Yes, there is riding in Africa. Dan Milner embarks on a journey to the resort of Oukaimeden in the high Atlas Mountains of Morocco—only 40 miles from Marrakesh and overlooking the Sahara desert, a resort community with dubious lifts, houses built with discarded ski gear, and all-you-can-eat tajine stew. This is snowboarding under the African sun.

It takes us two hours to cover the 40 miles to Oukaimeden, a journey that leaves behind the bedlam and chaos of Marrakesh’s 350,000 inhabitants to weave between red rock hills and vertiginous canyons. When we finally arrive I’m expecting random scrubby patches of snow beneath a blazing hot sun. After all, we’re at the same latitude as Austin, Texas. Instead we find a resort heaving with activity. Families buzz to-and-fro, with kids and adults shuffling about the flats on skis and shunting each other along on heavy steel sledges. The snow is plowed high on each side of the road, witness to some heavy winter storms that have preceded our arrival. But thick fog and light rain turn the only road through the village into a muddy quagmire. Still, disembodied voices squeal with excitement and random shapes teeter on ancient rented skis. In short, it’s the perfect day off for the locals and the weather is not going to stop that…

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