‘Oh, il y a de la neige Inshallah, il y a de la neige Inshallah, Inshallah’. That’s all I’ve ever had from Mohamed in the twenty years that I’ve known him. Calling Morocco for an update on conditions always gives the same response. This, my sixth trip, was no exception; however on this occasion God did not will it. He had not been generous and what snow was there was brick hard and icy; too dangerous for skinning and skiing. We had to face it – there was no skiing in Morocco. Anywhere.
We contemplated continuing with the plan on foot but cramponing on such icy, rock infested snow was as deadly as trying to ski it. Our only option was to go hut to hut ‘touring’, through the Berber villages of the High Atlas. With glorious weather, warm temperatures and good company determined to make the most of the situation, we had a enjoyable time.
Back in 2005 as we skinned the 1500m to the Tizi Likemt we were intrigued by the young lad who climbed rapidly on foot alongside us carrying a dilapidated rucksack. We wondered what he was up too. With a warm smile and a sense of accomplishment he laid out his wares on the col – Coke and Fanta at 20 dirhams the bottle. Mohamed was 15, one of 11 children, none of whom went to school. Fast forward to 2019 and to my delight, Mohamed, now 29 and married with two children was to be our guide for the week.