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near Setti Fatma, Marrakesh-Safi (Morocco)
After finishing our 3-day hike from Imlil to Setti-Fatma and dropping my partner off to continue by transport to Imlil, I had decided to try the trek in reverse and attempt to do it in 2 days. I knew the second day would be a very tired day :D
Day 1 - Setti-Fatma to Timichi
Distance: 13.43 kms
Elevation gain: 762 m
Highest point: 1,979 m
Total time: 02:54 hrs
Yes, I came back to sleep in Timichi the same day we finished the 3 day trek (😅). I used the Setti-Fatma stop to see what the 7 waterfalls were about (and also to buy some food for the trek back). I didn't think Setti-Fatma had much to offer in my opinion (other than tourists and faux guides). I'd suggest you skip right through it if your trek starts here.
The way back was not too spectacular (other than my terrace comment in the description of the other trek) but you get to see a few snow peaks (unsure how this looks in summer) which is a good intro to what you'll see later :) After Ait Boulmane and where the piste begins, I took a very steep shortcut to meet the piste at the top which shortened my distance a bit. I don't think it's entirely necessary but can be useful (and tiring!).
Apart from that, I found a couple of tips to make the trek slightly less painful of the winding piste. The first BIG time-saver is in the village of Anfli. It's the one you pass just after (or before if you're coming the other way) Tadrat. You will see another dirt road on the left that clearly leads to the village. In this part, if you stay on the piste, it makes you go high up over the village unnecessarily and just adds fatigue to your trek. The dirt road I described takes you through the village and keeps close to the river. Once you pass the village, a trail brings you straight to the piste (take this trail if coming from Timichi). It will save you, I swear.
The second is a trail that the ultra marathoners use but, it goes through the village of Tiouchtiou so I took it after I passed the village instead (you can see it on the path recorded). The trail stays just above the piste but you save going through some of the zigzags (coming from Timichi, it's to the left of the first zigzag you come across on the way).
Day 2 - Timichi to Imlil
Distance: 23.78 kms
Elevation gain: 1,797 m
Highest point: 3,528 m
Total time: 07:35 hrs
Time to Tizi N'Tacheddirt pass: 02:20 hrs
My favorite hike in Morocco so far :) I left Timichi a little before 8 am as I thought the hike would take me all day.
There's not much to say on the way to the Tizi N'Tacheddirt pass. Only that I took a couple of shortcuts to avoid the piste a bit. I arrived to the pass earlier than I expected so instead of continuing (and to not make the hike too boring), I decided to make a detour. I chose to climb the northern peak you see when at the pass. It's a straightforward hike. Perhaps a bit of scrambling when you get to the rocks. But if you have time or staying in Tacheddirt, do this climb. It will test your hiking limits but it's worth it. You can literally see Setti-Fatma to the east and Imlil to the west when you reach the top. Such an amazing view :) And it only cost me 1.5 hours.
After that, I made my way to Tacheddirt via a well-defined shepherd/goat trail on the right. The fork is very slight but you can continue straight instead of following the marathon trail. It's a better, panoramic view :) Once in Tacheddirt, I took a trail that required jumping into some terraces but avoids going to the valley floor or the long road. At the Tamatert pass, I took a trail on the left that avoids most of the road.
Thoughts: I think a better route would be to stay in Tacheddirt (in either direction) and make the Setti-Fatma to Tacheddirt (or reverse) trek into one day. It's very possible and it would make the day very long but the scenery would be much more varied for both days. At the same time, it's also possible make a stop in Timichi and stay two nights to do a day trip deeper into the valley. Lots of options ;)