Warning: the following words and images will allow you to vicariously see the world with the eyes of Sultan. Read at your own risk. The name Sultan has many meanings, but derives from the peak Sultan Mountain in Silverton, CO!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Toubkal 13,671 ft – Ramadan

Today is the fifth day of the Islamic lunar month of Ramadan. It is the 9th month and requires all Muslims around the world to fast from sunrise to sunset: No food or water. I usually slow my running down during this month.

The toll of Hardrock, a sub 24 hour Smokies crossing (SCAR), and a second summit of Toubkal is taking itself on me. Perfect timing as I begin my fast of Ramadan.

After flying for almost a day, I landed in Casablanca, which is where my cousin Ahmad picked me up. We drove south towards Marrakech. It was here we decided to load up on some calories and ate cus cus on the streets of this picturesque Moroccan city. The atlas mountains were visible, and are snow caped half the year. They were dry and I wondered what the weather would be like on the mountain. It was over 100 degrees in Marrakech.

We then drove farther South to Imlil. After getting lost, we finally found our way and began a 5 hour trek to the French Alpine Refuge 10,200 feet, mostly in the dark. We spent 5 hours sleeping at the refuge and I got up at took off at sunrise. I reached the 13,671 foot summit of Toubkal for a second time in less than 2 hours. I drank tea, and snapped a few shots for some German climbers (they returned the favor), and I ran right back down the scree slops of this mountain, making it to the refuge in 1 hour, and back to Imlil in 1:16. I soaked in a waterfall while I waited for Ahmad as he rode a mule off the mountain.

Back in the US, I have slowed down, and plan to rest and recover during the month of fasting. A possible foothills trail crossing is in the works, and Hinson Lake 24hr is certainly on my list.