Once again the guided hiking group nearby was up and gone before I’d even woken up.
I started up into a very cool gorge section. It was dark and hazy.
This is Azib Imi n’Ouassif (2841m), a crossroads of several gorges where some people camp.
From here it’s a steep climb to the pass at Tizi n’Ouanoums.
Escapee goats live on these inhospitable cliffs. There’s not much to eat.
It was a bit of a relief to reach the second high pass of the circuit. From here it was all downhill … at least while carrying full pack.
Descending the pass was supposed to be a bit treacherous. As I crossed it wasn’t all that bad.
I could see some of the Iceland group having lunch at the bottom. By the time I got there they had begun climbing a secondary trail up the other side to the 2nd / 3rd highest peaks in north Africa. Their guide stayed back having hurt his ankle. In fact he sent the group cook as guide in his stead.
I had some lunch too. Then, with plenty of time, followed. Weather looked good.
The scramble to one Ouanoukrim summit — Ras Ouanoukrim (4083m) — in a hail storm turned out to be the highlight of the entire circuit. We had a blast.
Once safely down, the others headed off briskly (as they always did) to rejoin their group. One of the men, Dorfi, had once led a 3 week horse trek across Iceland. This weather was nothing to him. He wore a wool sweater under a waterproof poncho on that trip. Never got wet.
In no rush I walked slowly downhill to Toubkal Refuge (3207m).
I’d plan to wild camp again … until I saw the massive complex. It looked intriguing.
As it was raining too I decided to camp at Refuge Mouflon and sign up for the 7pm dinner. It was pretty good.
I charged my batteries in Mouflon after dinner and watched an episode of Better Call Saul on my phone as I waited. Then headed out into the rain to my tent.
From the village of Å (the last letter of the Norwegian alphabet) you can catch the slow ferry back to Bodø. About 4 hours.
By far the best hiking guidebook is Hiking the LOFOTEN ISLANDS by Kristin Folsland Olsen. Published 2017 in English, it will help you decide which hikes to do. Most are day hikes and many are scrambles. No need to order it online. It’s widely available on the islands.
The weather is dreadful. For any 7 day period during the hiking season you may have several days of serious wind and rain. These should be rest days if you have time.
If you have your own vehicle — or decide to rent a car — you can go when and where you want. That’s ideal.