Oukaïmeden




Oukaïmeden is the main ski resort of Morocco. It is located 74 km from Marrakech on a high plateau. Oukaïmeden culminates at 3200 meters altitude on the top of the resort, and is part of the mountains of the High Atlas. The ski area, located between 2500 and 3200 meters, is the best equipped and snowy Morocco. It covers about 300 hectares which focus on the northern flank of the Oukaïmeden. The snow is usually abundant from November to April.

After the birth of the ski and mountain Michlifen in Ifrane province that has been the subject of our article on the same page dated 23 January 2005, the site Oukaimeden within the province El Haouz in the High Atlas in the journal "Moroccan Mountains" published by the CFO of Casablanca, has attracted mountaineers from birth skiing in Morocco in the 30s, despite the difficulties of access once when they went up by 6 to 7 hours by mule from Asni to invest the plateau at the onset of the first snow.

According to the same source, the French section of the Alpine Club of Marrakech built a small shelter in 1936 Oukaimeden which allowed, however, a more regular visits to the site and the organization of the first ski courses. In 1938, the military center was established, and in 1941, a bigger cabin is built by the French Alpine Club. Ski championships were held in Morocco for the first time in Oukaimeden in February 1942.

In 1948, the first vehicular route linking Marrakech Oukaimeden via Tahannaoute and Sidi Fares was opened, and five years later (circa 1953), two hotels and thirty private chalets are built Oukaimeden, taxiways and the water supply and electricity are made and the first two lifts, one of Shuka (1100m along with a vertical drop of 380m) and that the "average" (297m long with a vertical drop of 78m) - are located in the resort which also has two ski jumps.

In 1963, the station has seen Oukaimeden develop a chairlift with a length of 1960m with a vertical drop of 620 m and a flow rate of 600 skiers / h, a new ski lift and connection to the national grid electricity has encouraged the resumption of building construction and tourists.

In 1965, the new access by the Ourika valley road is open and has easy access to the station Oukaimeden which was equipped with two additional lifts in 1967 and connected to the automatic telephone network in 1970.
In 1992, finally, the summit was built Oukaimeden and lift the summit valley with a viewpoint and a chalet-restaurant were built.

In the early thirties, the section of the High Atlas of French Alpine Club was founded in Marrakech near the site Oukaimeden and it was not until the 1941-42 season that the section of the French Alpine Club Casablanca was born.
In the process, a league Ski French Ski Federation (FFS) was born in Morocco to organize and coordinate the activities of all these clubs and many others who were born after 1942 and thus contribute to the promotion of winter sports at Morocco of the thirties.

The ski area in the Oukaimeden station currently covers some 300 hectares concentrated on the northern flank of Mount Oukaimeden it is between 2620 and 3270 m altitude.

In years moderately snowy, this ski area is passable from mid-December to late March or during a period of about a hundred days.
Given its relatively small maximum altitude relative to its latitude (31 °), the ski area Oukaimeden station does not guarantee quality snow throughout this period, which hinders its marketing especially in the abroad.

Of Similarly, we precise our same source of information, the too great technical difficulty Site constitutes a handicap: indeed, 75% of the slopes of the Oukaimeden station cater to of good skiers and only 25% means skiers or beginners, while in theory, the proportions should be reversed.