High Atlas Mountains
Mules taking our equipment home
The summit of Toubkal
Learning new skills
Base yourself in the heart of the Atlas Mountains as you take on the mighty Mount Toubkal (4167m) in the height of winter. You’ll spend 4 nights in a mountain refuge and enjoy 6 days of guided winter hiking using crampons and ice axes from two British mountaineering instructors who have travelled extensively in the area for work and for fun, as well as a local Berber guide. To make it to the summit you’ll overcome the altitude, steep snowy slopes and ice, before heading back to Marrakech to celebrate and explore the vibrant souks and plazas.
What the course will include
Once you arrive at the Hotel in Marrakech the trip is fully Inclusive with food, transport (including porters) and guiding all sorted for you. We can also arrange transport from the airport on your arrival day if you would prefer, however we always think that the trip in a taxi from the airport is an awesome experience in itself. Just remember bartering is enjoyed and encouraged in Morocco. This trip is adventure from start to finish from bartering in the souks of Marrakech to making fresh footprints in the snow at 4000m above sea level and seeing the sunrise over the Sahara. These memories will last forever. This is no hiking trip, this is an adventure!
16- 23rd of January for Morocco
£1450.00 per person - £350.00 deposit required
Professional guides for the whole of your trip
All of your accommodation in either a Riad in Marrakech and Imlil or in a mountain refuge.
Expert, Berber, English-speaking mountain guides
fully qualified and insured British mountaineering instructors
All transfers once in Marrakech
Mules and muleteers to carry your luggage
All meals on the hike
Expert training in the UK over a weekend in January
Round the clock access to myself if you have any questions
Financial failure insured company
Professional photographer to take photos of you looking like a mountain guru!
Live Tracking so your family and friends at home can track your progress
Arrivals day, you will catch your flight from the UK to Marrakech, from the Airport you can grab a cab to your accommodation while in the city. We are staying in the Riad Omar, based in the heart of the old town, right next to the Djeema El Fna it is in an amazing location for us to explore the souks and do some shopping in the Djeema El Fna. After call to prayer when the sun goes down, you are more than welcome to join us on the roof of the Riad Omar for dinner or go off for dinner on your own, the street food in the Djeema El Fna is amazing!
We will have a leisurely start with breakfast in the hotel and there will be some time in the morning to sort kit and have a first opportunity to explore Marrakech while it is a bit quieter, even start to practice your bartering skills and buy some presents to take home. From there we travel to Imlil a little village in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, the drive takes about an hour and a half and is amazing in itself. Watch as the landscape changes from desert, to foothills, to towering mountains.
It is here we start our trek to the Mouflons hut (3000m) at the foot of Jbel Toubkal, the days trek is a similar level of difficulty to Ben Nevis. Depending on the snowline we may have to use our crampons to aid walking in the snow although the path never gets very steep on this day. You won't have to worry about your bags as porters are included in the price, all you will need is your day pack, there is also the opportunity to leave your city clothes in the left luggage at Riad Omar. Once at the hut, big Mohammed and "wee" Mohammed will fill us full of hot mint tea (berber whiskey) and Tagine as we settle in for the night to our accommodation. Although it is hard to draw your self away from the warm stove in the evening we need lots of sleep, so after dinner it is your own time, most people though will head off to bed in one of the dorms with plenty of warm blankets as it can get cold at 3000m.
A moderately early start for breakfast at the Hut before setting out on a skills day, If you haven't made it up to Scotland before the trip for your free winter skills training weekend this is the chance to learn how to safely use crampons and an ice axe on snow. A secondary focus to this day is to aid our acclimatisation, we may decide to ascend one of the high passes in the Toubkal valley.
Day five and six,
Our main objective of the trip is to ascend Jebel Toubkal, to do this we need good weather but we also need to be well acclimatised to do this. This is why we have two days set aside for this. If we have two days of nice weather and we are feeling strong we can also ascend one of the other 4000m peaks in the valley for a rare treat. The summit of Toubkal is one of the most stunning places to visit, you look one way and there are huge, sharp, dramatic mountains covered in snow and ice, and then the other direction you can see the vast expanse of the Western Sahara, and the curvature of the earth. It really is breath taking.
We will say our goodbyes to both Mohammed's and make our way back to Imlil to catch our ride back to Marrakech. We will also have the chance to stop off as we go to buy some mountain souvenirs from one of the many excellent little shops on the route down. When we get back to Marrakech we will enjoy dinner back at the Riad Omar as we look from the roof across to the snowy peaks of the Atlas Mountains. We can even see Toubkal! Just before dinner I have arranged for a close friend of mine Rachid Bouskri to come and show us some of his art work and do a small workshop with us before dinner. If you would like to know more about Rachid have a look here: http://www.bouskri.com/biography.html his art is amazing, he is actually one of Morocco's national artists and I already have one of his paintings on my wall.
I will be running a sightseeing tour around the souks and the main square for any who wish to join and learn a bit more about the city, some people may choose to use this day to fly home but hopefully will take away lots of amazing memories from the trip.
Frequently asked questions
How fit do I need to be?
- You need to be able to manage a 10 hour day out in the mountains so a good level of fitness is require. The altitude adds an extra level of difficulty and we will cover difficult pathless mountain terrain on snow and ice.
Can I leave a suitcase somewhere?
- Absolutely, the Riad in Marrakech has a locked facility for leaving luggage secure.
What food will I eat?
- Moroccan food has a unique blend of sweet and savoury flavours. Local specialties include tajines (a stew cooked in an earthenware pot), couscous, and pastilles (flaky pastries stuffed with meat and dusted with cinnamon and sugar). Food is often spiced with cumin, turmeric and ginger.
Whats the weather like?
- It's beautiful and warm in Marrakech, 24C or so. Its much cooler in the mountains, getting down to -15C outside at night although through the day in the sun it definitely feels like Africa! It makes it a very unique trip to pack for, a blend of hot sunny weather and wild mountain conditions.
How safe is Morocco to visit?
- over 500,000 Brits travel to Morocco every year, I have never felt unsafe or aggressively challenged in the country, however like anywhere in the world it has problems. We are traveling in a large group and staying in locked accommodation every night along with our local guides so we have taken every precaution to make our trip as travel friendly as possible.
Atlas Mountaineering Talks
We wanted to do Isle of Rum expedition, instead we got a much better adventure. Namely, weather conditions on Isle of Rum during our planed tay were extremely bad and basically dangerous. The amazing guide, Connor, was quick on his feet and instead of us being miserably stuck in tents or cancelling our tour, he proposed to take the adventure to Cairngorms, where weather forecast was drastically better. After the whole group enthusiastically agreed, he created a matching itinerary of our hiking program on Rum and we had a truly lovely time! He even taught us the basics of scrambling and showed us "the roads less traveled" in the area, so our trip felt truly special ! All in all, it was a wonderful adventure ! Thanks Connor !
June 15, 2022, ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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