Ascent of Jebel Mussa on 2017-04-16

Climber: Rob Woodall

Date:Sunday, April 16, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Jebel Mussa
    Elevation:2753 ft / 839 m

Ascent Trip Report

An easy half day and a fine limestone peak; two summits almost the same height; views should be good if you can avoid the sea mist.

From NE, parking on street at start of mule track, which begins as a house driveway but soon becomes a well graded path. Higher up it's easy to miss a zigzag left - the route keeps L of an obvious white cliff. Mule track tops out above a rocky defile, then either head straight up as we did, or (easier) angle up R on a (faint at first) path avoiding the loose limestone scree, to reach the ridge. The main summit is L, but the W summit up to the R turns out to be barely lower.

We are in cloud all the way to the ridge; turning L we are soon at the E summit, arriving a couple of minutes after three Spaniards, one of which speaks excellent English. There's an old shrine with the remains of a vaulted roof, with the HP a boulder immediately to its SW (N35.89804° W5.41138°, 835m).

Occasional clearances reveal the west summit buttressed by fine crags. To my surprise the hand level shows it to be nearly as high, only about 2m lower. We head there on the way down, via a lower intermediate top (N35.89883° W5.41295°, 825m, outcrop). There's too much mist to allow a good sighting back to the east summit (N35.89809° W5.41426°, 837m, 2 boulders of equal height), but the 2m difference looks about right. Drop between them is about 15m.

Descending east towards the saddle we soon find a decent path down, following Martin Richardson's GPS track, passing a Moroccan hiker on his way up. Back on the mule track we are soon below the cloud and enjoy an easy descent, passing a party of 10 Moroccans and a French party of similar size but unlike the Moroccans, including several women. 1h 30 up, 35 mins at summits and 1h 10 down.

Jebel Mussa photo album

We chose this peak as an easy day between Tidirhine and Kelti. Breakfast in Fnideq at a place called British Coffee where ironically no one spoke English but the Moroccan breakfast was good, with a view across to the Spanish island of Cueta.

After the Mussa climb we took a slow drive south, enjoying a beach picnic, checking out the Kelti trailhead then exploring the impressive old mountain town of Chefchouan, dining at a tiny restaurant within the colourful Medina. All very civilised.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2483 ft / 756 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2483 ft / 756 m
    Distance:4.8 mi / 7.7 km
    Start Trailhead:270 ft / 82 m
Descent Statistics

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