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New Alpine Line High in the Mountains of Morocco

The Atlas Mountains have countless unclimbed routes that are just now being discovered

Faiçal Bourkiba and Jeff Mercier teamed up for the first ascent of a line up the north face of Tazarhart in the Atlas Mountains of his Morocco. The area is relatively unexplored for mixed rock and ice lines.

“The route was physically demanding and technical, with some weak ice lines,” said Bourkiba. “The holds and small edges helped me to climb through some of the difficult moves and sequences.”

Bourkiba had long dreamed of climbing the line, which he can see from his house, but he didn’t wan t to commit until he found the right partner. There’s limited resources in Morocco for search and rescue, so any alpine objectives comes with a lot of  commitment.  “I live in Morocco, well known for its blue skies, sun, trekking, and warm rock climbing holidays. Winter alpine and ice is almost unexplored,” Bourkiba says in the film.

“There are no rescue services and only a small climbing community. If something happens to you, you will remain in the mountains. This adds an extra layer of risk that makes developing new routes even more dangerous. Yet, despite the risks, I couldn’t forget about the face. That was when Jeff made me an offer I couldn’t turn down.” Be sure to follow Bourkiba as he continues to share new route information from the Atlas Mountains.

New Morocco Alpine