Fountain Gully: Final S7 route climbed!

Olly Metherell, James Mehigan and Andrew Stokes-Rees after the first ascent of Fountain Gully

I’m delighted to be able to write that we completed the Super7 project with a new route on Afella in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains on Thursday 3rd Jan.

I would like to thank our patron, our sponsors, and also The Gino Watkins Memorial Fund, The MC of S, The BMC, The MEF and The Alpine Club for making this possible. I would also like to thank my climbing partners, my family, and all of our friends and supporters who have helped to make this project happen.

The expedition was led by Andy Stokes-Rees and myself (Olly Metherell) and James Mehigan made up the rest of the team.

After a frantic evening of food shopping in Marrakesh myself and James had our first scary moment of the trip when we were led into the depths of the Labyrinthine streets of the medieval Souk at 11pm (with about £400 worth of shopping piled high on a hired hand-cart) by two mischevious locals who were ‘helping’ us to find our hotel.

Andrew flew in the next day and our hosts at Atlas Walkers got us quickly and efficiently to The Nelter Hut at around 3000m

After a first attempt on the route on the Wed; it was eventually climbed at around ED1 on Thursday.

The route is on the SE face of Afella (4045m) and is about 1.5 hours from the Nelter refuge on Ski’s. The climb features a challenging mixed pitch and then a gully which culminates in a vertical ice pillar. The route continues up the gully for one more pitch from where we descended by abseil.

The route marks the final Super7 expedition and I’ve put a brief summary of what we climbed below:

’24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE’. A directissima up the S face of Mt Aspiring. James Edwards, Olly Metherell, Kev Neal. ED2

‘Goya Peak’ (approx 5,200m). The first ascent of an alpine rock peak in India’s Miyar Nala. Olly Metherell, Mitch van der Spek, D+

‘Mt Cloos’. The first ascent of this mountain (1400m) which is located about 3km East of The Lemaire Channel in The Antarctic Peninsular. Derek Buckle, Mike Fletcher, Olly Metherell, Phil Wickens. D+

‘Huaytepallana II.’ The first ascent of this rock peak (approx 5,200m) in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca. Olly Metherell, Anthony Barton. TD

‘Right Hand Chimney’. VII, Ben Nevis, Gareth Hughes and Olly Metherell. Also: Sioux Wall, VIII, Olly Metherelll and Ian Parnell.

‘Tower Gully’ ED1/2. The Ruth Gorge, James Mehigan and Olly Metherell

‘Fountain Gully’, ED1, The Atlas Mountains, James Mehigan, Olly Metherell, Andrew Stokes-Rees.

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