Phil Asher Embarks on Challenging Adventure In MoroccoPosted on : March 11, 2016
This week Rare Adventures’ Chief Operating Officer, Phil Asher, has been in Morocco to help deliver a 3-day challenge event for a group of business professionals.
The team arrived in Marrakech and were taken into the ancient heart of the town for lunch. Whilst eating, the team had a great view overlooking Jemaa el-Fna, one of the world’s most exotic city squares. After a local-style lunch, Phil and the group then headed out into the mighty High Atlas Mountains.
The group were purposely left without knowledge of where they were going in order to increase difficulty level of the challenge event; they were also not told what they would be doing, how far they would be travelling or what types of challenges they would be facing along the way. The theme of the trip was adversity, so testing the professionals’ physical and mental capabilities as a team was the key event objective.
Dropping the team off at Oukaïmeden, the highest ski resort in Africa at 2610m-3268m A.M.S.L., the group went out into the snow to view the stunning scenery of Mount Toubkal, which stands at 4,167m A.M.S.L. Mount Toubkal is the highest mountain in North Africa. Here the group learnt how to prepare goat meat ready for tagine, a dish to be eaten the following evening, and prepared themselves ready for the extreme activities to come the next day.
The following morning the group awoke to a pre-dawn start. With headtorches to help navigate through the snow of the mountains , the team used maps to work their way across the landscape -a journey that would take them across 16km to pass by specific locations. At the first location the group picked-up some off-road mountain bikes to cycle a further 50km, including up-hill climbs and technical descents through the mountains and eventually to their designated campsite. The follow-up challenge was to build rough survival shelters and learn survival cooking, but due to weather conditions the team were unfortunately forced to stay in local accommodation, and eat their tagine indoors instead.
The second day began with a filling breakfast, and involved setting off early once again to descend into a beautiful hidden canyon and cross a great many streams that erode these rock formations; eventually arriving in a forested area. Here the group finally learnt how to build their survival shelters out of provided materials, and how to light a fire using flint and steel in order to hard boil an egg.
These engaging challenges were followed by the task of crossing a 30-metre-wide river using only military crossing techniques, helped with the guidance of Phil and his military background. The determined group continued along the gorge, climbing up the side to a ridge line which they followed back towards the river, before crossing a wooden bridge to a well-deserved lunch break.
On completion of lunch, the team continued hiking up-hill, turning a corner to see a fleet of bright orange quad-bikes waiting for them. The team were briefed with the necessary health and safety requirements before driving off-road into the landscape to navigate 50km through ravines, dunes, and dry riverbeds in the Agafay Desert, eventually reaching a check point.
At this stage members were given another map, and had to hike using a compass with a bearing of 81 degrees in order to reach a vehicle rendezvous point. However, adding to the challenge this vehicle was constantly on the move away from them, meaning the team had to catch-up to the vehicle in order to reach it. The team finally met with the RV vehicle on top of a dune, where the 3-day challenge came to a successful end. The group then proceeded to enjoy watching the sun go down across the Agafay Desert with a cool beer in hand -a perfect way to end the adventure.
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