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  #1  
Old 12 Feb 2009
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Morocco experts! Your help is needed for some routes

Hi all,
we plan to have a trip in Morocco starting end of March for two weeks.
We will be 3 bikes (1150GSA, F650GS and my KTM 990). The beemers will be loaded with passengers. We are all leaving from Mallorca, Spain and will take 2 ferries to get to Morocco.

My question is about the following route. In our second day, we were thinking of doing the following route: Midelt, Imilchil, Gorges du Todrá, Tinerhir, Erfoud and finally Merzouga.

How is the road condition on these route and its difficulty level? We will have knobbies tyres on but still good to know. Do you think this route can be done in one day without getting stressed? Our F650GS rider is not as experienced as the rest of the group plus has a passanger. Would you recommend this route?

Thanks in advance for your comments. I am sure I will have more questions as the route planning process continues.
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Old 12 Feb 2009
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Hi,

Firstly i would like to point out that I did most of this route back in October in a 4x4 so i cannot comment on the suitability of the bikes. However i can say that the Todra gorge should be easily passable by experienced riders (the Dades was a little trickier in a 4x4). Midelt - Imilchil is mostly piste driving which i have not done, Imilchil - Todra is 50/50 piste/tar i think if memory serves me right. It is then tar all the way from there. The piste to nekob has now been sealed mostly. the southern section is still gravel hardpacked (oct 08).

The main reason for my reply is that i dont think you will manage that entire trip in a day. I may be wrong as i am a lot slower in a 4x4. But we came up from Erg chebbi and made it to Tinehir. camped the night there (on the western side of town) and then did the gorge to Imilchil and camped there (great place up by the lake) So that was 2 days for a start. And they were full days. Why push yourself? I think you may be more likely to fall off if your racing to get somewhere.

Its a popular area which i am sure has been covered many times on 2 wheels. someone will be along shortly to put me straight.

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  #3  
Old 12 Feb 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viatormundi View Post
Hi all,
we plan to have a trip in Morocco starting end of March for two weeks.
We will be 3 bikes (1150GSA, F650GS and my KTM 990). The beemers will be loaded with passengers. We are all leaving from Mallorca, Spain and will take 2 ferries to get to Morocco.

My question is about the following route. In our second day, we were thinking of doing the following route: Midelt, Imilchil, Gorges du Todrá, Tinerhir, Erfoud and finally Merzouga.

How is the road condition on these route and its difficulty level? We will have knobbies tyres on but still good to know. Do you think this route can be done in one day without getting stressed? Our F650GS rider is not as experienced as the rest of the group plus has a passanger. Would you recommend this route?

Thanks in advance for your comments. I am sure I will have more questions as the route planning process continues.
Hi
I would strongly suggest not trying the Midelt-Imilchil on the bikes/with the loads you describe. Lots of dirt, particularly clay, and serious offroad in parts, which when wet on a big/loaded bike will be a nightmare. Particularly for the chap with less experience.

Rode I to M in early 2007 on light weight dirtbikes and it was doable. Had there been any more rain, it would have become an epic. Also, we found the people on this stretch to be class-A sh*ts.

Up/down the Todra and the rest should be fine though. Also great people, generally.

Enjoy.
cheers
Chris
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  #4  
Old 12 Feb 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viatormundi View Post
...In our second day, we were thinking of doing the following route: Midelt, Imilchil, Gorges du Todrá, Tinerhir, Erfoud and finally Merzouga... Do you think this route can be done in one day without getting stressed?
And in the afternoon??

Seriously guys, this is far too ambitious. This needs at least two days and preferably three.

I have a system of evaluating pistes (tracks) according to their difficulty--green is absolute novice, blue is reasonably easy, red requires offroad skills and black shouldn't be done as a solo bike or with luggage.

The Midelt to Imilchil section is a long day in itself. It comprises 45km of red piste, then 40km of mixed tarmac/gravel road, then another 45km of red piste. And my 'red' classification is for good weather when there hasn't been recent rain. The first section of red (Cirque du Jaffar) has severe dropoffs, the second section has 60 river crossings.

I have thousands of km experience piste riding in Morocco and was on a 1200GSA. Inexperienced riders, two-up, will lead to disaster.

Imilchil to Agoudal is tarmac, then it's a 30-km rocky piste from Agoudal to near Ait Hani, then tarmac from there to Tinerhir. But sometimes the Todra Gorge floods... YouTube - Crossing the Todra, Oct 2008

Tim
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Last edited by Tim Cullis; 12 Feb 2009 at 14:15.
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  #5  
Old 12 Feb 2009
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Just re-read the original post. All of that in a day?! Impossible. As Tim said, 2 or 3 days is better.
cheers
Chris
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  #6  
Old 12 Feb 2009
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Take your time!

We'll be doing the same route around the same time.

Having driven it numerous times, I strongly agree with all that's been said. Morocco has again experienced continual torrential rain this winter. Add to that the snowmelt in March and you can expect lots of washouts and river crossings in the Atlas.

What you're proposing is too much, particularly if you're carrying passengers.

Midelt to Imilchil is doable in a day, ie 9am from Midelt. Tinerhir is possible if the weather gods are on your side.

From Tinerhir to Erfoud is possible in any easy day on tarmac.

Good luck!

Jojo
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  #7  
Old 12 Feb 2009
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Via, you must send us some of your Mallorcan coffee!

As has been said, in the High Atlas much depends on recent weather and indeed the season - as it does for riding in the desert, but for other reasons. Some maps show what months the high mtn routes are closed - it varies of course but you can add at least another month either side unless you like a challenge.

We drove it early last May and the only stream crossing I recall was in the Cirque plus the 'rail' bridge at KM63. It could have been done in a 2CV and it would have been a blast on a GS12 with knobblies, though maybe not with a passenger and a load. Unless you don't mind falling over occasionally, few pistes in Mk are. What people we met were fine too.

... The piste to nekob has now been sealed mostly....
IMO it would be more correct to say there is now tar from Dades to Iknioun to serve the villages along that valley eastwards. I don't think sealing from Tinerhir to Ik, and especially over the pass south to Nekob (another classic route) will happen any time soon.

Ch
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Old 12 Feb 2009
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There was no tarmac between Nekob and Iknioun last March when I was there (March '08). Temperature was a touch chilli in late March in the passes, but not unbearable

See links below for pics of that particular piste

" + title + "

" + title + "
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  #9  
Old 12 Feb 2009
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Just remembered
Videos around Cirque du Jaffar and on way there can be found here:
Morocco TBSdotCom Click on videos Easter 2007 D and F

cheers
Chris
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  #10  
Old 12 Feb 2009
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http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/sahara-travel-forum/morocco-experts-your-help-n

Hello,

I think that the time your going is a bit to soon. In the atlas is there still snow, or if it's not, it will be verry could. I always go in april or mai and somethimes around agoudal it's freesing.
I'm leaving for Marocco-pistes last week of april.
grts
Peter Penson
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Marokko 2007 Peter Penson (suzuki dr big)
Marokko 2006 Peter Penson ( ktm lc4 adventure 640)
Marokko 2004 Peter penson (bmw r1150gs)
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  #11  
Old 12 Feb 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
... The piste to nekob has now been sealed mostly....
IMO it would be more correct to say there is now tar from Dades to Iknioun to serve the villages along that valley eastwards. I don't think sealing from Tinerhir to Ik, and especially over the pass south to Nekob (another classic route) will happen any time soon.

Ch
Sorry Chris, I meant Alnif NOT Nekob i got the piste's mixed up in my head and did not check the map sorry. The route from the N10 to Alnif on the N12 is mostly tar now with the exception to ~16km of gravel heading north from Alnif.

I also did the Nekob piste after coming down the Dades gorge and that is a great one, thoroughly recommended. Sorry for the mix-up, Im pretty new to all this

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  #12  
Old 12 Feb 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viatormundi View Post
My question is about the following route. In our second day, we were thinking of doing the following route: Midelt, Imilchil, Gorges du Todrá, Tinerhir, Erfoud and finally Merzouga.

if i understood you right, you take part in the 'morocco in one week' race. maybe this will be possible in 10 years, when the last tracks have been paved for tourist needs.
seriously...track conditions change from year to year. what has been possible this year, could even be impossible the next. so you cannot even trust last year's reports.

we did the midelt->imilchil part for example in may 2005. i had this track on my gps. without it would have been hard to find.
what had been a 4X4 track the year before, was in parts a single trail with big rocks on it or even washed away.
it was quite a fight, and were are not unexperienced riders.

what you can expect as well is that kids point you into dead ends, when you are looking for a detour of a washed away bridge.

it is only 150km, but it took us almost one day to get from midelt to imilchil and i would not recommend to try much more (except you are on that race, of course...

there is a nice auberge about half way (Auberge Ahdaoui, N32 21.562 W5 11.042). i hope it still exists..
for imilichil i would recommend the kasbah adrar (N32 09.929 W5 37.781).

for more tracks and pics you might look here:
Picasa-Webalben - airhead - 'escape to mo...
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Old 12 Feb 2009
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The photos on this thread Morocco for a mini LWD. - ::. UKGSer.com .:: are mainly of that route.

Tim
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Last edited by Tim Cullis; 13 Feb 2009 at 09:39.
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Old 12 Feb 2009
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what you can expect as well is that kids point you into dead ends....

This was common in Tamtatoucht once (and may still be elsewhere like the bottom of the Cirque) but honestly, in 2008 there was no ambiguity for us apart from a new dam access track just before the 'rail' bridge. Here some engineers kindly put us right after a km or 2. This route continues to be improved and is clear. (Or perhaps all the kids were away on a day trip...)

... a nice auberge about half way ... i hope it still exists.

Yes it does, but it's called Oudadn Auberge now (KM97). Simple but nice location and run by a lovely guy. Last May the tarmac ended 13km later, and if it's been wet then I suspect this is where the difficulties may begin.

G - Alnif it is. There are some great routes in Sarhro ;-)

Ch

(sorry, no pix)
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Old 14 Feb 2009
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Yes it does, but it's called Oudadn Auberge now (KM97). Simple but nice location and run by a lovely guy. Last May the tarmac ended 13km later, and if it's been wet then I suspect this is where the difficulties may begin.
chris, are you saying the all the way from midelt until 13km behind the auberge is tarmac in the meantime?
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