For the first time in my life I’ve been absolutely petrified and I’m not just talking about being a big baby scaredy cat I’m talking about scared for my life scared! I’ve never really been an adrenaline junkie (even though I’ve recently committed to a sky dive for the rainbow trust, I’ll tell you all about next time )
Now I want to remind you this all happened just 24 hours ago, I’m currently laying on a bed counting my lucky stars I’m alive!
Ok so by now you get the point this has been traumatic… Sunday morning I fly to Morocco looking to climb the highest peak in North Africa, Mount Toubkal.
You go through some cute villages past some beautiful waterfalls and then you take on the bad boy mountain. It was a bit off putting tho when you see a guy getting carried down on a stretcher with an oxygen mask on, we found out later he had broken his leg alpine ski-ing at the top!
2.5 hours in I’m thinking this is easy, we stop for lunch and the view is amazing I’m having a great time … CUT TO AN HOUR LATER I was thinking I want this to end… Now! The weather had turned nasty, it was a full on snow blizzard up there! Slowly trekking up hill in snow, stupidly wearing just leggings and thermals! Ridiculous I know, but I didn’t know it was gonna be this bad, I do have ski pants but it was too late to change as my legs were already wet & where could I strip on the mountain? Exactly!
My first two first fingers on my right hand felt like they were burning! There was no way I was take my gloves off let alone my shoes and leggings, I just wanted to keep going forward so we could reach the refuge!
I had to keep moving my fingers in the gloves tapping them on the handle of the walking sticks counting 1 2 3 4 5 over and over again to keep the blood flowing and stop them from going numb.
Luckily the wind was behind us so it was like it was giving us a gentle push from behind, you know giving us a hand but when you’ve got wet legs blasted with freezing cold wind it’s not really that nice.
James, he was incredible! After walking for 5.5 hours up hill, I’m shattered, freezing and quite obviously in a mood as this was all his idea! Anyway there was one point where I was getting blasted in the face by the snow & when I wanted to cry James was pushing me up from behind ( not in a sexual way ) plus he actually pulled me up at one point, he had my walking sticks in his right hand while I was still attached to them pulling me up the hill! I’m sure I’ve I told you before he’s incredibly strong! He was making this look easy!
So after thinking I was never gonna be warm again we arrived at the refuge I dropped right by the log fire and tried to thaw out!
We keep getting told the weather might not be safe for us to try to get to the summit in the morning ( I’m happy with this because I’ve just been through hell ) James isn’t!
Now were 3200 metres up and were shattered so we go to our dorm room and get our sleeping bags ready . I’m wearing everything I have minus the soaking wet leggings and thermals. I’ve finally got my ski pants on and am warm!!
Off to sleep we go… Only we don’t sleep, with the wind crashing against the window shutter, four guys trying to fix the window 11pm ( remember we all went to bed around 8.30pm ) people keep putting their head torches on to see their way around the room and the stinker who keeps farting so loudly (it was like a fog horn going off) a blatant bum splatter hitting the walls, which was hilarious by the way I couldn’t stop laughing! Also we had the sweats at 2am !?! Like full on take your clothes off sweats?! What was that about?
So 5.30am we get up to see what the weather is saying and it quite blatantly says GET OFF ME!
As soon as we step out we get blasted in the face with up to 40mph wind and snow, it’s freezing, We’re waist deep in snow at some points and our guide is making the path for us, you have to keep your head down which is fine for me as I’m trying to stand in James’s footprints.
The wind is so strong at points we can’t see anything, we have to turn our backs to it and stick our walking sticks into the snow. Ive never had an experience like it! I kept thinking I’m in North Africa and I’m freezing knee deep in snow…How is this possible?? It didn’t seem right at all! The snow blizzard blinds you so you have to keep your head down and go slow.
We get to a point where there’s a big rock and a few people around it, our guide goes towards them and there’s a guy on a stretcher shaking uncontrollably suffering from sever hypothermia, they couldn’t move him as the weather was so bad so they tried to keep him warm, I don’t know what happened to him but his wife died there at that spot next to him as they had no guide and were roaming the night before, they got lost and were out there all night and froze!!
The lower we got the better the weather, 2 hours of pure hell and finally it starts to get better, the wind and snow gradually stops and it starts to brighten up! I see the village we saw on the way up and I know we’re only 30 minutes away from the end of all this. YESSSSSSS!! We stop for mint tea and finally sit down… Look at the state of me :/
The lesson learned here is if you’re booking any excursion on holiday whether it be climbing trekking or mountaineering, don’t always rely on the booking agent for your safety as when it comes down to it, their priority can be just wanting your money. James went NUTS with the guy we booked with as we should have never been allowed to go up there in those weather conditions, they knew! So to keep us happy they offered us a free trip to do it all over again!