Africa, Morocco, Anti Atlas, Tafraoute, New Routes

Publication Year: 2005.

Anti Atlas, Tafraoute, new routes. It was a brilliant week of doing new routes on the quartzite around Tafraoute. Our last route was 340m, around 5.7 in difficulty with spectacular climbing. The complete team was Joe Brown, Claude Davies, Mike Mortimer, Joe (Morty) Smith, Pete Turnbull, Derek Walker, and myself. Joe, Pete and Claude have been coming here for 12 years and I’m a comparative new boy with only four to my credit. During all that time not a bolt has been placed and hardly any pitons.

Mike and I only had a week, but the others had already been there for a week when we arrived. The climbing is superb, especially for aging climbers—all but Mike were grandfathers. The quartzite rock of the area yields spectacular and very steep lines with good holds and on the whole good clean rock.

Mike and I completed two new routes: The Eagle’s Perch on Anergui Upper Crag (140m, 5a), and The Baron’s Largesse—Joe (The Baron) Brown pointed us at it—on Crag U, Upper ( 140m, 5a). The final route we did was one of the best I have done in Morocco: Stairway to Heaven, on Anergui Upper Crag (340m, 11 pitches, 4c).

There is now a guide book written by Claude Davies: Climbing in the Moroccan Anti-Atlas (Cicerone, 2004, ISBN 1-85284-412-4). [Another report suggested that various UK climbers recommend the services of a local outfitter detailed at—Ed.]

Chris Bonington, Alpine Club