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Africa, Morocco, Taghia, Various New Routes and Repeat Ascents

Various new routes and repeat ascents. From March 31 to April 24 the Freewall Team of the German Alpine Club visited the limestone walls of Taghia. After two years of successful training, where they learned the fundamental climbing tricks, from aid to sport-climbing to bouldering, and from body-weight placements to double dynos, Daniel Gebel, Christoph Gotschke, Markus Grieshammer, Paul Sass, Benno Wagner, and I as trainer put up five new routes up to 8a+/5.13c. We also repeated classic routes up to 7c. All targets and expectations were fulfilled. Two new 500m routes with multiple 7th grade pitches would rank among the five best multipitch limestone routes I know in Europe.

The team was lucky in its choice of new-route lines up the walls around the small village of Taghia and enjoyed three weeks of largely good weather throughout the stay. The walls lie in the middle of a dreamlike climbing valley, where time is slow and the potential for pioneering is awesome. However, one accident showed the seriousness of our climbing trip. After repeating a few hard classic routes, the team focused on first ascents on the north face of Taoujdad. This 600m-high wall has scope for beautiful hard lines and is just 30 minutes walk from the small Berber village of Taghia, with its 300 inhabitants. The village is only accessible by 4WD and a four-hour walk through an amazing gorge. It is situated in a beautiful green valley at ca 2,000m. The tranquility and hospitality of the local people are inspiring, and the surrounding peaks, which rise to 3,000m, complete a wonderful ambience. Most climbs lie between 20 minutes and three hours from the village.

From April 3-7 Gebel and Gotschke climbed a new route that they named Fata Morgana (500m, 15 pitches, 7c), finishing on Riviere Purpur. On April 13 they made a one-day ascent. From April 4-9 Grieshammer, Lamprecht, Sass, and Wagner climbed D’Antonion und die 3 Musketiere (520m, 16 pitches, 7c+) This route was climbed in a day on April 16, again using Riviere Purpur for the finish. Gebel, Gotschke, and Lamprecht created Mastermind (150m, five pitches, 7c+) on April 12 and 14, with a one-day ascent being made on the 16th. Gebel made the first ascent of Fire Inside (8a) on April 18, and Gebel and Wagner made the first ascent of Muy Benno (8a+) on the 20th.

We also repeated Jamiro ( 11 pitches, 7a variation, Grieshammer-Wagner, April 3), Riviere Purpur (16 pitches, 7b+, Grieshammer-Wagner, April 4), Fata Morgana (the first 10 pitches by Gotschke and Lamprecht, April 13; all 15 pitches including the Riviere Purpur finish by Gebel and Sass, April 19), Fantasia (11 pitches to the rappel anchors, 7b+, Sass-Wagner, April 14), La Mano de la Maroc (13 pitches, 7b+, Sass-Wagner-Lamprecht, April 17), and Le Zebta (eight pitches, 7b+, Gebel-Gotschke, April 17).

Toni Lamprecht, German Alpine Club