Leaving the hustle and bustle of Marrakech behind, we headed out of the old city and through the dusty arid plains. The snow capped High Atlas slowly came into focus on the horizon and soon enough we were winding through the foothills. Guesthouse Samra sits in the foothills just above Imlil and is a civilized affair run by a very hospitable French lady named Jacqueline and manned by the multi talented Mohamed. Rumour had it that Mohamed was an expert at rustic Hammam, which is essentially like a Turkish bath and a massage. How could we refuse? After all we were about to surrender ourselves to freezing cold alpine trekking with no chance of showers or luxury for quite a few days. Mike, Seb, Alistair and I got dressed n the requisite onsies (see picture) and made our way to what could best be described an unlit stone igloo above a pizza oven. Having stripped to our underpants and sat cross legged in the humid steaming room we watched with nervous anticipation as Alistair…our first victim was subjected to boiling hot buckets of water, violent scrubbing and a display that resembled a wrestling match in which he had been heavily drugged and was basically non compliant. Limbs cracked, muscles popped, necks twisted and skin reddened (during Mikes bout he lost so many layers of skin on his arm that the injury was still visible some weeks later). Despite the aggressive nature on this experience I have to say that I felt very relax afterward……or maybe just exhausted. The next morning we would be trekking through the snow up to the refuge.