OverviewToubkal WSW Ridge (Ouanoums)
The ridge rises from the Ouanoums col, which is en route to the Lac d'Ifni. It compromises of three main towers, which is then connecting to the West Toubkal peak via a final face.
While the climbing is of no great difficulty in summer conditions, there is always a good amount of loose rock around, so it is prudent to wear helmets.
You should be prepared for a full days climbing and have a full rack as there is practically no 'in situ' gear. A 50 - 60m rope is sufficient, and although you could continue on up some of the pitches, rope drag is an issue.
Whatever the weather, be prepared! When we did the route in July '09 it was a superb sunny day as we set off, we were met with a huge thunderstorm at the summit!
From either of the Toubkal refuges, walk up the main valley, leaving the Toubkal south col on your left. After a couple of rises, around half an hour or so, you will reach a flat area, there are often tents here in the summer. The Ouanoums col is seen on your left, with an obvious trail descending from it. Walk up to the col, turn to your left and admire the first tower. Scramble up to that.
Route DescriptionTower 1
Pitch 1 V.Diff 20m
Ignore the obvious crack at left, climb up the weakness in the middle. Top out on a shelf, belay below the gully between the main face and the column. Lots of loose rock.
Pitch 2 V.Diff 40m
Scramble up to the top of the gully between the column and the main face. Step onto the main face and climb the ragged arête for a further 20m until a platform is reached.
Pitch 3 Severe 25m
Climb to the left of the platform, easily scramble past and to the left of another smaller tower until a face is reached. Stand on top of the detached rock (clip the piton if you dare!) awkwardly climb up and to the right. Finish off to the top of the first tower.
Scramble slightly down, bypass a large lump of broken rocks to the right, then on to the bottom of the tower. This is broken by a large chimney. The route is left of this, up the right hand side of the slab, keeping an obvious crack line on the right.
Pitch 1 Diff 30m
Easily climb up moderately sloped slabs until a small platform is reached.
Pitch 2 HS 25m
Start by stepping up and to the right, then climb up bearing left until the arête is reached. Caution on the this wonderfully exposed arête, the position is superb but poorly protected. Follow the broken gully to a large platform.
Scramble easily up the short wall behind this last pitch to the top of the second tower. There is a good 25m drop to the gap between tower 2 and tower 3. Traditionally parties have abseiled down, however, for confident parties there may be a way down on the north west corner of the tower. If you abseil down, sling the big rock at the top of the north east corner. A 50m rope will just make it.
Climb the obvious crack lines in the middle of the face to the top of the tower 3, walk to the back of the tower, down 5m (top of the gully described below) and then up to the top of the tower proper.
or avoid this crux section,
walk round to the bottom of a gully on the western side of tower 3 and scramble to the top.
From the top of face 3 walk across the top until a 20m drop before the next face. Scramble down to the gap and either:
HS 4a Climb the almost vertical chimney or the slightly easier crack line to the right. Walk across the top and descend 15m (top of gully described below) to the base of another face. Or;
Contour around the west base of the face until a gully is reached. Scramble up this to the top.
Climb slightly left, clipping in situ peg, then up to the right. Continue on to exiting up and left to platform.
Scramble up to the top of this section. The top narrows to a small gap which is easily crossed. The last scramble (Moderate) of 15m finds you on shoulder. A short walk takes you to the top of this, a further walk will take you (after a col) to the bottom of Toubkal West. Cliff faces can be climbed here or alternatively contour around in an easterly direction until the summit is reached. Continue to the south col of Toubkal.
Full Climbing Rack
As above plus crampons & Axe