Mount Toubkal Winter Ascent

5 Days

Price from: £475.00

Mountaineering
Trekking
Winter Activity

Climb northern Africa's majestic highest peak...

An enjoyable and straightforward summit trek to the top of the beautiful Mount Toubkal in Morocco. Taking place over 5 days, this is a perfectly manageable expedition to fit into a week long visit to this captivating country.

  • Mount Toubkal Winter Ascent image
  • Highlights
  • Magnificent Atlas Mountains
  • Highest summit in N. Africa
  • Moroccan culture
  • Short climbing trip
  • Views of the Sahara
The High Atlas, the greatest mountain range of North Africa, is perhaps the most exquisitely beautiful and culturally intriguing part of Morocco. It has retained a remoteness which until recent decades was virtually complete, and contains villages where the way of life has changed very little for centuries. It runs from east to west across North Africa for 1200 miles. The Atlas Mountains form one of the world's great trekking ranges. Beauty and adventure, diversity and challenge are all to be found here.

The Central High Atlas can be trekked all year round, although winters are cold, wet and snowy. Like all mountain systems, the Atlas ranges are liable to rapid weather changes. The highest peaks can be covered with snow from November until June. This period is overlapped by the rainy season which lasts from october to April. During these months the mountains can become very wet, with swollen rivers even bursting their banks causing flooding.

Although Toubkal is the main objective on this short trek we will have time to explore the fertile valleys and deep gorges we are trekking through. The Toubkal area is amongst the highest of the whole range. At 4167m, Mount Toubkal is the highest mountain in North Africa. The hike to the summit is challenging, but it requires no mountaineering experience and the panoramic views from the summit make all the hard work worthwhile. With the start of the trek just a couple of hours drive from Marrakech, you can reach the summit and be back within a few days and still have time to explore Morocco’s most fascinating city, Marrakech, the imperial capital of the south.

Trekking through the Atlas Mountains may have been your motive for travelling to Morocco but it would be a shame to leave the country without sampling some of its other delights. A broader experience of Morocco, culturally so rich and diverse will add depth to your mountain climbing experience. Morocco is an exotic country of vibrant contrasts: from sandy beaches and impressive mountains to lush forests and scorching deserts. It is the northern gateway to Africa and is said to be the closest destination to the UK where you can expect to see a totally different culture to our own. It is an affordable and increasingly popular holiday destination and it is pleasant to visit all year round.

Activity Information

Mount Toubkal at 4167m is well above the height at which the effects of altitude can begin to take hold. Specifically AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). This condition can affect a person of any age, gender or fitness level but it can be life threatening if not respondsed to (i.e. by moving down to a lower altitude). Common symptoms include dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite and fatigue. These can all be managed but if the effects worsen professional help should be sought. During a quick ascent such as this one, the effects of altitude are brought to a minimum and should not affect any climber too badly. Drinking plenty of fluids and getting enough sleep will encourage successful acclimatisation.

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Morocco and transfer from the airport to Marrakech. If you arrive in Marrakech in the morning, you will be able to spend the first few hours exploring the city before transfering to Imlil in the afternoon where you will spend the night in a local gite.

Day 2

Walking time: 4 to 5 hours
Start the trek, heading along the Mizane Valley where we first pass the village of Aremd. We then continue east and by crossing the flood plains our route takes us along mule tracks and up into the high rocky cliffs above the valley. Crossing the river we eventually come to the pastoral shrine of Sidi Chamarouch, which attracts tourists and pilgrims. From here the trail continues to climb steadily, snaking and zig-zagging its way up to the snowline and the Toukbal Refuge (3206m), our stop for the night.

Day 3

Walking time: 9 hours
Early in the morning we make our attempt to the summit of Jebel Toukbal, the highest peak in Northern Africa. Our route takes us up the south cirque, crossing the stream above the refuge. The walking is relatively straightforward, but the scree and the altitude will make the going quite difficult in parts. The views along the way make the journey more than worthwhile. When you reach the the summit you will see that the vistas across the surrounding landscape are quite breathtaking. From here there are unrestricted views in every direction, from the Marrakesh Plain to the High Atlas in the north and as far south as the Anti-Atlas and the Sahara Desert. We will retrace our steps when we return down the mountain and head back towards Imlil, where you will spend the night.

Day 4

After breakfast transfer back to Marrakech and spend your final day exploring this exotic city.

Day 5

Departure from Marrakech.

Reference

  • This itinerary is only intended as a guideline. Local weather conditions and other factors may occasionally affect the route taken.

Dates and Prices Info

This package is for a winter ascent of Mount Toubkal and prices are based on groups of 2-4 people. This 5 day climb is more suited to the winter months, taking into account the shorter daylight hours during this time.

What's Included?

  • Full event planning and client liaison
  • Experienced local mountain guide, muleteers and cook
  • Accommodation: 2 nights in a gite, 1 night in Toubkal Refuge and 1 night in Marrakech
  • All Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner included during trek
  • Transport: minibus or 4x4 for transfers to/from High Atlas
  • Big discount on clothing and equipment from Cotswold Outdoors and Montane

Not Included

  • Lunch and evening meal in Marrakech
  • International flights
  • Sleeping bags
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips
  • Drinks and items of a personal nature

Information

Although credit and debit cards are beginning to gain some acceptance in the Atlas Mountains, this is still only fairly rare. It is safest to presume that everything in the Atlas Mountains must be paid for in cash (moroccan dirhams). Even though ATMs are becoming much more common in towns and cities, they are yet to reach many trailheads, less so mountain villages.

Ask Activus

If you have any questions about this activity please do not hesitate to ask.

Grade: Difficult

Suitable for...

Those with some previous mountain walking experience as this trip involves 2 days of strenuous trekking. You will need a good level of fitness and be able to walk for 6-8 hours per day. You should be prepared for several consecutive days walking, often at higher altitudes, so stamina is important. Trekking in the Atlas Mountains can be warm and sunny during the day but the weather can quickly change from sunshine to snow and cold winds in the winter months.

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