Good guidebooks are an essential piece of gear for the climber and mountaineer. Ideally, a solid guidebook will have great concise route descriptions, clean photos with routes clearly marked, a bit of beta on protection, and the necessary information for approaches and descents. Good information on local accommodation, transport, supplies etc. are some of the other elements that make up a good guidebook.
Below are guidebooks we recommend for your mountaineering, climbing and bouldering adventures in Morocco.
For a comprehensive mountaineering guidebook for the High Atlas Mountains we suggest getting Des Clark’s Mountaineering in the Moroccan High Atlas – Walks, Climbs and Scrambles over 3,000m. Des, our senior guide, has lived in Morocco and guided all over the High Atlas Mountains. In this guidebook he brings together his local knowledge and his many years of experience as a guide to give you a great resource for your adventures in the High Atlas.
For a guide to more technical rock and ice routes in the Toubkal Massif we recommend Toubkal Guia de Ascensiones y Escaladas by David Taura Riera. While not everyone will be able to understand the text in Spanish, the book is worth it just for the topos of the routes. It does also give you good beta on the technical equipment you will need for your chosen route. Be sure to google translate the equipment list to ensure you have the right kit for your trip.
Moving on to pure rock climbing guides, we would recommend the two volume set for the Anti-Atlas mountains: Tafraout – Rock Climbing in Morocco’s Anti-Atlas. These two books contain a life time’s worth of trad climbing and give excellent information for your trip logistics. There are now also mini-pocket guides of the best areas, giving you the top starred routes, and they are also conveniently small enough to shove in a jacket pocket.
For more information on the guides and the Anti-Atlas check out www.climb-tafraout.com
Now we come to one of my favourite places in Morocco: the big wall limestone area known as Taghia! This gorge has earned a top spot in the international climbing scene with climbers such as Alex Honnald and Arnaud Petit making repeated trips.
For this area we would recommend getting the guide Taghia Montagnes Berberes by Christian Ravier. This book is written in French but again the topos of the routes make it well worth its price. You can also find hand-drawn topos of other routes not included in this guide in the local gites in Taghia, so be sure to have a good look around. The Taghia area primarily offers sport climbing with many well-equipped routes. However, it is worth bringing a set of micro and standard cams and a set of nuts to pad out protection and belay stances for the less well-equipped routes.
For a great article in English for logistics help check out: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=2008
What about a bouldering guide for Morocco? 2015 saw the launch of the excellent digital guidebook for low to mid level bouldering for the amazing Oukaimeden area of the High Atlas. This guidebook app is available for both android and iphones. All the routes have a topo, grade and GPS co-ordinates so all you need for locating and selecting your route is your phone! We like this guide for its features such as grade selection: choose a practical grade and the slick filtering system will bring up all routes in the area you are in. The guide is published by Rakkup and put together by Imik’sImik Bouldering and Climb Morocco.