Stepping out off at Marrakesh airport I was hit by the warm air. A pleasant change to the blast chilled air of my Arctic winter residence. I was in Morocco to run my first IRF workshop of the season for Berber Rafting Adventures in the Atlas Mountains.
|Our drive into The Atlas mountains|
This workshop was going to be a residential workshop, we were going to be together non stop for the next week. The perfect ice breaking exercise for a group of raft guides was to have a few beers and chill out.
We all awoke the next morning and boarded Yann's van for the 6 hr drive to the Atlas mountains. We were all instantly taken back with how beautiful Morocco was most of all it was good to feel the sun on our skin.
Our arrival to the camp after a long hot dusty day on the road was an eventful one. Ed, one of the guides slipped climbing down from the roof of the van. The first real life scenario of the course had begun. I now had to clean and stitch his foot up. With some help from James and Nell we manged to get away with using sutures and managed to use lots of steri strips.
|Eds foot 48 hours after his wee slip|
|Early morning coffee hit|
|The high water flows in the area were going to make the course entertaining|
The British based guides on the course all gave really good informative safety talks in the searing 30 C degree heat with all of their kit on.
My main observation from all of the safety talk was re occurring, the guides needed to "KEEP IT SIMPLE".
Our rafting guests do not need to be blinded by technical jargon. Later that evening we did a "safety talk in silence" workshop where each of the guides had to give sections of the safety talk with out talking and by using actions only; a great leaning tool.
We cooled of by putting on the Melloul. The Melloul is a short intense trip with plenty of things for the guides to concentrate on narrow canyons separated by tree infested flat sections. I needed to spend 30mins with each guide taking control of the raft. It took each of the guides a few minutes to adjust to the speed of the water and the trees but after this they were all fine. I got to see some really good examples of client care and good raft handling techniques.
|The Melloul: a perfect warm up run.|
Our evening session consisted of a short anchor and knot trying session which was to come in handy for the days to come.
Day 2 started with 2 more runs of the Melloul. During these runs we started to explore the role of the safety kayaker on a raft trip. The kayakers practiced exiting their kayaks into the raft and taking command of the raft mid rapid which was something they had never done before. We practiced towing the rafts along with multiple techniques of taking charge a guide-less raft from the position of a safety kayaker.