Ighil M'Goun

Ighil M'Goun

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 31.51000°N / 6.44°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Jun 23, 2012
Activities Activities: Mountaineering

Getting there

Before travelling get hold of the Ighil M'Goun (Spanish) map from Edition Piolet, editorialpiolet.com which is excellent. Closest airport - Marrakesh - cheapest from there is to take a Grand Taxi from downtown to a)Azelil, then change for b) Agouti in the Bougames Valley - max cost = a) DH100 + b) 60 per person - less if you can speak Arabic. They stack in up to 6 people so it may make sense to pay for an extra space.
The first day up to the refuge is pretty heavy (20km & 1600m climb)so to make it easier get a car to take you to Arous (1900m). Here you can sleep or, if you prefer start up the valley to Azib Ikkis (2350m) where there is rudimentary accommodation (50dh a night). In Arous
Mule & driver Ighil Mgoun
you can also hire a mule and driver (cost 100dh a day plus his food and a bonus at the end of the trip) which will make your journey much easier. The mule will move faster than you can and the driver is good natured and discreet(for contact see next section - Abdou the Tarkeddin hut manager).
If you want to do more than just go the top of the mountain you should get yourself a guide. Houcine Tamim from Azalil ( guide-201@hotmail.com, tel 212-674 772 34) knows the mountains backwards and will accompany you in to the wild.

Ascent and descent to and from Tarkeddit Hut

The valley between Arous and Ikkis is fairly shaded which is useful as the sun gets hot quickly in summer. From Ikkis to the col Tizi-n-Tarkeddit is a 1000m ascent so try to get an early start. The path is very well marked. Around 2800m it approaches a stream and source where you can fill your water bottles. Once you reach the col there is a 500m dropdown to the plateau and then you turn West to reach the hut 2km distant where Abdou (rtarkddite@yahoo.com phone +212-677 349 362) the laid-back hut owner will look after you with hot showers and great cooking! He is also the man to contact to organise a mule ahead of arrival and to tell you some great stories.
Coming down off Mgoun if you don't want to go back the same way you can trek West and head down the next valley. We didn't do that so can't describe it - we went East down the centre of a great eroded canyon until we reached a stream that is the start of the Arous torrent. To follow this down through the fantastic Arous Gorge you need be in good physical condition and take a 40m rope to abseil with but it's really a great descent and cool in the hot summer days.

Ascent to Ighil M'goun

After the tough climb up from Ikkis the ascent is fairly easy in summer when there's no snow. The easiest is to take the path that goes behind the small hump behind the source and climb diagonally up under Oumsoud peak (4068m) and continue up to the peak named E1 (3970m)on the map (31.5175°N 6.4255W). You then drop a 100m to the west and start the final ridge to the summit. This is exposed and generally windy meaning you should rope up and take care that someone is always in a stable place. Logically you can continue down the ridge another 3km to M'Goun West before dropping back down to the hut but you may just wish to back-track to E1 and call it a day.
The mountain may not appear huge compared to the snow covered 4000'ers of the Alps but when you are up on the ridge you will get a sense of the huge scale of things with the summit ridge extending either way for dozens of kilometres and with the vast "cirque" of the Assif n Oulilimt torrent beneath you.
We had bad visibility because of a sandstorm but usually you can see for over 100 kilometres.


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