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Going with the Flow: Adventure Medical Kits Goes to Morocco

Monday, May 2nd, 2016


By Adventure Medical Kits’ Ambassador Kim Havell

Adventures don’t always go as planned. In our case, Mother Nature dictated our predicament. Our team was heading to Morocco on a ski expedition from mid-March until early April but the skies were being temperamental. Three weeks before we were set to depart, the Central High Atlas Mountains, a 5-hour drive east of Marrakesh, were hit with a 3-meter storm. We had high hopes. But, the days of African solar power that followed ate away at the new snow and the base and left us with little choice but to change plans a few days before departure.

IMG_8500Our group of 10 included 3 guides – Kristoffer Erickson, IFMGA guide, Peter Linn, Outfitter/Guide/Ski Patroller, and myself, EXUM Mountain Guide/JHMR Alpine Guide, Kim Havell. Kris and his wife, Cloe Erickson, have been visiting and living in Morocco on and off since 2003. Their home base is in the heart of the mountains – Zawiya Ahansal – and with their expertise and local knowledge; we were embarking on a thoroughly planned expedition. One of their companies – the Atlas Cultural Foundation – – mission is to improve and assist the local communities and rural Moroccans lives in education, health, and cultural preservation.

As part of our trip, Adventure Medical Kits provided gear support donations for the local villages in this rugged mountain area in which Kris and Cloe live and work (with their 7 year old daughter, Noor). With the Ericksons’ local contacts and assistants, we would be distributing supplies and helping in the health/medical arm of the Foundation’s efforts. As plans changed, our group size diminished and Pete and I decided to continue with the travel to Africa.

Transferring supplies across the ocean proved to be hassle-free and we were able to deliver the variety pack of kits and gear to the Ericksons in Zawiya. As luck would have it, we arrived in a snowstorm but not enough accumulation to change our course for the weeks while there. With Kris’s expert local guidance, we spent time in the mountains climbing the rock walls around their home and exploring the area on foot. Once all the supplies were delivered, Cloe and Kris took over the distribution and organization of the Adventure Medical Kits materials for the local programs that are under way this spring.

The careful and thoughtful usage of contacts on the ground in rural, remote locations make these donations more effective for the locals — those in need gain a better understanding and education of health and medical prevention tactics and methodology. Thank you Adventure Medical Kits for the generous, incredible support of both these African communities and the combined effort of expedition and philanthropic goals.


About Kim Havell

  • Named by Outside Magazine as a “Preeminent Female Ski Mountaineer of our Time” – November 2012
  • Listed by Backcountry Magazine as “37 Most Important Women in Backcountry” – January 2014
  • Named by The Active Times as #23 of “The World’s Best Athletes” – Fall 2015

Currently based in Jackson, WY, Kim Havell started her career as an alpine ski coach in the Telluride, CO valley. From there, she gradually made the transition into freeskiing, climbing and ski mountaineering. She has been an instructor and/or guide for Ice Axe Expeditions, San Juan Outdoor School, CVA, Babes in the Backcountry, H2O Heli Guides, as well as a 12 year member of the San Miguel County Search and Rescue Team (and Advisory Board member), with medical and rescue certifications.

Kim has skied on all 7 continents, with 1st descents on 4, and adventured in over 50 countries. During her travels, she has climbed and skied big peaks in the Himalaya & the Karakorum, the highest mountains across the US, with 1st descents both at home and abroad including in the Arctic and Antarctic.

Kim has numerous first female descents in Southwest Colorado, climbed and skied both the Grand Teton and Mt. Moran in a 2 day period, completed multiple ascents and ski descents of 13ers & 14ers, and cut lines on peaks in France, Italy, Canada, Switzerland, Alaska, Russia, and Japan. She has climbed numerous peaks in the Himalayas including Lobuche (6553m) and Ama Dablam (6888m) in Nepal, as well as an expedition to Gasherbrum II (8032m), Pakistan, with some skiing from 7400m, a womens expedition that skied from the summit of Denali (6194m), an Argentina trip of multiple ski descents in the Horcones Valley and on Aconcagua, a ski exploration expedition to Morocco’s Central High Atlas Mtns with 6 summit ski descents, and a complete ski descent from 7,400m on Shishapangma in Tibet in 2010.
Over the years,  Kim has explored Peru, The Yukon, Revelstoke BC, Germany, Zion National Park, the Wind River Range, WY, and exploratory ski trip in the Patagonian Andes, and is ramping up for 2016 adventures in both guiding and personal expeditions.