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Desert Sand Dune Skiing Morocco

Sand skiing in the Sahara Desert

Skiing in the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert, near Merzouga, Morocco is possible either from the small town bordering the dunes, or by taking camels further into the desert to access to some of the higher dunes.

In a way we did end up ski touring, but nothing like what we set out to do when we decided to go to Morocco. The High Atlas Mountains, and the 4000 meter Toubkal Peak was our goal. Our reality were the Merzouga Sand Dunes and a few 130 meter piles of sand. There, we rode camels and did a ski tour where four people shared one pair of skis and boots.

Thankfully, it worked out. But after three days wandering around, we felt like we’d pretty well exhausted the entertainment possibilities of this little slice of the Sahara. Mountain people can only do so much in the desert. The best thing is imagining Simon explaining to his guiding clients how he got red Sahara sand in his ski boots.

A huge thanks to Simon Duverney and Marjorie Juarez for the ability to laugh, and make us laugh. We’ve been on a lot of trips with these guys, but this one was certainly unique.

Travelers exploring the ancient city of Ait Ben Haddou where visitors can shop, drink tea and walk through the old city. Morocco

For four Game of Thrones fans, Ben Haddou was a real thrill.

A group riding camels into the Sahara Desert from Merzouga, Morocco, while on a sand skiing trip.

With a combined feeling of curiosity and awkward horror, we entered the desert with the full knowledge that only tourists actually ride camels.

Skiing in the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert, near Merzouga, Morocco is possible either from the small town bordering the dunes, or by taking camels further into the desert to access to some of the higher dunes.

Somehow having skis along connected us to who we are, and made things seem normal.

Skiing in the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert, near Merzouga, Morocco is possible either from the small town bordering the dunes, or by taking camels further into the desert to access to some of the higher dunes.

Truth be told, Simon was vibrating with enthusiasm and excitement to explore the dunes. Somehow, even in the dunes, there was a sense of pressure to get to the top before others tracked it up.

Skiing in the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert, near Merzouga, Morocco is possible either from the small town bordering the dunes, or by taking camels further into the desert to access to some of the higher dunes.

Dreams really do come true!

Skiing in the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert, near Merzouga, Morocco is possible either from the small town bordering the dunes, or by taking camels further into the desert to access to some of the higher dunes.

The key is to point them. Try to turn too early and you’ll be cleaning sand out of your ears. Once the speed is high enough, it really is the same feeling as skiing. Of course by that point you’re finished.

Skiing in the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert, near Merzouga, Morocco is possible either from the small town bordering the dunes, or by taking camels further into the desert to access to some of the higher dunes.

Ultimately, it’s about experiencing the dunes; the silence, the warm sand, and the uniquely beautiful shapes and forms we found ourselves within.

Skiing in the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert, near Merzouga, Morocco is possible either from the small town bordering the dunes, or by taking camels further into the desert to access to some of the higher dunes.

Simon running laps

Skiing in the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert, near Merzouga, Morocco is possible either from the small town bordering the dunes, or by taking camels further into the desert to access to some of the higher dunes.

Marjorie enjoying her turn, and boots 5 sizes too big.

Skiing in the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert, near Merzouga, Morocco is possible either from the small town bordering the dunes, or by taking camels further into the desert to access to some of the higher dunes.

Alpine start?

Skiing in the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert, near Merzouga, Morocco is possible either from the small town bordering the dunes, or by taking camels further into the desert to access to some of the higher dunes.

Dawn patrol was never so warm.

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Comments 3

  1. Hi!

    I’m heading in Morocco soon, and I’m thinking to go at Merzouga.
    Will it be possible to know what company have you used to do some skiing on the dune?
    Seems like all of them have snowboard!

    Thanks 🙂

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