As long as you have not walked the earth in the Moroccan High Atlas, you will not understand !
Some trails offer beautiful scenery and demanding profiles. Others take you on trails where the sky seems to be one with the peaks. The UTAT 105 is more than all of this. The UTAT 105 is a unique adventure in the world. It requires a total engagement, but provides you with incredible emotions, deeply moving encounters and unexpected exceeded your limits.
At 2620m altitude, on the plateau of Oukaïmeden, theater of so many discoveries during your UTAT stay, of joys and satisfactions… at this moment it will be the place of questions, where impatience is felt through all members of the riders’ corps present on the starting line.
It is midnight, in a pure night, under a starry sky as only the high altitudes can offer it. The frontals are lit, the eyes display the runner’s focus and will , the speaker harangues the crowd of valiant trailers ready to challenge the Giant Atlas.
The start is given, the queue of runners, initially compact, stretches slowly, until it offers only the flicker of a direction, a path that is embedded in the bottom of a valley lined with peaks and ridges. Here begins the immersion in this mythical, mythological massif.
Along some 5km and 370D +, this first part, which is made of 30% of track and 70% of trails, will take you to the first pass of the race: 2 960m Tizi n’Addi. Far from being a big difficulty, this first confrontation makes it possible to take the pulse of the UTAT, test of high altitude. The breath is short like strides. These very strides, maybe already only steps, reduce. This first climb which will end with a first check point will be a good measure to size and tune the effort to be produced for the hours and days to come.
After a first ascent, there is always …. a first descent (5km-600D-)!
You will cross the first village “Tacheddirt” made of single track lanes. The village just behind you, is the pass (tizi) of the same name that rises to 3190m. First climb of the 6 passes over 3000m you will cross. Nothing really technical here and a rather gradual ascent to the pass (Circa : 16km – Alt 3 190.m – 1 360.m D+)
Still 5 to come beyond 3,000m! (… and 5 other passes at less than 3000m) and the descent is debonair to the next village Iabassen where you will continue a progressive descent on a brand new track to Timichi, locality of your first refueling (Solid/Liquid – Circa : 24.km – Alt 1 960.m – 1 460.m D+ – 2 120.m D-).
You then cross a succession of picturesque villages to reach the next supply at a place called Takerkourte (Liquid – Circa : 34,5km – Alt 1 750.m – 1 905.m D+ – 2 780.m D-), before fording the wadi Ourika, which is the lowest point of the whole course (1,568m). Then you “dive” into one of the most magical, craggy, challenging spaces in the world’s Ultra Trail! 50 km of trails far from any track, any road, any modern civilization …. .
The climb to Tamatert (name of the next village) is steep and continues to the third pass of the route: Tizi Tamatert (Circa : 41,5km – Alt 2 222.m – 2 666.m D+ – 3 063.m D-).
After a brief descent to azib Assaka, you climb to the Amenzel pass and the eponymous village, the most remote of the High Atlas but teeming with life! A portion at the bottom of the valley leads you to the foot of the Oumchichka Pass where you will find the PC / Supply (Solid / Liquid) Boukchoud (Circa: 48.km – Alt 2 500.m – 3 353.m D+ – 3 474.m D-)
The climb of the pass is done by a path drawn in a scree. The effort becomes terrible … but, at the top, another valley appears with, on the horizon, all the passes (4) of this magical passage. After the pass, the climb continues slightly until the PC Oumchichka (Circa : 51.km – Alt 3 070.m – 3 927.m D+ – 3 474.m D-).
The next part is only descent and light raises, passing through the Azibs, a reservoir of water made by the hands of men, to the bottom of the river which will mark the change of course, for a new valley, a new pass which marks one of the new variants of the UTAT 105, a beautiful gift created in 2018 for the 10th anniversary! (Circa : 56,3.Km – Alt 2 515.m – 4 066.m D+ – 4 169.m D-)
The elevation is on the side of a rocky python, for a new valley, new shepherds, a new tributary, a crossing, a change of shore and a regular ascent to the top of the Tougroudadene pass, (Circa : 60.Km – Alt 3 264.m – 4 815.m D+ – 4 169.m D-).
A simple and long descent that is done through two stages. From the pass to the bottom of the valley through a scree, at first, and the descent along the river bed, in a second stage, until a small magic pass, which will allow you to discover the famous Azib Likemt, place of refueling (Solid / Liquid) and an advanced medical post for a stopover (Circa: 68.Km – Alt 2 564.m – 4 870.m D+ – 4 925.m D-)
After a break, we must tackle the ascent of Tizi n’Tifourhate (Circa : 72.Km – Alt 3 144.m – 5 485.m D+ – 4 961.m D-), then to a short descent that leads you to the next PC: Azib Tifni (Circa : 73.5Km – Alt 2 898.m – 5 485.m D+ – 5 206.m D-) . It is the foot of a giant, the Adrar N’Tarharate, whose rise is realized in 3 parts. First of all Tizi Terhaline (Circa : 76,6.Km – Alt 3 313.m – 5 949.m D+ – 5 255.m D-), then the culmination of the UTAT: Tichki (Circa : 78,5.Km – Alt 3 670.m – 6 320.m D+ – 5 265.m D-), which will mark the beginning of one of the most impressive and intense descents of the international circuit of ultra trail (11,5km – 2,000m D-), and finally as a third part to go through the Tagharate pass and its PC (Circa : 80.Km – Alt 3 495.m – 6 350.m D+ – 5 470.m D-)
The mythical descent of the UTAT is just there… and you are engaged in its steepest part (6.km – 1460.m D-)!
Finally a wide downhill trail leads you to the Cirque d’Aremd, after crossing a wide dry riverbed, you will arrive at the first houses, then to a track (which may be paved by then) (Circa: 87,5.Km – Alt 1 940.m – 6 385.m D+ – 7 065.m D-).
In the past, many runners have been somewhat impressed by this return to the “civilization”. It will be between 8 and 20h that you have left all traces …. it seems that it is sufficient for obeying back to our animal instinct!
The track goes up slightly for about 1km and you will quickly leave it on your right for a descent in single and laced, until old walnut trees to join the supply of Imlil (Solid / Liquid) after some steps, trails, parcel tarred; at this stage Imil supply seems literally providential!(Circa: 90.Km – Alt 1 675.m – 6 420.m D+ – 7 360.m D-)
A quick review by the medical staff, a possible break to sleep or regain strength, then return to serious things: the path runs along the river, crosses it before rising again to the penultimate pass Aguersioual(Circa : 95.Km – Alt 2 044.m – 6 912.m D+ – 7 490.m D-).
New descent, new village, new valley. Then a small ascent through the walnut trees and in the streets of Amskere takes you to the penultimate PC, just outside the village (Circa : 97.Km – Alt 1 885.m – 7 040.m D+ – 7 780.m D-), and the ultimate difficulty: the ascent to Oukaïmeden.
A first soft climb on a track, then a trail will lead you to a false pass which will be the beginning of a finally flay part: Gliz Plateau.
The change of atmosphere is total: the red earth contrasts with the bright green of the thuriferous junipers, through your path on a quasi level curve. Then appears the last PC a few small hectometres of a last pitiless climb: The wood of the fiancés! (Circa : 101.Km – Alt 2 245.m – 7 510.m D+ – 7 890.m D-).
Here the ascension is done between the thuriferous junipers and quickly, you step through kind of “stairs”. Hands on the hips or on the knees, for some of you behind the back, it is at the step of the walker that we cross the wood! Yes, even elites do not run here anymore !!
Finally you see the exit through this beautiful scree, then distinguish the flags of the rescue that marks the passage of the last pass!
That’s it you are finally there, the Tizi Oukaïmeden is offered to you between two Moroccan flags that slam in the winds.
From there, you will see the village of UTAT, you will hear the voice of the speaker who harangues the heroes in the process of completing the 105.km and 8000m D + / D- Giant Atlas!
One piece of advice: savor every stride of this final kilometer downhill before being overwhelmed by emotion as you cross the finish line.
Profile & Map
Bibs & benefits
*This price is valid up to July 2018 the 31st – From July 2019 1st, 420€ within the limits of available bib number. Special offer for clubs: 10% discount for the whole group from a group of 10, valid until June 2019 the 30th.
TYPE OF GROUND
TRACK : 10 KM
TRAIL : 94 KM
ROAD : 1 KM
WINNER : CIRCA 17 hours
(2018 winner time: 19h04, but in exceptional weather conditions)
TIME LIMIT : 40H
6 SUPPLY POINTS
24 KM (TIMICHI) : food and beverage
34 KM (TAKERKOURTE) : beverage
48 KM (BOUKCHOUD) : food and beverage
67 KM (AZIB LIKEMT) : food and beverage
90 KM (IMLIL) : food and beverage
96 KM AMSKERE : food and beverage
16 MEDICALIZED CHECK POINTS (PC)
Tizi n’Addi (6 km)
Tacheddirt (10 km)
Tizi Tacheddirt (14 km)
Timichi (24 km)
Setti Fatma (34 km)
Boukchoud (48 km)
Tizi N’Oumchicka(51 km)
Azib Likemt (67 km)
Tizi N’Tifourate (72 km)
Azib Tifini (74 km)
TIizi N’Teraline (76,5 km)
Tizi Tichki (78 km)
Descente Tizi N’Tarharate “Le Rocher” (80 km)
Imlil (90 km)
Amskere (96 km)
Plateau Gliz (100 km)
UTAT 105 km: 40 hours
⁃ Takerkourte (km 34): Departure time + 08h00
⁃ Boukchoud(km 46): Departure time + 15h00
⁃ Azib Likemt (km 65): Departure time + 24h00
⁃ Imlil (km 88,5): Departure time + 34h00
MANDATORY EQUIPMENT : See Article 8 of the UTAT Rules
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