (it's January) and a mat for sleeping in the Gîtes?
Thanks a lot, Djuro
Jan 4, 2012 10:44 AM
1I haven't done Jbel Sahro for a few years but there's places to stop overnight and buy food and water, including the village of Ikniouin and a couple of auberges near Tizi n'Tazazert.
Yes, nights will be cold. There's normally no shortage of blankets but I always take a silk sleeping bag liner and thermal underwear.
Here's a link to Explore's route map: http://www.explore.co.uk/holidays/details/jebel-sahro-trek?vid=643
Jan 5, 2012 12:37 AM
2Thank you for the reply.
As I said I would like to know something more about doing this alone. I would also join a group to share the costs.
Are there any Moroccan companies (for example in Marrakech) where I could book few days trip in Jebel Sahro when I come there?
Jan 5, 2012 3:30 AM
3You could do this alone, there's an old thread by Gioria (?) that probably has more information. Generally guides only guide and mulateers manage the mules, you don't find guides with mules but you might find a mulateer who speaks French who could sort of guide you.
Not aware of travel companies in Marrakech, I would think N'kob or Tinerhir would be more likely.
Jan 6, 2012 12:51 AM
4Thanks again. I found a guide with more details on the area. It seems you need to camp at least for a night or two if you want to walk from N'kob to Iknioun or the other way around. I speak a little bit of French and it would be nice to have some company at least in the evenings when camping.
What is in your opinion a better starting point, Iknioun or N'kob (considering transportation and possibilites to hire guide, mulateer)? Is it possible to hire any camping and mountaineering equipment somewhere there?
Jan 8, 2012 4:52 AM
Jan 9, 2012 11:08 AM
6Hi there. I have been to the Saghro a couple of times. I spent a week hiking there with a friend 4 years ago and I crossed it on my own by bicycle last winter. It is a very beautiful place. Unless you are a very, very seasoned hiker and have topo maps (impossible to find in Morocco) and speak Tamazigh/Arabic you won't go very far if you intend to hike off track... Plenty of trails but they are not blazed and the topography is confusing and settlements are far and few in between (being so close to the desert there is little vegetation in the mountains). As far as I know there is no guidebook for that area available in English.
If you want to see the Saghro well you should definitely consider a guide. My friend and I are keen mountaineers, know Morocco really well, speak French and can make ourselves understood in Arabic but we decided to hire a guide and a mule. I can give you leads if you want, I know a cool guy who runs a gîte in a village on the North slope. He could easily organize a mule and a muleteer on short notice and this rather cheaply, probably for less than 40 Euros a day.
If your time is limited it is a viable option.
The only stretch you could hike on your own is Ikniouin-Tizi N'Tazazert-N'Kob following the "main" road (most of it is lose rocks and deep ruts, even 4x4s travel at a crawl on it and very few attempt it). There are a few gîtes and auberges along that stretch. There is public transport between Tineghir and Ikniouin or Tagdilt.
You don't need to bring a mat if you intend to stay in gîtes.
Edited by: levelo
Edited by: levelo
Jan 10, 2012 6:59 AM
7Hi levelo. Thank you for your opinion on the ideas and questions I had. It would be really nice of you if you could forward me guide's contact and maybe give me some more advice what is important when negotiating for the trip. If you have any ideas which places to go to, it would be nice to hear that too.
Do you think that it's possible to sleep in the gîtes all the time if you do a four day trekking for example? I'm asking because I'm considering bringing a mat.
Jan 10, 2012 7:42 AM
Brahim, the guy I know, runs a nice gîte with his family in Tagdilt which is right at the foot of the mountain range about 20 kms south of Boumalne. I think there are 2 gîtes in the village, his is the one on the hill to the right (West) on the edge of the settlement as you go up. It is a fairly big, family-run place and they have mules. Brahim and his brothers can all guide you and they all speak reasonable French. Not sure about English. You can sleep, eat and organize your hike from there. Brahim has an e-mail address but there is no Internet up there and the closest place for him to check his messages is Boumalne and I am not sure how often he does it. I think he gave me a business card last time I was there (March) and I will try to dig it up for you. Itineraries and prices are negotiable but I think we paid 20 Euros a head all inclusive 4 years ago (plus tip). Prices may have gone up a notch and if you are going alone they may want more. My friend knew Brahim and maybe we got a better deal. If you go with them you don't have to bring a mat, they'll provide you with one. A sleeping bag is a must though if you don't fancy their blankets. They have tents and they'll give you one. Gîtes per se are far and few in between in the Saghro (it is far less developed than the Haut Atlas, being hard to get to). To get to Tagdilt you have to reach Boumalne first and it is a long, long day away from Marrakesh by public transport. From Boumalne there are shared taxis but I also think that hitching would work.
If you are still keen on seeing the Saghro alone the only viable option would be to follow the piste across the mountain range south of Tagdilt that could take you down to N'Kob on the other side. I rode it last year in one very long day (I had panniers and was fully loaded). It is gorgeous. Almost no traffic. There is kind of a plateau at the top of the mountain with several tracks that are confusing. Make sure not to get lost there. There is also a gîte at the pass. The way down is very spectacular and very rough with a vehicle. Between the pass and N'Kob there is at least one place where you can eat/have tea and maybe sleep. At some point you'll reach a lush valley with settlements and gardens and the track follows it before climbing up again and descending into N'Kob which has hotels and restaurants. If I were to hike Tagdilt-N'Kob I would shoot for 3 days and I would bring supplies.
Edited by: levelo
Edited by: levelo
Jan 10, 2012 9:34 AM
9If you find the card, please forward contacts to me. I would rather hire a guide, I just hope it won't be too much for my budget.
I will most probably try to go to Ourzazate first and stay a night there and the next day I would have enough time to come to Tagdilt and organize everything.
If I understand this properly, they organize also the food for you. This is pretty important because once in Tagdilt there's not possible to buy any supplies anymore or am I wrong? Do you think there would be any other options for hiring a guide in Tagdilt if the connection with Brahim wouldn't work or is it better to try in Ikniouin?
Jan 10, 2012 12:37 PM
10I am not at home at the moment but I will get back to you tomorrow hopefully with Brahim's info.
Yes, you pay a daily fee and the muleteer takes care of food and accommodation. I am sure you'll find someone to guide you in Tagdilt, be it at Brahim's or at the other gîte.
Don't know about the availability of guides/muleteers in Iknioun. There is a "bureau des guides" in N'Kob.
Although you should be able to find basic supplies in Tagdilt if you want to do it alone you should buy all you need in Boumalne. Water is no problem along the way.
Jan 10, 2012 1:03 PM
Jan 11, 2012 11:12 AM
12Sorry Djuro, I can't find Brahim's info. But his gîte is really easy to find (go back to my previous posts) and Tagdilt is just a village where everyone knows everyone. Peak season for the Saghro is March/April/may and then the fall so you should be able to find a mule and a muleteer on the spot. Bring enough warm gear though, nights will be downright cold. 4 years ago we climbed the Saghro's summit at 2600m in March and there was a lot of snow. But I see you're from Slovenia so I'm sure you know what I am talking about.
Jan 11, 2012 11:47 AM
13Ok, no problem. I'm sure I will find a way. I just bought some more warm clothes and I have a warm sleeping bag.
At what altitude I can expect snow at this time of the year if you have any idea? I didn't think of bringing the equipment for the snow. I was more thinking about walking in the areas without snow.
If you need any info on Slovenian mountains, you should contact me:)
Jan 11, 2012 12:06 PM
14I don't think you'll need to be equipped for snow although January and February are two months when snow usually falls. It snowed quite heavily and late in the winter last year (the Tichka pass across the High Atlas was briefly closed in March). The area will be very quiet and peaceful at this time of year so enjoy. Few people go to the Saghro, it still is very much off the beaten track being hard to reach and lacking infrastructure (that's good for us).
I have been to Slovenia a couple of times and hiked/hiked the Triglav area, spent time in Bled and Ljubljana. Beautiful land.
Edited by: levelo
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