Much Better Adventures

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

Annual Leave

3 days off work

Location

Morocco

Difficulty

Tough

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

Why it's Much Better

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

Think snowy slopes, icy whipping winds and a lot of mint tea

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

Wake up before dawn to start your final ascent in the dark, ice-axe in hand, head torch on head

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

A rewarding summit adventure that will push you to your extremes. All in a weekend

The Route

What's 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

Happiness Guaranteed

We're so confident that your holiday will be your best yet, we actually guarantee it

Feel Good Vibes

We mitigate 4x the carbon emitted by all our travellers and support important conservation projects

Itinerary

Day 1

Fly in and check out the sights and smells of Marrakech

Activity

Easy day

Accommodation Type

Traditional riad

Your host will meet you at the airport and drive you to your traditional riad accommodation in Marrakech’s 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

On your Feet

Approx. 5 hours of trekking

Distance

10.3km

Elevation

1540m up / 130m down

Accommodation Type

Mountain refuge

Meals

All meals

Wake up early for the drive through the foothills of the Atlas Mountains to Imlil, where you'll meet your support crew and start your trek. Gradually ascend the Toubkal Valley, pass 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

On your Feet

Approx. 5 hours of trekking

Distance

7.1km

Elevation

940m up / 940m down

Accommodation Type

Mountain refuge

Meals

All meals

Wake up to an incredible view of snow covered mountains and a hot breakfast.

You’ll try out your crampons and ice axe, then 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 then head back to Marrakech

On your Feet

Approx. 9-10 hours of trekking

Distance

16.5km

Elevation

1130m up / 2530m down

Accommodation Type

Traditional riad

Meals

Breakfast and lunch

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 towards the summit, but once you attain the ridge, the summit is in sight.

Once you get there, there’s just about enough time to scope the view from the top, give yourself a pat on the back, before escaping the whipping wind and beginning the long descent back down to Imlil.

Say farewell to the Atlas Mountains and drive back to your riad in Marrakech. The night is then 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

Activity

Easy day

Meals

Breakfast

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.

Accommodation

Marrakech

Accommodation

Traditional riad

Rooms

Twin share

Meals

Breakfast

In Marrakech, you will be staying in a beautiful riad. Riads are 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

Accommodation

Mountain refuge

Rooms

Same sex dorm

Meals

All meals

During the trek, you will be staying 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following costs are not included in the trip price:

  • Flights to and from Marrakech
  • Lunches and dinners in Marrakech
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance that covers mountaineering up to 4,167m
  • Tips for your guides (optional)

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.

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.

This trip will run with a maximum of 14.

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

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

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.

Many destinations require a visa and for your passport to be valid for 6 months minimum. Up to date advice for UK citizens can be found here

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.

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

Meeting Point

Start

Where

Marrakech Airport (RAK)

When

Flexible

Your host will be in touch to arrange where and when to pick you up prior to arrival.

End

Where

Marrakech Airport (RAK)

When

Flexible

Your host will arrange a transfer from your accommodation to the airport in time for your return flight.

Kitlist

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

Meet Your Host

Mohammed and team

Born in Imlil at the foot of Mount Toubkal, Mohammed has been guiding people safely around the Atlas Mountains for over 20 years. His team’s love for these mountains and their intimate knowledge of the area means you’re in safe hands. Simply by joining them on an adventure you’ll also be supporting their endeavours to aid important projects that help the remote communities.

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Dates & Prices

Bespoke trips only

There are currently no planned group departures. Please contact this host to request a quote for a custom trip.

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