Songs of Rock and Wind
Climbing In The High Atlas Mountains
‘Travelling means different things to different people. Its intangible allure has always been difficult to define. Is it a necessity? A lifestyle? Is it life itself? For me, traveling has always been about learning; inspired by Marcel Proust’s seminal words: “The true voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”’ – Franz Walter
Franz Walter told his story of travelling to Morocco with Ines Papert on two climbing expeditions in the High Atlas Mountains in Sidetracked Volume Three. The expeditions were fraught with problems, ill health and some unfavourable weather conditions. But despite this Franz recollects some perfect moments within this breathtaking environment.
We’re honoured to share this extended photo selection and video from their journeys.
I remember our first breathtaking hike along these walls. Exposed, ancient trails lead deeper and deeper into the gorges, navigating the rushing water using only Berber ladders made of rocks and sticks that cling precariously to the rock face. Many renowned climbers have opened alpine multi-pitch routes here over the years. The climbs are aesthetically beautiful, challenging routes on perfect rock. Often there are strong winds which blow south from the Sahara desert, pummelling climbers with unrelenting ferocity.
Reflecting on my personal need for traveling, it can be distilled into a need for understanding and our journey and learning here is still to be completed. A Moroccan saying comes into my mind: ‘Nothing is certain,’ they will tell you in Marrakech, ‘but everything is possible.’
Franz Walter is a creative nomad. Born 1980 in Nuremberg, Germany, he studied Media Technology at the Technical University of Ilmenau, where he began his search for a way to combine tech and nature, thinking and doing throughout his life. Shortly after graduation he founded nanuuq, a tiny creative consultancy for athletes and emerging brands.
As a photographer and filmmaker he explores the relationships of landscape and human activity. He also is the creator of madebynomads, a small group of future-friendly storytellers and indie publishers which he founded with Frank Kretschmann in 2013.
The outdoors have always been an important part of his life, being introduced early on to canoeing. He quickly added kayaking and traveling, which took him to such remote places as the Tatshenshini and Colorado rivers. Nowadays he is an all-rounder, with journeys taking him from the Guyanese jungle to the Kyrgyz mountains.
Franz currently lives the Allgäu foothills of the Alps.