Winter trek to the 4167 metre summit of Jebel Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa
On this trip you can hire crampons and ice axe locally to avoid the added cost of purchasing these potentially expensive items
2012 Standard Itinerary
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2 nights Standard Hotel
2 nights Simple Village House
3 nights Simple Mountain Refuge
Approx 4 -
Explore tour leader plus driver(s); mountain guide, cook + muleteers.
This is a 4-day trek with an average of 6 to 8 hours walking each day. We reach a maximum altitude of 4165m and have graded this trip as tough. We recommend that you know how to use a walking ice axe and crampons for this trek.
Winter Trekking Tour In Morocco
Details may vary depending on departure date. Please choose
With the snow-capped peaks of Morocco's High Atlas Mountains providing an impressive backdrop, we climb to the summit of North Africa's highest peak, Jebel Toubkal (4165m). On a clear day we enjoy views from the summit across the Atlas range and over the Sahara Desert. We also explore the souks and medina of the bustling city of Marrakech.
Winter Trekking - An exhilarating trek among snow-capped peaks and the stunning landcape of the Atlas Mountains.
Jebel Toukbal - Ascend to the summit of the highest peak in North Africa (4167m).
Berber Villages - Discover remote villages and meet the hospitable local people.
Marrakech - A chance to explore Morocco's captivating "Red City".
Marrakech is the spiritual heart of Morocco, the cultural melting pot of the mountain Berbers and the desert peoples of the south, whose eclectic mix of ideals and traditions has resulted in a fascinating clash of colour, noise and visual delights that is straight out of the ‘Arabian Nights’.
Overnight Standard Hotel
Drive to Imlil and trek to Aremd (2000m)
After most of the morning free in Marrakech, we leave the city behind and drive south towards the craggy peaks and plunging valleys of the Toubkal Massif. Crossing the Haouz Plain we pass through the tiny town of Asni, from where our road begins to climb towards the foothills of the Massif. Below us the valley of the Oued Rhirhaia stretches out into the distance and small villages cling to the sides of the steep hills as we meander our way towards the village of Imlil. Here we leave our vehicle and, in the company of our mountain guide, head along the Mizane Valley towards the Berber village of Aremd (2000m). Built on a moraine spur overlooking the valley floor, Aremd is the largest village in the valley and provides an interesting mix of traditional terraced farming, gites and streets that seem to be permanently gridlocked by goats and cattle. For generations the local Berber villagers have worked these lands, producing corn, potatoes and walnuts from the harsh landscape and we will have a chance to explore something of the village en route to our overnight accommodation, stopping for a refreshing mint tea along the way. Please be aware that our village accommodation will be basic, with shared facilities and dormitory style rooms. Total walking time: approx 1 hour.
Overnight Simple Village HouseIncluded meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Trek to Neltner Refuge (3207m) via Sidi Chamharouch
This morning we meet up with our mules and muleteers for the continuing journey through the mountains. Heading east and crossing the flood plain, 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 Chamharouch (2340m), which attracts tourists and pilgrims alike (although only Muslims are allowed to cross the stone bridge to visit the marabout shrine itself). The village sits besides a small waterfall and presents a jumbled cluster of houses that seem to melt together into a chaotic mass along the valley walls. Continuing up into the snow-line it will take us another 5 hours to reach the refuge. After a chance to rest we’ll then do another equipment check, practising on the surrounding snow covered slopes and receiving some basic instruction on the use of crampons and ice axes from our mountain guide. Total walking time: approx 5 hours
If conditions are right this morning we will make our first attempt on the summit of Jebel Toukbal, North Africa’s highest mountain. It will be an early start, a long day and a steep climb, as we make our way up a meandering track of snow and scree to our first stopping point at 3700m. From here we turn left, following the slope up to the South Col of Tizi n’ Toukbal (3975m), from where we follow the snowy ridge to the summit. Depending upon snow conditions, the journey to the top should take us around 4 hours and once we hit the summit the views that greet us are simply breathtaking. On a clear day you can see the entire Toukbal range, right down to the plains of Haouz surrounding Marrakech. To the north lie the white giants of the High Atlas and to the south, the Anti Atlas and the Sahara. Pliny, the great Roman scholar, once described the High Atlas Mountains as "the most fabulous mountains in all of Africa” and from our vantage point high above the valley it is easy to understand why. Descending to the Neltner Refuge from here, the journey back should take us around 2.5 hours, where a late lunch will be waiting for us. Total walking time: approx 6.5 hours Overnight refuge.
Assuming conditions yesterday were right for the ascent of Jebel Toukbal, this morning you may like to attempt the nearby peak of Ouanoukrim, a more demanding climb than Toubkal with some steep, exposed sections of rock and snow. Departing the lodge early, we follow a gradually climbing path that takes us towards Tizi n’Ouanoums and then on to Tizi n’Ouagane (3750m). Chances are we will encounter snow for much of the journey and, as we begin the ascent to the top from Tizi n’Ouagane, we will have to negotiate a rocky track that may require some scrambling. Once past this section though, the route to the top then continues along a steadily climbing slope of snow and scree to the summit, from where we are rewarded with more spectacular views across the Anti Atlas and the Sahara. Enjoying a picnic lunch en route, the entire journey should take us around 8 hours, depending on conditions. Total walking time: approx 8 hours
AM trek to Tizi Ouanoums Pass (3650m), then descend to Aremd via Neltner
This morning we follow the same initial route as for Ouanoukrim before turning left up a steep gorge to Tizi Ouanoums, a viewpoint affording stunning views down towards the still waters of Lac D’ifni. The total journey should take us around 3 hours, returning to Neltner for lunch. Afterwards we turn our back on the mountain for the last time and head back down to Aremd, arriving in the village late this afternoon. Depending on our arrival time, there may be time for an optional visit to the local hammam. Total walking time: approx 8 hours
Overnight Simple Village HouseIncluded meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Trek to Imlil. Drive back to Marrakech
Trekking back to Imlil this morning we rejoin our vehicles and drive back to Marrakech, where on arrival the rest of the day is free to explore the city’s colourful souks and its celebrated Djemma El Fna Square. A feast for the senses, the area is a chaotic confusion of noise and colour, where you will find the streets alive with storytellers and letter-writers, musicians, jugglers and water-sellers. Marrakech is divided into two distinct parts, the Gueliz (or modern French-built city) and the Medina (the Old City) and there is the option to take an afternoon walking tour around the souks with a local guide, visiting the museum and the elegant Koutoubia mosque and tower, reputed to be the most perfect Islamic monument in North Africa. Alternatively you may prefer to spend your final afternoon independently exploring this maze of narrow streets, enjoying the sounds, colours and smells of the exotic and perhaps haggling for some last minute presents. Or perhaps you’ll prefer just sitting in a local café and watching the street tableaux unfold before you.
Overnight Standard HotelIncluded meals: Breakfast
Tour ends Marrakech
Included meals: Breakfast
Please note that from time to time our itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. Please ensure you have read the latest Tour Notes before booking or travelling on your tour.
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