Saturday, 18 April 2015

Hiking: Scrambling Jebel Zaghouan via NW ridge

Distance: 7km
Hiking up and down: 660m
Level: Moderate - technical sections
Time: 3hrs
Notes: bring your head for heights: scrambling sections!
GPS tracks

Start at the farm (aka as the marabout). Ask the farmer if you can park your car at the marabout premises. You could even start at a lower level, doing the farm track hike first. Backtrack the tarmac road for about 300m in the direction of Jebel Zaghouan (south). At the sharp bend in the road, get off it and enter the forest where the cattle clearance is. Past this a small but well visible trail follows the dry rocky river bed, first on the right side and crossing over to the left after 100m. Keep following the trail staying close to the river bed for a few hundred metres and get back to the right again. At the first grassy patch, make a sharp right turn and take one of the cattle trails that goes steeply in westerly direction. The trails are a bit vague, but keep going up and you'll meet with a major trail again (the one described in the Zaghouan Pass Long route).

Turn right and stay on this trail until you reach the bottom of the ridge leading to the summit of Jebel Zaghouan. The southwest aspect of the slope should be visible, as this is the line you'll be hiking to the top. Hit the slope, and don't focus on finding trails, as there aren't real trails going up. Find the way of least resistance, but stay close to the actual ridge rathe than straying too much to the right. The terrain is rocky and at times covered in vegetation. Still, the going shouldn't be too hard. At some point you'll encounter more rocky outcrops. In some cases it's necessary to go right around, but if it's possible to scramble give it a go!

The last section towards the summit involves a bit more scrambling (which is at this point not avoidable). Not quite suitable for people with vertigo. Shortly after you'll reach the summit of Jebel Zaghouan (1295m).

It is not recommended to descent the same way you came up. Go down more in a westerly direction, essentially the same route as the other summit route. There is one small scramble down, after that it is steep hiking on the broad rocky slope pointing west. When the slope gets less steep, move towards the right (northern) side. At the saddle, start descending the vague trail through the low trees. You will come across a proper trail a bit lower down. Take this into the direction of the ridge you climbed earlier.  Below you can see the stone circle, used to keep animals. This is where you're headed for. From the stone circle, take the trail heading north (seeing the marabout at 2 o'clock) which leads to the tarmac road. At the road, turn right and follow the road until you're back at the car. Spectacular yet short hike!



  1. Eine Reise lohnt sich immer.

  2. Tunis ist die Hauptstadt von Tunesien.
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