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Adventures / Summit Fever

Climb Mount Toubkal: The Winter Edition

Don your crampons and trek your way up the mighty Mount Toubkal in the height of winter

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Trip Ref #8548

Adventures / Summit Fever

Climb Mount Toubkal: The Winter Edition

Don your crampons and trek your way up the mighty Mount Toubkal in the height of winter

DURATION
4 nights
LOCATION
Morocco
ANNUAL LEAVE
3 days off work
SEASON
Nov—Apr
GROUP SIZE
Up to 14 people
MEETING POINT
Marrakech Airport
ACCOMMODATION
Traditional riad · Mountain hut
DIFFICULTY
Tough

This is a serious adventure. You’ll need to be fit, experienced and prepared to face steep slopes, snow, ice and high winds.

Summit North Africa’s highest mountain in the peak of winter. All 4167 metres of her

Fuelled by tagine, hike to the roof of North Africa via traditional Berber villages and scenic pitstops

Cosy down in a mountain refuge and homestay in the Atlas Mountains and a traditional Moroccan riad in the heart of Marrakech

Included

Guides

Expert, English-speaking Berber guides from Imlil

Accommodation

2 nights in a riad and 2 nights in a refuge at 3200m

Meals

All your food on the mountain will be taken care of

Transfers

Both airport transfers and transfers to and from Imlil

Porterage

Mules and muleteers to carry your overnight luggage to the refuge

Equipment

Your crampons, ice axe and sleeping bag will be provided

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Some meals as described

Tips for your guides

Personal expenses

Travel insurance

The Area

Logistics

Starts

Marrakech Airport (RAK)

Catch any flight on Day 1

Ends

Marrakech Airport (RAK)

Catch any flight on Day 4

Transfers

Private transfers between the airport and your Riad are included for any time (and day) you choose to arrive or depart.

Travel options

There are regular, daily flights to Marrakech from airports in the UK and Europe. Day one is yours to explore Marrakech: you'll meet your guide and fellow travellers the next morning.

What about all the carbon?

We mitigate 4x the carbon generated by all our customer flights annually through our partnership with Cool Earth.

Day 1

Traditional riad · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 3

Mountain hut · Same sex dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Traditional riad · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Moroccan food has a unique blend of sweet and savoury flavours. Local specialities include tajine (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.

Meals on the trek are cooked by the Berber muleteers. The food is fresh and healthy. Example meals include:

  • Breakfast: Jam, bread, cookies, fruit, juice, butter, coffee, milk
  • Lunch: Salad, tomatoes, carrots, lentils, beans, rice or pasta, fish (sardines, tuna), seasonal fruit
  • Dinner: Soup, classic Moroccan tajine, couscous, olives, nuts, fruit

What is the accommodation like?

Marrakech

In Marrakech, you'll stay in a beautiful riad - traditional Moroccan houses with an interior garden or courtyard. The exact riad you stay in will be confirmed nearer the time based on availability and group size. All are chosen for their excellent reputation, location, beautiful decor and welcoming service.

Mount Toubkal

During the trek, you'll stay in either the Mouflon or Neltner mountain refuge depending on availability and group size. The rooms are basic shared dorms with bunk beds. There’s a common area to relax in the evening and chat with other climbers from around the world.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge for the nights in Marrakech, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability and they are very limited due to the layout of traditional riads).

Day 1

Check out the sights and smells of Marrakech

Your host will meet you at the airport and drive you to your traditional riad accommodation in Marrakech’s historic medina. The day is yours to explore the city’s colourful souks, wander the UNESCO-listed main square and indulge in some amazing Moroccan food.

Day 2

Travel to the Atlas Mountains and hike to your refuge at 3200m

Hiking

5hrs · 10.3km · 1540m up · 130m down

Wake up early for the drive through the foothills of the Atlas Mountains to Imlil, where you'll meet your support crew. Gradually ascend the Toubkal Valley, passing Berber farming villages and stop for lunch on the trail.

In the afternoon you’ll arrive at the refuge. Settle in, meet other hikers and refuel with a well-earned dinner cooked by your support crew. Wrap up warm, get in your sleeping bag and head to bed looking forward to the high altitude days ahead.

Day 3

Take a day to acclimatise

Hiking

5hrs · 7.1km · 940m up · 940m down

Wake up to an incredible view of snow covered mountains followed by a hot breakfast. After trying out your crampons and ice axe, set out to summit some of the lower peaks around the refuge in preparation for the final ascent of Toubkal tomorrow.

You’ll be back at the refuge by late afternoon to eat, relax and dream about the views from the summit.

Day 4

Rise early to summit Toubkal

Hiking

9-10hrs · 16.5km · 1130m up · 2530m down

Rise when it's still dark, head torch on and start climbing up and out of the valley. You’ll soon face steep, snowy slopes, ice and high winds on the way to the summit, but once you attain the ridge, your goal is in sight. Once you get there, scope the view from the top, give yourself a pat on the back, then escape the whipping wind as you begin the long descent back to Imlil.

Say farewell to the Atlas Mountains and drive back to your riad in Marrakech, where the night is yours to find a restaurant for couscous or a tasty tajine to celebrate, before collapsing into bed.

Day 5

Time to head back to reality

Relax over your last Moroccan breakfast, explore the town some more if you have time, then transfer to the airport to catch your flight home.

Please Note

All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock, Runner's Need, and Cycle Surgery.

What's included?

  • Crampons
  • Ice axe
  • Sleeping bag

What do I need to bring?

  • Backpack (35-45 litre)
  • Large lightweight backpack liner
  • Small waterproof stuff sacks
  • Waterproof shell jacket and trousers
  • Goretex gaiters (or equivalent)
  • Very warm insulated down or Primaloft jacket
  • Thick fleexe or softshell jacket
  • Wool or microfleece top
  • Mid-weight trekking trousers
  • Long sleeved base layers and thermals
  • Warm hat or thin balaclava
  • Buff
  • Sun hat or cap with neck veil
  • Two pairs of thin liner gloves
  • Warm insulated mitts (with straps)
  • Shell mitts (optional but good in wet conditions)
  • Hiking socks
  • Warm mountain socks
  • Warm winter mountaineering boot, ideally B1 or B2 crampon compatible or hybrid (i.e. Scarpa Manta or Charmoz)
  • Full plastic double boots are not required and are likely to be uncomfortable for most of the terrain encountered.
  • Sandals or flip flops for the refuge
  • Travel clothes
  • Glacier glasses (cat 3 UV polaroid)
  • Ski Goggles (cat 2-3 UV polaroid - optional but useful in windy conditions)
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Thermal pyjamas and hat
  • Head torch (with spare batteries)
  • Watch (with light and alarm)
  • Water bottle (1 litre)
  • Flask
  • Plenty of high energy snacks (chocolate, nuts, gels etc.)
  • Toilet roll and ziplock baggies for carrying off the mountain
  • Toiletries
  • Travel towel
  • Sunscreen
  • First aid kit and any personal medication

This trek requires a very good level of fitness.

As this trip takes place during the winter, you must be capable of hiking all day up paths of moderate difficulty and be prepared to face rain, snow and high winds. During the lower parts of this trek, the walking is relatively straightforward, but the loose footing and high altitude will make the going quite difficult in parts. You should pack enough personal food and snacks to power you through 3 full days of hiking at altitude. Towards the summit, you will encounter steep snowy sections where crampons and ice axes will be required; Your guides will give you a full safety briefing on how to use these. However difficult it gets, the views along the way make the journey more than worthwhile.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

You will be provided with safe drinking water whilst on the mountain. We recommend you bring a flask to fill up with hot water (or mint tea!) at the refuge each mornin, it will help to keep you warm while trekking through the snow and ice later.

On any winter hike in a high mountain environment, you will potentially encounter high winds, rain, snow, ice and steep slopes. The Atlas Mountains are no different and you should be experienced and prepared to face these conditions.

January, February and March are the best months to do winter treks in the Atlas Mountains. January sees the lowest temperatures - average 6 °C throughout the month - but it's still pleasant for hiking. For the higher parts of the trek, you will use crampons and have an ice axe to hand.

Absolutely! We recognise that you may want to leave some of the kit you bring to Morocco somewhere safe before you start your ascent of Toubkal. When you reach Imlil, you will be able to leave any non-essential items you don’t want to take up on the hike with you at your local guides base there.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice however we suggest a minimum of 225 - 300 Dirham per person.

Of course, you are free to tip more or less and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Your guides are from the local Berber community in the Atlas Mountains and have spent their whole lives hiking these slopes. They will guide you up the main path towards the Toubkal Refuge and use their experience and knowledge to safely navigate you up the steep snowy slopes to the summit. They will decide the best day to attempt the summit and make all decisions based on conditions at the time. You should follow your guide’s advice at all times. You’ll also be accompanied by a support team of muleteers and mules to prepare your meals and carry heavy bags.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book the trip, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

Up to date advice for UK citizens can be found here

All of our group adventures are especially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded.

"I cannot recommend this highly enough! The people on the trip were amazing. Easily the best trip I've ever been on!" Charlotte, 2019, Trustpilot.

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Free date changes up to 31 days before departure.

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