Adrar Ti-n-Taouafa, southwest pillar. During a three-week stay in the Algerian desert, Gerke Hoekstra, Ronald Naar, and I explored an area southwest of the small town of Arak. Besides a couple of ascents on various mountains via classic lines, Gerke and I made the first ascent of the southwest pillar of Adrar Ti-n-Taouafa (N 24'416? and E 4'006?) on March 28. The 275m vertical route is seven pitches, the crux being a 30m 5.11R pitch on questionable rock. The last three pitches were off width, requiring Friends up to size 6. A total of five hand-placed bolts where used on the entire route. The Adrar Ti-n-Taouafa area has lots of potential for new, hard routes. It is 64km west of the more famous Tesnou, and can only be reached by 4×4. We found the Adrar Ti-n-Taouafa area when driving through the desert looking for mountains. We explained to the driver what we were looking for, and he took us to this beautiful place where one can just drive around and put up new routes on walls up to 300m in height. Most routes might need some bolts, but there are also lines that can be done clean. There is lots of crack and slab climbing.
It’s best to fly to Tamanrasset and drive from there. As long as you organize your car with driver before you arrive in Algeria, it’s no problem to travel around the country and climb lots!
Martin Fickweiler, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.