• Educate Magazine Hugh Baird College Morocco

College students move their classroom to Morocco

Hugh Baird College students made a 2,000 mile journey as they visited the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco on a trekking expedition.

Ahead of the trip, the group, who are studying on the level 3 outdoor education course, had researched the logistics, planned their itinerary and learnt about the region they were about to visit and the routes they were aiming to trek. They had also summited several mountains in preparation up to the trip including Mount Snowdon.

The team flew in to Marrakech from Liverpool where they were picked up and driven to Imlil, before continuing on foot up to the tiny frontier village of Aroumd nestled on the edge of the High Atlas Mountains.

The next day the group made the ascent of Mount Toubkal (4167m), the highest mountain in North Africa. It was tough going at times with some difficult route finding and the slowing effects of altitude. The team steadily made their way to the Tizi n’Toubkal pass at 4000m, from where they saw their first panoramic views of the High Atlas mountain range and the Sahara beyond before making the final push with the whole team successfully summiting the highest mountain in North Africa.

Their descent and journey back took them through breathtaking views, roughly following the beautifully clear n’Ouagounss River.  They took in a stop at the tiny settlement of Sidi Chamarouch where they chatted with the Berber people and bought some locally produced Berber clothing.

Speaking on return, level 3 outdoor education student Jack Lyon, said: “The trip was a fantastic experience that enabled us to put loads of what we’ve learnt on our course to good use.

“The work we did before the trip on planning our itinerary really paid off and made sure we got the most from the trip.

“The best thing about the trip was the people of Morocco. They were so friendly and made us all feel very welcome. It was a privilege to visit their beautiful country.”

Hugh Baird College outdoor education tutor, Michael Alexander, who accompanied the students on the trip and is an experienced mountain leader, said: “This expedition was a great opportunity. It provided our students with an invaluable practical insight into planning adventurous overseas trips. It is a special part of an exciting study programme for young people who are active and love the outdoors.

“This trip opened the learners’ eyes to what the world has to offer. They have been a credit to the college. They stepped up to the responsibility of organising the trip and fully embraced the culture of Morocco.”

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About Author: Alan Birkett