Once again we ran for the hills…
With snow capped peaks at over 4,000 meters, the High Atlas range dominated the skyline for miles as we moved north. Right now the air is still crisp in these mountains. The sky is a deep sea of cobalt creating a tack sharp contrast with the reddish brown rock that zigzags across the horizon. The streams are swollen as the last traces of snow are being smelted by the quickly warming spring air. A time of year when mountains beckon.
We pieced together several routes from Google Earth, local maps and advice from people we met along the way. Here are photos and stories (part 1 of 2):
Playing some mountain music.
Old roads crumbling.
The valley floor creates a green carpet far below.
A long steady climb over 2 days.
The last bit of pavement we’d see for a while.
One of my favorite things about high altitude is the strange shapes and textures that clouds form.
Stopping in the last village where we might find a Coke for a couple of days.
Women and their donkeys returning from the fields.
The deep skies and clouded sunlight continued to capture my camera’s attention.
Delicate and interesting little plants high in the crags.
A strange building complete with Berber writing, illustrations and a sheep skin.
Goat tracks disappear into a gorge.
The next morning we begin day 2 of an eternal climb.
Goats cling to the side of a steep mountainside.
Looking back on a long valley.
A switchback we rounded some time ago.
GORP, or ORAP (only raisins and peanuts), as Gin mistakenly called it.
The beautiful dirt road that we were putting behind us.
These puffs of briars and brittle branches seem to keep you company as they cling to the hills.
Gin clearing another ridge switchback.
The descent into the next valley.
Swatches of green are painted by springs in the valley below.
A Berber shepherd.
Snowy peaks show themselves in the distance.
Stay tuned for the next set of photos from the High Atlas…
For more information on this route, including GPS and logistics, click here. Also, check out our growing list of bikepacking and dirt road touring routes.