THE EXCURSION OF IKKISS IS AN UNFORGETTABLE RIDE IN THE HIGH ATLAS, A CONCENTRATE OF EMOTIONS, EFFORT AND PURE BEAUTY.
The Ikkiss run : one might think its short distance makes it easier… but think again ! The Ikkriss Run may be shorter than its elders but it demands an intense effort : two 3000m passes, several technical descents and an ultimate amazing ascent ; it also goes through a number of authentic villages. In other words : a short trail with a maximum thrills :
The Ikkiss trail starts in a very highly strung atmosphere : European trailers competing against locals who know the track inside out. Predictably the Moroccans start at a very quick pace and tear along the track to the Oukaïmeden plateau towards Tizi n’Addi the first pass at 3,000 m. Wise are those who start at a slower pace as this first ascent is particularly tiring.
This difficulty overcome, there is an easy 5km descent to the village of Tacheddirt. You leave the village amongst the applause of the people and follow a rather rolling single bypassing the Adrar n’ Oukaïmeden. Throughout this journey you will meet smiling children, women carrying much heavier bundles of wood than your Camelbag and walnut trees offering a saving shade.
The hilly trail takes you up Amssakrou, the only fueling station of the course, just before the final ascent of the formidable Tizi n’Oukaïmeden.
The trail suddenly straightens up and crosses a stretch of red earth crushed by the sun, soon followed by the bright green silhouettes of thuriferous junipers. The climb is steep, you can feel your legs but the breathtaking landscape largely compensates the effort.
After a 8 km climb you pass the red and green Moroccan flags on Tizi n’Oukaïmeden. You will then see the UTAT village. A final and most enjoyable descent allows you to reach the finish. Advice : savour each second and every stride !
*If you choose to take the sticks, it’s for the whole duration of the race.
Full equipment will be checked on the course and / or arriving for the first 3 in each event and randomly for other riders. Failure will result in a penalty.
This post is also available in: French