Day 3: The big kahuna! Even in good conditions this is a long day, but the rewards are more than worth some exertion.

Statistics

Analysing terrain data

6 - 7

hrs

1,451

m

1,466

m

19

max┬░

Exposure

Exposure

The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.

Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

Medium ExposureThe trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Description

Given how much ground there is to cover today, a pre-dawn start is recommended, particularly in winter.

Emerging out into the cold and dark is always unpleasant, but being midway across the Tarkeddit plateau as the sun begins to appear on the horizon is a wonderful experience. The route from the hut goes north/northwest across the plateau.

On the initial section, the height gain is minimal, but there is a lot of distance to cover.

If you're doing this trip in winter and there is no track through the snow, breaking trail across the plateau is one of the toughest parts of the day. Having crossed the plateau, the path begins to climb through boulder fields and winds up at a huge, open bowl.

The further you go up the bowl the steeper it gets, and it culminates with a short, sharp climb onto Mgoun's summit ridge.

This final climb to the ridge is quite exposed and in icy conditions, you will need some cramponing skills to negotiate it safely. Once on the ridge, grab a drink and take in the breathtaking panorama to the south.

Suitably refreshed, follow the wide ridge crest as it curves east and then north onto the summit of Mgoun.

The ridge is never technical, but there are short sections that are slightly exposed, and those cramponing skills could come in handy again in icy conditions. From reaching the ridge to getting to the summit takes about 2 hours, so you'll have plenty of time to take in the ambiance and views.

From the summit, you'll be able to trace the route you took to get there, and will also be able to see the refuge far away on the other side of the Tarkeddit plateau. Once you've taken photos and toasted your success, turn around and retrace your steps all the way back to the refuge.

After a (hopefully) long and peaceful sleep, link days 1 and 2 in reverse and descend all the way back to Ait Bouguemez village.