Apex Morocco Trek Raises £2000 for Cheshire Without Abuse

This November, our adventurer MD, Chris Hutchings, travelled to the Atlas Mountains, Morocco to raise vital funds for our charity partner, Cheshire Without Abuse, (CWA) who support victims of domestic abuse.

Now back from his trek and adventure, we find out more about what he was doing and why he took on such a challenge.

Why did you choose to do a charity trek in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco?
CWA are an incredible charity and our charity partner. Therefore, it was vital to me that Apex delivered on our promise of being a proactive, ‘sleeves rolled up’ corporate partner. The challenge of conquering the four highest peaks in North Africa, at over 4000 metres each, was simply too good to resist!

What was the most surprising thing you saw?
Goats standing in the tops of Argan Trees, simply bizarre!

What was the scariest moment?
It was using a rope technique, colloquially called Himalayan fast roping. Essentially, it’s a front facing single rope technique to quickly descend off a mountain slope.  Although, the descent incline was not steep, you are not harnessed in, so it takes a real leap of faith to throw yourself forward and to use your body weight against the rope. It goes against all your natural instincts!

What was the hardest part of the challenge?
The cold. We were really blessed with the sunny weather, however, if you stopped in the shade, which we had to do often, you became cold very quickly, particularly in your hands. I showed the team an old skiing hack to quickly warm up your hands; basically, you wring your arms as if you are holding hand bells, the blood quickly flows back down into your fingers, and warms them up!

What was the best moment of the trip?
There were numerous great moments. However, it must be making the first summit, that was on Mount Raz at 4083 metres. I was confident then, that I had a really good chance of completing the challenge and that thus far, I had not suffered from altitude sickness.

What is the one thing about your home comforts that you missed?
A hot bath!

Did you have any free time on the trek?
Yes, on the last day of the trip we stayed in Marrakech. What can I say, its simply one of those must visit places. The Suks, night and spice markets are an amazing assault on all the senses.  There is so much energy, colour and vibrancy, a wonderful experience.

What can you tell us about the people?
On the first day of the trek, we stayed in the village of Imlil with a Berber family. Berber tribes have lived in North Africa for thousands of years. The Berber valleys are home to small hamlets and villages, and the ethnic Berber people are a herding and farming community. The culture was warm and friendly, and the hearty Moroccan food was superb!

What is the biggest lesson you have learnt from this trip?
I think it’s about adventure and exploration. It does not cost as much as we think, particularly, when you compare it to some of the things we spend our money on in the Western world such as fast food, mobile phones and nice cars.

Sometimes, we should just do it!

Now that you’ve done this trek, is there somewhere else you would like to go?
I’ll let you know when the blisters have healed!

Any final comments?
Yes, thank you to everybody for your incredible support and sponsorship.