American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Tagoujimt N'Tsouiant, Northeast Face, Cosmic Roof

Africa, Morocco

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Andrej Grmovsek
  • Climb Year: N/A
  • Publication Year: 2010

At the end of April, Luka Krajnc, Alenka Lukic, Miha and Milena Praprotnik, and my wife Tanja and I, accompanied by Moroccan climber Jonathan, traveled to Taghia village, situated in an incredible canyon landscape of the High Atlas. Snowy peaks, green river valleys, traditional local life, vast houses of stone and mud, and transportation provided by mules and donkeys made us feel we were in the Himalaya, not Africa.

The first afternoon saw us running to the nearest wall, and in the next 20 days we climbed meter after meter, route after route. Formations above the village rise to an altitude of more than 3,000m, and the region has more than 10 walls over 800m high. There are more than 100 routes of all difficulties. We climbed a number of excellent routes, both easy and hard.

Luka and I also made a spectacular first ascent, Cosmic Roof (a.k.a. Separate African Reality, 7b, 750m) on the northeast face of Tagoujimt N’Tsouiant. We followed the obvious crack/corner system to the left edge of a huge 20m roof in the middle of the wall, climbed over it, and exited via the ramps of Via del Sostre (UIIAA V+ and A3). In the lower part we crossed the bolted route Fantasia (7c) and in the chimneys above found two old bolts. Above, we climbed virgin rock, occasionally quite loose and dirty. On the super-steep crux roof I battled gravity for more than half an hour, negotiating gravel-covered loose rock and wide cracks, with poor protection. (We took only one 4 Camalot). We climbed the route in 13 hours, and in contrast to other ascents on these walls, used only traditional removable protection. We recommend future parties take two sets of Friends up to #4.

We repeated many difficult and beautiful routes, including: Fantasia (Luka and I; I made a redpoint ascent); Les Rivieres Pourpres (7b+, 545m) on Taoujdad (Luka and I, both onsight or flash); L’axe du Mal (7c, 500m) on Tadrarate (Luka and I, both redpoint); Canyon Apache (6c+, 355m) on Timrazine (Alenka and Tanja, Tanja on-sight); Au nom de la Reforms (6c, 340m) on Taoujdad (Alenka and Tanja, Tanja onsight); La Zebta (7b+, 260m) on the Paroi des Sources (Miha and Milena, Miha redpoint). Our trip to Taghia was excellent. We were enraptured with its diversity and the hospitality of local people. And especially with the unbelievable amount of fine red walls, making it one of the best limestone regions we know.

Andrej Grmovsek, Slovenia

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.

Photos and Topos Click photo to view full size and see caption

Comments