The Mountain Portion of The High Atlas Explorer Trail

Crossing the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass on the High Atlas Explorer Trail

We came over the mountain pass of Tizi-n-Tichka at 2400 metres (8000 feet) in a strong wind and in snow from the night before.  The weather was quite unseasonably cold and we had to improvise with several layers of cool summer clothes to keep warm.  The horses were not over familiar with the snow and would start 'plunging' if they stepped into a deep hole or drift; the photograph was taken shortly after we had passed the summit where the going was more even and the snow not nearly so deep as on the uphill side.  Even my horse, Nassim, who is usually quite independent, was much more docile over the upward stretch and he was happy for me to lead him with every step.

Aproaching the summit of the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass

To give our horses some respite, we walked with them on parts of the uphill side of the pass.  At an altitude of nearly 8000 feet, those of us who are used to living near sea level were soon a bit short of breath!  Val, who always seemed to have brought two of everything to allow for those of us who did not have one, even had a suitable winter jacket to wear!


One of the amazing aspects of the High Atlas Explorer trail was the ever changing scenery; even on horseback it changed appreciably from morning to afternoon every day.  Here is a view looking back the way we came as we slowly work our way up to the summit of the pass at Tizi-n-Tichka.

View form the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass

Susannah and Berber children

The Berber children were fascinated by our horses - and by their riders.  After a little shyness, most were delighted to have their pictures taken.  This one of Susannah with children who 'appeared from nowhere' when we stopped for lunch in a walnut grove, was taken with her digital camera  and the children were really excited because they could see themselves in the camera previewer straight away.  

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Bereber/Arab stallions being loaded on to horse transport

Our horses about to leave for their summer work on the coast.

After the rigours of the High Atlas Trail, our horses were moved to their summer work on the coast at Essaouira.  The transport wasn't so much a horsebox, more a sort of 'horsetray', really.  Nevertheless, our horses all loaded without hesitation and seemed quite content to watch the world go by from their elevated and well ventilated transport.  This view may seem odd to those of us used to seeing enclosed trailers and boxes but the seven horses loaded in less time and with far less drama than many horse owners would take to load just two at a local show in the UK.  Nassim is in front as he 'argues' with the others if he is put anywhere else.

I think that is enough of pictures but if you are really interested and might consider this horse riding holiday adventure yourself, please do look at the High Atlas Crossing page on the Unicorn Trails website, or feel free to send me an email if you have questions.

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Nassim and The High Atlas Explorer Trail
The Desert Portion of The High Atlas Explorer Trail
Stallions and Riders on the High Atlas Explorer Trail
Riders on the High Atlas Explorer Trail
Stallions on the High Atlas Explorer Trail
The Mountain Portion of The High Atlas Explorer Trail

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