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Morocco Topics specific to Morocco, including Western Sahara west of the berm
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Morocco Overland: From the Atlas to the Sahara - 4WD, Motorcycle, Van, Mountain Bike

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  #1  
Old 26 Sep 2011
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Gorge to Gorge MH3 and CirqueMH1

Hi off to Morocco on Wednesday this week. 4 bikes and a 2008 LR Discovery carrying our gear. The discovery is standard apart from more suitable tyres. We don't want to beat the discovery up too much so was wandering if the below two routes are best avoided in it?

1)the Gorge to Gorge (west to east) MH4
2)Cirque de Jaffar Imichil to Midelt, MH1

From what I have read looks like MH3 is best left to the bikes but the cirque has mixed reviews? Thanks in advance for any advice.

If any body needs something desperately, we will be entering Nador Sat 1st October heading south to Merzouga then east to Tagounite, then North East to Midelt.


Regards
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  #2  
Old 26 Sep 2011
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Hi,
Conditions change regularly, so it'd be worth taking more recent advice than I can give, but when I did it last (March 2010) the Cirque was quite washed out in places.
I ripped both rear bumper end plates off my Landcruiser. I was driving slowly and carefully, but there were a few places where it was either rub a rear corner a bit coming out of a river channel or turn back.
I thought I had some better photos, but the section just ahead here was the sort of thing we saw quite a bit. A short, sharp climb out of a washed out section cutting across the piste
2 (142) | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
If I was a betting man, I'd wager on picking up the odd knock on a standard height 4x4, however, it wouldn't take much erosion to smooth out the gullies either if there hadn't been too much rain for a couple of months.

I'm sure plenty have traveled that route far more recently and can advise.

Happy travels
Sam
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  #3  
Old 26 Sep 2011
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I was there in late June, however didn't do gorge to gorge as it was getting late.

It's worth noting that I found the estimated timings in the morocco overland book to be a bit ambitous and the routes took longer than we believed they would.

MH1 about 20km from Midelt the track was totally washed out and we had to go down the valley a little bit to cross the oued and then there was a vert steep climb to rejoin the track.
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Old 26 Sep 2011
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I'd agree that the Gorge to Gorge timing might be a little ambitious. In 2007 we did the loop from Tinerhir, up the Todra, down the Dades and back to Tinerhir...it was dark when we got back! Great run though and we took time to enjoy it.

The road conditions change by the season but we managed it in Disco I's, a Classic Range Rover and a 110 without any problems.

Disco 3's are great off road and have better approach and departure angles than some earlier ones. You just need to watch out for the extra long wheelbase.

Of course you could just raise the suspension!
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Old 27 Sep 2011
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Many thanks for the replies and updates. Fraser, I hope you are right about the Disco 3 ! All the best, and I will post an update on our return.
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  #6  
Old 28 Sep 2011
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The weather has been stable for several months so the Gorge Link piste should be OK, photos here.

The Cirque de Jaffar is thoroughly washed out with practically zero local through traffic to encourage rebuilding. You'll probably get through, though it would be wise for the bikes to trail blaze the narrow section of the actual cirque as reversing there wouldn't be fun.
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  #7  
Old 28 Sep 2011
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My wife and I did Gorge to Gorge in June this year in a Defender 110 and the route was petty stable. More interesting than Todra and Dades individually (which are certainly worth a look but a good deal of it has been asphalted - of a sort).
Dont miss Cirque de Jaffar if at all possible. in June we picked this as our first off road adventure and it was superb. A little muddy in places for the first 30k out of Midelt (after you get across the plain) but not tricky and the whole route is truly spectacular scenery. We met a couple of people in Mercedes G-Wagens who turned off about 35km in and take a big loop back to Midelt. But if you're in a reasonably capeable 4x4 it should cope with the whole route. Part of the piste has been washed out after you come round the large boulder mentioned in Chris Scott's book but if you head into the valley floor the kids in the farm will hear you coming and (for a suitable quantity of sweets or pens) will direct you up the oued and back in the right direction - although the route out of the oued is a steep for a short section and we only had to backtrack once (a 5 point turn in a reasonably fast flowing but shall river bed was a new experience for me).
Great fun - took longer than I anticipated but plenty of wild camp spots and campsites at either end. As Tim C mentioned they'll never improve the road / track as only locals on donkeys and nutters off-roading use it.
Enjoy - we did.
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  #8  
Old 16 Oct 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stubbie View Post
Hi off to Morocco on Wednesday this week. 4 bikes and a 2008 LR Discovery carrying our gear. The discovery is standard apart from more suitable tyres. We don't want to beat the discovery up too much so was wandering if the below two routes are best avoided in it?

1)the Gorge to Gorge (west to east) MH4
2)Cirque de Jaffar Imichil to Midelt, MH1

From what I have read looks like MH3 is best left to the bikes but the cirque has mixed reviews? Thanks in advance for any advice.

If any body needs something desperately, we will be entering Nador Sat 1st October heading south to Merzouga then east to Tagounite, then North East to Midelt.


Regards
I did gorge to gorge in a Citroen C3 hire car so you should be fine!
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