140-kilometre route

Marrakech to Oukaïmeden.
70 km out and 70 km back. 2129 m of altitude gain:

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Route description

This route leaves from the southern edge of Marrakech at 49 5m and heads south, following a very gentle gradient (average 1.25%) for some 29 km to the start of the Ourika valley at an altitude of 860 m. Spectacular views of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains should be seen throughout this gentle rise to the start of the Ourika Valley. The route then follows the Ourika valley for 11 km to where the road branches out of the valley (975 m)and the main climb to Oukaïmeden begins. The next 30 km of the course will raise 1649 m (average gradient 5.49%) to the ski station at 2624 m.

The physical and human scenery on this section of the course really is awe inspiring as the road snakes its way ever higher passing the villages and terraced fields of the Berbers of the High Atlas. The route back to Marrakech is almost all downhill and the views truly spectacular.

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Here is some tracking information from a rider made during the 2013 Etape: http://www.strava.com/activities/51398573

60-kilometre route

Marrakech to the Ourika Valley.
30 km out and 30 km back. 365 m of altitude gain:

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Route description

This route leaves from the southern edge of Marrakech at 495 m and heads south, following a very gentle gradient (averageof 1.25%) for 29 km to the start of the Ourika Valley at an altitude of 860 m. Spectacular views of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains should be seen throughout this gentle rise to the start of The Ourika Valley. The return is a fast gentle decent back to Marrakech. This route is achievable by almost anybody who has reasonable fitness and wants to be involved in this event.

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