Jebel Toubkal 4167m, Morocco | Winter Trek | Winter skills | Morocco

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Jebel Toubkal, Morocco - Winter Trek - 4167m

Learn essential mountaineering skills and climb - Jebel Toubkal, 4167m.


The Mountain

Where: Morocco, Africa
Altitude: 4167m
Duration: 6 Days
Summary:
Trek to the summit of the highest peak in Northern Africa - Jebel Toubkal in winter conditions, and also tick off an another Morrocan 4000m peak -  Summiting Toubkal in winter requires very little technical winter mountaineering experience or skills. All mountaineering skills required for a safe ascent are learnt as part of the trip. This is perfect summit of those wanting an introduction to winter mountaineering at a medium altitude.

The summits reward the climber with breathtaking 360 degree views of the High Atlas and the Sahara desert. Mt Toubkal and the surrounding peaks of the High Atlas are a walkers paradise, especially in winter.

The Challenge

Climbing these peaks in summer is a challenge. Climbing them in winter is truly an adventurous experience. Summiting these magnificent peaks is the focus of the week, but as part of the itinerary you will also learn how to use crampons and an ice axe as well as learning safe mountaineering travel techniques.

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. These mountains are non-technical and achievable by those who are enthusiastic, fit and have an adventurous spirit. A perfect winter mountaineering trip on ideal 4000m peaks..

 

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Dates and Prices

DepartReturnNo. DaysPriceDepositAvailability 
 19th March 2020  24th March 2020  6 days  £595  £148.75 Taking Bookings BOOK NOW

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.

WANT A PRIVATE TRIP?
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.

Information Book pdf


  The Expedition at a Glance

DAY 1
UK - Marrakech - Imlil (1740m)
On arrival in Morocco we will be picked up from the airport. We leave Marrakech and drive south to Imlil (1740m) . After a total of one and a half hour drive you reach Imlil ( 1740m ) , the starting point for many hikes in the Atlas region.

Tonight we will stay in a local Riad.

DAY 2
Imlil - Toubkal Refuge (3206m)
After breakfast, mules and porters are loaded with our equipment and we all make your way in the direction of Jebel Toubkal.  After an hours walking time you pass the village Aremd , which is also the last village on this route. Slowly making our way through the Mizane valley we arrive at at the holy shrine, Sidi Chamarouch on 2310m height. The White Rock is revered as a sacred shrine and many Muslims make pilgrimages tours here. From here we are now on the steep trail zigzags uphill , into ever wilder mountainous terrain until we reach the snowline where there will be plenty of opportunities to pass on essential winter skills. Finally, we reach the Toubkal refuge, at 3206m this will be our home for the next few nights.
Hiking time : 5-6 hours

DAY 3 / 4
Winter Mountaineering Skills (3206m)
The refuge offers a perfect venue for skills training as there is easy access to plenty of winter terrain.  These days will allow us time for full winter mountaineering training and to maybe explore some of the surrounding peaks. We’ll look at a broad range of essential skills for the winter mountaineer. These will include:

  • Choosing suitable equipment and clothing for winter
  • Developing efficient footwork for winter
  • Use of ice axe/ ice axe arrest
  • Use of crampons/ movement techniques
  • Avalanche awareness and avoidance
  • Introduction to winter weather and winter navigation
  • Managing safety on steep ground
  • Planning a day out in winter
  • Constructing emergency snow shelters and emergency procedures
  • Route choice in winter conditions

DAY 5
Summit ascent of Jebel Toubkal  (4167m) - Marrakech
Before sunrise, we will begin the ascent to Jebel Toubkal. The ascent starts climbing steeply as soon as we leave the Refuge. We make our way up the South Cwm before traversing the south ridge to the summit. Once on the summit we can enjoy the vista across the surrounding landscape which are simply quite breathtaking with unrestricted views in every direction.  After summit photos we return back to the refuge for a well earned rest. Our chef will be waiting already with lunch and hot tea to assist with our recovery from the strenuous summit.

Following lunch we will descend back to Imlil and return to Marrakech and an opportunity to enjoy a well deserved celebratory meal. 

Hiking time : approx. 10 - 12 hours

DAY 6
Marrakech - UK

The morning will be an opportunity to enjoy the souks and markets of Marrakech and for you to spend your dirhams in the Jemaa El Fna. You can practice your haggling skills to grab yourself a bargain. See our article on How to haggle like a pro.  
Transfer time : 20 minutes to airport.

IMPORTANT:
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!

  Expedition Highlights
  • Learn essential winter mountaineering skills as part of the trip with a UK instructor and guide..
  • Summit Jebel Toubkal (4167m), the highest peaks in North Africa.
  • Excellent acclimatisation profile and training programme preparing you for the summit.
  • 360 views from the summits of the Sahara desert and the High Atlas mountains.
  • 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.
  • Led by an experienced UK leader and local guides thoughout.
Unique Character

The Toubkal Massif, enclosing the High Atlas’s highest peaks are a mountaineers 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.

As we approach the Toubkal refuge, our launch pad for the summits attempts we'll be the surrounded peaks which tower over us casting their shadows in to the valley.  

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.

  Fitness and Training

Who is this expedition best for?

Jebel Toubkal is a medium altitude climb at just over 4000m, 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 mountaineers 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 and mountaineering at altitude.

Essential mountaineering skills are not required as part of this trip as they will be taught as part of the itinerary. This means you can join this expedition havaing not placed crampons on before and return back to the UK having gained new skills and techniques to assist you in your mountaineering career. If you wanted to gain winter mountaineering experience prior to the trip, why not join one o]f our Scottish Winter Hill Skills courses?

You should be comfortable walking 4-8 hours per day. Summit day is the most demanding portion of the climb, typically involving 3-4 hours for the ascent and 2-3 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

Mountaineering in the High Atlas 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:

  1. Climbing Jebel Toubkal conditioning – bag-loaded uphill hiking, walking, and stair climbing
  2. Strength training for the lower body and core
  3. Cardiovascular training, including both aerobic and anaerobic workouts without pack weight
  4. 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.

Altitude

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

 

  What's Included in the Price

Whats Provided?

  1. In-country accommodation - Hotels and Riads
  2. Crampons, Ice axe and helmets (if required) 
  3. All meals exc. celebratory meal and final day lunch 
  4. All drinking water whilst trekking 
  5. In-country transportation
  6. National Park trekking fees and permits
  7. Local guides, Cooks and  Porters
  8. Experienced UK Expedition Leader throughout

Whats not Provided?

  1. UK Transport to and from the airport
  2. International flights and taxes 
  3. Personal Equipment 
  4. Travel Insurance 
  5. The hire of suitable boots if required. (see Kit List)
  6. Unscheduled hotels and restaurant meals.
  7. Tips for Local staff. (we will advise on amounts)
  8. Alcoholic or soft drinks not supplied during meals
  9. Entrance fees to monuments or tourist sights
  10. Items of a personal nature: phone calls, laundry, room service etc.
 Jebel Toubkal Kit List

CLOTHING

FEET

  • 1 x pair B1 or B2 walking boots 
  • Approach shoes or Trainers 
  • 3 - 4 x pairs of warm trekking socks 
  • Gaiters

TREKKING WEAR

  • 3 x Thermal t-shirts (long and short sleeved) 
  • 2 x Fleece tops (1 thick, 1 thin) or Primaloft jacket. 
  • 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 
  • Fully waterproof over-trousers with taped seams. i.e. Gore-tex or eVent 
  • Waterproof Shell Jacket i.e.Gore-Tex +with hood 
  • Down Jacket with hood. essential for summit day and evenings around camp 

GENERAL CLOTHES

  • Extra pair of trousers for evenings 
  • Long Sleeved Shirt 
  • Long Thermal top and bottoms 
  • Underwear 

DOCUMENTS AND MONEY

  • Passport + 4 x Photocopies 
  • Money to be changed in country (approx £100) 
  • Money for tips (approx £40)
  • Credit Card 
  • Insurance Documentation  
  • Airline Tickets 
  • Money Belt 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTES

  1. No suitcases! Using a zip top expedition bag is easier for access. Also a small mesh bag is useful forleaving item at the hotel.
  2. 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.  
  3. Each item is required unless specified as optional.
  4. It is possible to hire items of equipment. Our preferred provider is: www.expeditionkithire.co.uk 

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CAMPING AND GENERAL KIT

BAGGAGE

  • Soft Soft Expedition holdall 75 Ltr +
  • Waterproof Rucksack liner or small dry bags 
  • Small Day Bag - 30 - 35 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) 
  • Head Torch (Battery operated only) 
  • Spare batteries for head torch 

HYDRATION

  • 3 x 1ltr Water bottles (wide necked is better) 
  • Water Purification Tablets (for back up only) 
  • Vit C Tablets and/or Hydration Tablets 

HYGIENE

  • Hand Sanitiser 100ml
  • 1 x Toilet roll and plastic nappy bags 
  • Ear Plugs 
  • Wet Wipes 
  • Essential wash kit/personal hygiene items 
  • Light Weight Towel 

EXTRAS AND TECHNICAL GEAR

  • Camera 
  • Trekking Poles - highly recommended 
  • Sun Glasses. Cat.3/4 100% UVA/UVB(Wrap Around style is preferred) 
  • Ski Goggles
  • C1 or C2 crampons compatable with your boots (provided if required)
  • Walking ice axe (provided if required)
  • Climbing helmet (provided if required)
  • 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 
  • Diarrhoea Tablets (Imodium) 
  • Painkillers 
  • Rehydration Sachets 
  • Plasters 
  • Blister Plasters 
  • Personal medication 

 

 

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.

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