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

What's it like?

    See the photos our community shared

    All our reviews are verified

    We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

    Kiddings, February 2022

    The trip was great & the snow was perfect. We had to try to summit twice due to weather which made the summit feel even more worth it

    Oakley, February 2022

    Everything was awesomely done, great food, guide, kit. Well put together! Such an amazing experience

    Jenny, February 2022

    Highly recommend this winter tour. Excellent local guides and the food, accommodation and organisation was perfect

    Jason, March 2020

    An amazing trip.

    Ian, March 2020

    The trek was much easier than expected due to conditions out of everyone's control - i.e. no snow so cannot fault anyone for that! The views were still spectacular and the whole process from airport pick up to accommodation and food extremely well organised. Will certainly do another trek with Much Better Adventures.

    Daanish, February 2020

    Amazing trip. The highlight was meeting the group and making the summit of Toubkal. It would have been better if we were all staying at the same accommodation. Great to meet like-minded people.

    Emma, December 2019

    An absolutely fantastic challenge and one of the best things I have ever done. The sense of achievement in such a beautiful country, surrounded by incredible people made for the trip of a lifetime.

    Holly, February 2020

    A great few days in the mountains, everyone in the group submitted Toubkal and I had an amazing time. The guides were helpful and always willing to help. Highly recommend this trip. My first and hopefully not my last 4000er.

    Emily, February 2020

    A great adventure! Our guides were polite and attentive. The accommodation both in Marrakesh and the mountain refuge was lovely, and finally, the mountain was incredible!

    Thomas, February 2020

    This trip was great! From the trek itself to the like-minded people who you become friends with along the way. I would recommend this trip to anyone who wants a sense of adventure and desire to reach the summit.

    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

    map

    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.

    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

    Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request on your passenger info form

    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.

    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 and Runner's Need.

    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

    Pre/Post Trip Accommodation Double/Twin Room

    Payable Before Departure

    Pre/Post Trip Accommodation Double/Twin Room

    Per Night

    Pre/Post Trip Accommodation Single Room

    Payable Before Departure

    Pre/Post Trip Accommodation Single Room

    Per Night

    Optional Private Room Upgrade

    Payable Before Departure

    Optional Private Room Upgrade

    We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

    What's the number?
    It works out on average at 221kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

    The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

    But what does the number mean?
    Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

    • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
    • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
    • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

    What are we doing about it?
    Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

    Want to know more?
    Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

    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.

    Up to date advice for UK citizens can be found here

    Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

    Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

    We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

    We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

    If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

    All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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