Jebel Toubkal, Morocco Summer Trek - 4167m
Climb Jebel Toubkal the highest peak in North Africa. A perfect introduction to trekking at altitude.
Where: High Atlas, Morocco
Duration: 8 Days
Starting from Imlil at 1750m you will pass remote villages, the Atlas flood plains, rocky cliffs and eventually traverse the jagged rocks to the very top of the Atlas mountains, Jebel Toubkal. This mountain is non-technical and achievable by those who are enthusiastic and fit. A perfect 4000er.
Leaving Marrakech we drive to Imlil, the start of our trek. Walking through villages and across flood plains we begin the zig zig paths to our refuge and the attack point for the summit. After acclimatising and a nights rest we wind our way across scree slopes and the final broad ridge to our summit to enjoy the panoramic views towards the Sahara to the south.
Morocco may only be a stones throw away but the contrast of life is vast. You are delighted by varied culture, landscape and food as soon as you arrive. Toubkal offers a chance not only to climb an easy, nontechnical 4000m peak but also the opportunity to experience this fascinating country.
An ideal trip if time is short and you fancy a shot at a medium altitude mountain.
Dates and Prices
|19th September 2020||26th September 2020||8 Days||£695
This is a ‘Land Only’ package meaning you are responsible for arranging your own flights and your trip will begin on arrival in country. We will inform you of the best flight deals and times to suit your itinerary. However, feel free to search for an alternative. If you are arriving via another airport is it your responsibility to ensure you coordinate with our groups flights to arrange meeting point.
NOTE - DO NOT BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS UNTIL YOUR DEPOSIT HAS BEEN PAID AND THE TRIP HAS BEEN CONFIRMED.
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Book any of our trips as a private departure, just for you and your group on your chosen date. Contact us for conditions, costs and availability.
Flight to Marrakech then transfer from the airport to our stunning lodge in Imlil (details of the lodge are available here). At 1740m Imlil gives the team the first experience of sleeping at altitude.
After breakfast we start our trek. Imlil is the principal trailhead for walkers. This is the place where we meet our mule team and once all our gear is loaded we will begin walking along the valley towards Tacheddirt, some 8 km from Imlil. Soon the trail begins to rise as we climb up to the pass at Tizi 'n Tamatert (2279m). We then descend to the pretty village of Ouaneskra (2200m) and continue, for a further half an hour, to Tacheddirt (2300m). Here we set up camp near the river (approx. 4 hours walking).
We immediately begin a long, slow ascent to the pass at Tizi Likemt (3555m). At the top we enjoy our first fine view of the Toubkal Massif before a long downhill descent to the village of Azib Likemt (2200m), where we set up our camp for the night
(approx. 5 hours walking).
This day is going to be a long but quite easy day, passing many different landscapes. From Tizi 'n Ououraine (3120m) we enjoy further views of the Toubkal Massif, including the summit, the east face and the Ifni Dome (3876m). The trail leads on towards Amsouzert (1700m), one of the most striking villages in the region, where we spend the night in a local gite. (approx 6 hours walking).
West of Amsouzert are several small villages, which we explore as we make our way towards Ifni Lake (2300m), the only lake in the Massif. It is a memorable sight, surrounded by rocky mountains and giant heaps of rubble, and is unusually deep. We expect to arrive by lunchtime and spend the afternoon relaxing at the shore. We camp tonight in this area. For small groups we may continue another 2 hours to a higher camp area. (approx. 4 - 6 hours walking).
By now we should be both fit and acclimatised. We make our way along a steep path that leads up a scree slope to reach the pass at Tizi n'Ouanoums (3664m), a narrow ledge between two shafts of rock. From here it is a long zigzag descent to the Nelther Refuge (3200m), where we spend the night in tents. If conditions and fitness allow, we may try for the summit today.
(approx. 7- 8 hours walking) (12- 13 hours if summiting).
We leave before dawn, following a well-worn route to the summit of Toubkal (4167m). If conditions are good it should take no more than 4 hours to reach the summit, where we enjoy beautiful views of the entire Atlas range and the Marrakech plains beyond. Returning to base, we then descend fairly rapidly to the villages of Sidi Chamharouch and Around, before following the Mizane River, along a well-forested trail, to the trailhead at Imlil. Transfer back to Marrakech for a celebration meal in the main square. Our last night is spent in a luxurious Riad in the heart of the city
(a typical example of the accomodation we use is the beautiful Riad Africa).
(approx. 12 hours walking) (Only 4 hours to the valley if we have summited the day before)
A free day in Marrakech. Departure from the airport.
Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary, but as this is Adventure Travel in a remote mountain region, we cannot guarantee it. Weather conditions, road conditions, vehicle breakdowns and the health of participants can all contribute to changes. Your Leader and our local agent will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but an easy going nature will be an asset!
- Spend your dirhams at the souks of the Jemaa El Fna and practice you haggling skills to grab yourself a bargain. See our article on How to haggle like a pro.
- Experience the delights of accessing Jebel Toubkal via some of the more remote valleys.
- Excellent acclimatisation profile preparing you for the summit.
- 360 views from the summit of teh Sahara desert and the High Atlas mountains.
- Only a short hop from the UK but the contrast of life is huge.
- Led by an experienced UK leader and local in-country guides.
The Toubkal Massif, enclosing the High Atlas’s highest peaks is a trekkers delight. The trailhead village of Imlil is just two hours from Marrakesh.. Walking just a short distance from our starting point – Imlil – you are transported to a very different world.
Mountain villages offer a stark contrast to the previous roadside towns, with Berber houses, stacked one on top of another in apparently organic growth, appearing to sprout from the rocks. The local population is immediately distinct from their city compatriots; the women dress in brilliant attire even when working in the fields.
Who is this expedition best for?
Jebel Toubkal is a medium altitude climb but should not be underestimated. Each day we gain more altitude as we enter the Toubkal approach valley. This is a perfect trip for novice and more seasoned climbers alike. Participants should be fit but no prior experience is needed on this non-technical route. This is a near perfect entry into the world of trekking at altitude.
You should be comfortable walking 4-8 hours per day. Summit day is the most demanding portion of the climb, typically involving 4-5 hours for the ascent and 6-7 hours for the descent. Our expeditions require strength & endurance. Being in sound physical condition is the single most important aspect for climbers to maximise their climbing potential. The better your physical condition, the more likely you are to perform well and have an enjoyable experience. The most frequent comment we have received over the years is that climbers have underestimated the fitness level needed to fully enjoy their trip.
Additionally, inadequate fitness will affect the atmosphere, pace, and overall enjoyment of the climb for all participants. We highly recommend checking with your doctor before undertaking any strenuous activity.
Preparation for climbing Jebel Toubkal
Climbing Jebel Toubkal is a serious undertaking. Just because you exercise regularly (four to six times per week) does not mean you have the conditioning needed to reach the summit of Jebel Toubkal. Plenty of people who have the endurance to run a marathon fail to summit high-altitude peaks. Pure cardiovascular fitness is simply not enough. You need to be able to ascend hundreds of metres on successive days carrying a day pack on your back.
Prioritise your training efforts in the following way, assuming that you are in good health and injury- free:
- Climbing Jebel Toubkal conditioning – bag-loaded uphill hiking, walking, and stair climbing
- Strength training for the lower body and core
- Cardiovascular training, including both aerobic and anaerobic workouts without pack weight
- Flexibility training
Most people will need to train specifically for climbing Jebel Toubkal for at least two to three months. During your training, you will need to progressively ramp up your hiking time, distance and elevation gain (at roughly 10% per week) to safely and effectively build your trekking-specific conditioning. Trying to rush this will increase the risk of experiencing some sort of training injury and not being ready for your trip.
This trek is challenging in itself, but the main challenge lies in the altitude.
Our route allows for excellent acclimatisation to the altitude and allows you to follow the golden rule of acclimatisation ‘Climb High, Sleep Low’.
Symptoms of being at altitude include tiredness, shortness of breath, headaches and nausea. Altitude affects people differently and being super-fit is no guarantee of being less likely to feel the effects. All of our leaders have experience of trekking at altitude and are medically trained. The leader will assess your progress as you climb and their decision is final if you need to descend for safety reasons.
For more information regarding the effects of altitude, please read this current article. Recognising altitude sickness and how to prevent it
- In-country accommodation - Hotels and Camping
- Camping equipment exc. sleeping bag and mat
- All meals exc. celebratory meal and final day lunch
- All drinking water whilst trekking
- Technical equipment.
- In-country transportation
- National Park trekking fees and permits
- Local guides, Cooks and Porters
- Experienced UK Expedition Leader
Whats not Provided?
- UK Transport to and from the airport
- International flights and taxes
- Personal Equipment
- Travel Insurance
- The hire of suitable boots if required.
- Unscheduled hotels and restaurant meals.
- Tips for Local staff. (we will advise on amounts)
- Alcoholic or soft drinks not supplied during meals
- Entrance fees to monuments or tourist sights
- Items of a personal nature: phone calls, laundry, room service etc.
FLIGHTS: Flights to Marrakech are easy to book via some UK airports using budget airlines i.e. Easyjet. Booked far enough in advance these can be as cheap as £150.00.
Easyjet departure airports
Manchester - Marrakech
Bristol - Marrakech
Gatwick - Marrakech
Dates for these flights are released by the airline 6 months in advance.
- 1 x pair mid weight walking boots
- Trekking shoes or Walking boots
- 3 - 4 x pairs of trekking socks
Gaiters - optional
- 3 x Wicking t-shirts (1 x long and 2 x short sleeved)
- 2 x Fleece tops (1 thick, 1 thin)
- Walking type trousers (zip off legs are ideal)
- 1 x Shorts (if you don’t have zip off leg trousers)
- 1 x Pair light weight trekking gloves or liner gloves
- 1 x Pair Heavy weight Glove or Mitten. Must be big enough to fit over liner gloves
- Warm hat to cover ears & Sunhat / Cap
- Neck gaiter or Buff + Light weight scarf for the sun (essential)
- Fully waterproof over-trousers with taped seams. i.e. Gore-tex or eVent
- Waterproof Shell Jacket i.e.Gore-Tex +with hood Down Jacket or Primaloft jacket - essential for summit day and evenings around camp
- Extra pair of trousers for evenings
- Long Sleeved Shirt
- Long Thermal top and bottoms
DOCUMENTS AND MONEY
- Passport + Photocopy
- Money to be changed in country
- Money for tips approx. £30-£40)
- Credit Card
- Insurance Documentation
- Immunisation Card
- Airline Tickets
- Money Belt
- No suitcases! Using a zip top expedition bag is easier for access. Also a small mesh bag is useful forleaving item at the hotel.
- You must only carry 1 bag and your day bag. Weight on the flight is limited and porters can only carry a certain amount of weight so please pack responsibly.
- Each item is required unless specified as optional.
- It is possible to hire items of equipment. Our preferred provider is: www.expeditionkithire.co.uk
CAMPING AND GENERAL KIT
- Soft Soft Expedition holdall 65 -75 Ltr +
- Waterproof Rucksack liner or small dry bags
- Small Day Bag - 25 - 30 Ltr with good hip belt and suitable for carrying all day
CAMPING AND SLEEPING
- Sleeping bag - 3 - 4 season minimum
- Light Weight Dry bag for sleeping bag
- Sleeping bag liner (optional)
- Pillow case
- Head Torch (Battery operated only)
- Spare batteries for head torch
- 2 x 1ltr Water bottles (wide necked is better) or Drinking bladder
- Water Purification Tablets (for back up only)
- Vit C Tablets and/or Hydration Tablets
- Hand Sanitiser (LOTS! - atleast 100ml)
- 1 x Toilet roll and plastic nappy bags
- Wide mouthed water bottle to be used as pee bottle at night. - Optional
- She Wee (ladies only) Urination device - Optional
- Ear Plugs
- Wet Wipes
- Essential wash kit/personal hygiene items
- Light Weight Towel
- Trekking Poles - highly recommended
- Sun Glasses. Cat.3/4 100% UVA/UVB(Wrap Around style is preferred)
- Extra snacks. High energy andlightweight
- Luxury treats which you can share withthe group. i.e. chocolate or coffee
- iPod / Book / Kindle / Diary
PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT
- High Factor Sun Block SP30+ and Lip Balm/Block
- Diarrhoea Tablets (Imodium)
- Rehydration Sachets
- Blister Plasters (Compeed)
- Personal medication
- Insect repellant
COTSWOLD OUTDOOR 15% DISCOUNT
As a company we've recognised that the additional cost of having to buy clothing and equipment can be a barrier to booking on some of our programmes and expeditions.
With this in mind we've teamed up with Cotswold Outdoor. Arguably, the UK's largest outdoor retailer with stores across the country and an online shop to make purchasing as easy as possible.
All clients will recieve a 15% discount code once your deposit is paid.