Jebel Tidirhine

  • Jebel Tidirhine
  • 2428 m
  • Primary factor 1901 m
  • Morocco
  • Location: North 34.84323, West 004.50915 (GPS at the summit)
  • Difficulty: YDS class 2
  • Climbed June 18. 2017.


Here is a quick overview of Morocco peaks climbed in June 2017.

How to get there:
From Fes, continue about 6 km east (direction Oujda), then turn north (left) in a traffic circle. The road now runs north-east, direction Ketama. Make certain that you cross on the west side of the mountain. Before Ketama, at location N34.89529, W004.57909, a small road forks right (to Avila). Shortly, take the right fork (across a small bridge), then follow the main road. If you have a low clearance car, then drive to Avila (go downhill, right) at a small fork. Ask about parking and ascend from here.
If you have a high clearance vehichle (4WD not needed at my visit), then turn right before you get to Avila at location N34.86892, W004.54484. Drive downhill and cross the creek on a bridge (right fork just above the bridge). Steeply up on the other side and into a small village. Bear right in the middle of houses, then exit the village and after a second small bridge, keep going uphill (ignore e small left fork). The road gets better after leaving the village area. Way up in the hillside, keep left at a fork, then continue along this road as it traverses the mountain slope. You should drive about 8 kilometer as measured from where you left the road that serves Avila. There are few places along this road where it is convenient to turn around. Parking must be in a place where one does not block the road. A good location is near a left curve immediately after crossing a small drainage (there may be water). This location is N34.85083, W004.51786, elevation a bit above 1900 meter.
Route description:
From where I was able to park, the ascent is best started slightly further along (uphill) the forest road. You will see a small trail that forks right. There are traces of a trail several places, but basically this ascent is off-trail. The terrain is pretty easy, big trees and almost no vegetation below. Continue more or less straight uphill, eventually a bit right in order to gain the highest (east) summit. The summit point is on top of a nice rock.
Continue the trip my traversing to the west summit. This summit has a (closed) hut on its top and yet a second building just below. The traverse is easy, still class 2. From the summit, a very clear trail descends towards the west (ridge). In order to return to the starting point, one must descend more directly down the ridge that descends towards Avila. Gradually shift right and descend the ridge that is right next to the parking area at the end. Walk a couple of hundred meter along the forest road to get back to the starting point.
I got off to an early start, not quite used to being 2 full hours behind Norway, and only about 9 degrees west of Bergen!
Slightly after 4 AM, I rolled out of Fes and made a first stop at a gas station. The driving was a bit slow when it was still dark, many cars on the road and there would always be a slow vehicle in front. Back on track, the time was close to 0800, by the time I arrived in Avila. I talked briefly to a local guy, he was impressed by my car (a Grand Cherokee) and told me that I should backtrack, turn left and then drive up a forest road that would be a better point to start. As the temperature was already above 30 C (at 8 am in the morning), this seemed like a good idea. However, there were many small roads that one might consider, so overall it is not clear that this really saved me time.
I finally located a good place to park, from where I could ascend directly to the highest of the two summits. Leaving at 0930, the ascent was straightforward and I arrived at the east summit at 1030, so one hour up. Resting for a while, it seemed like a good idea to also visit the west summit, then descending back down from there. I was at the west summit at 1100, from here it is nice to look across back to the east summit. Leaving at 1110, I descended back down to my car in 40 minutes.
The drive back to Fes went smoothly and I could enjoy the hotel swimming pool around 1500.