Climb Mount Toubkal in Winter
- Trekking & Hiking
- Trekking peaks
our UK team
Arrive in Marrakesh and transfer to your hotel. After clearing immigration and collecting your luggage, exit the arrivals building and look out for one of our team holding a KANDOO sign. If you wish to exchange money in the airport make sure you do this before leaving the building. Transfer to your hotel and have the rest of the day free to explore Marrakesh. Your pre-trek briefing will take place this evening in the hotel foyer, here you will meet your guide and gain an in depth understanding of the trek you are about to embark on.
This morning we will take a guided tour of the old town and souks followed by lunch in a local restaurant. The souks of Marrakesh are renowned as one of the most exotic marketplaces in the world. In the afternoon we will transfer to the village of Imlil, passing through the Moulay Brahim Gorge. Imlil is a beautiful High Atlas village at an altitude of 1800m where we will be staying in a local cottage for the next two nights.
Today will be a warm up to get us prepared for the climb ahead. From the village we will climb up the valley to a col called Tizi n’Mzik at 2500m.
The track is steep, rocky and snow covered so it will provide a good impression of what we will face in the coming days. This will be a good opportunity to try out your crampons provided the conditions are suitable. We return to Imlil in the afternoon.
Leaving Imlil, using mules to carry our luggage, we follow an easy track out of the village passing irrigation channels and cultivated terraces often under the shade of walnut trees. The trail takes us through the village of Aremd and continues up the left hand side of the valley to Sidi Chamarouch where we will stop for lunch. From here the trail is more difficult as the track becomes steep and rocky and we cross the snowline. Depending on the amount of snow at this point, we may need to leave our mules behind and take porters to transport our luggage.
At Sidi Chamarouch, we cross the river and continue up the right hand side of the valley until we reach the Nelter Refuge at 3210m. The refuge sits at the foot of Mount Toubkal and Ouanoukrim and has a lounge, dormitories, bathrooms and a fireplace. This will be our base for the next three nights.
Leaving the refuge between 4am and 5am, we set off up the Ait Mizane valley on a gentle slope that becomes steeper as we reach Tizi n’Ouagane at 3750m. Once we have reached the col most of the hard work is behind us and it will be roughly 2 more hours before we reach the 4088m peak.
At roughly 3850m, there is a rocky section which will require some scrambling to make progress. After this rock band a steep snow slope leads to a ridge which we will follow to the first summit, Timeguida n’Ouaoukrim. There is the option of continuing to the second summit, Ras Ouanoukrim (4083m), which will require some more scrambling.
From the top we have spectacular views of the High Atlas, the Anti Atlas and the summit of Toubkal. Don’t forget to pack your camera! After some time to relax on the summit we return to the Nelter refuge for a well earned rest
Leaving the refuge before 5am again, we start climbing with head torches up the steep and rocky west flank of Toubkal. The trail zigzags as we gradually gain height before reaching the large depression known as the South Cwm where the angle eases off a little.
We continue upwards on easy angled snow slopes before the route again becomes steeper on the approach to the south col. At the col, the mountain drops away down the east face and we take a break before turning north to follow the ridge to the summit. The final part of the route feels more exposed and care is needed on the steep ground.
We are now standing on the highest peak in north Africa at 4167m. On a clear day the views extend as far as Marrakesh on one side and the vast Sahara Desert on the other. The sense of achievement as you gaze down on the surrounding icy peaks is enormous. After some time to soak up our success we carefully retrace our steps back down the mountain to the refuge.
Today we head back down the valley, passing through Sidi Chamarouch and Aremd before arriving back in Imlil. At Imlil we will stop for lunch before transferring back to Marrakesh and checking into our hotel.
Transfer to the airport and flight home.
The details in this programme are
regularly updated but unforeseeable and unpredictable circumstances may result
in inaccuracies. In order to provide the adventure which is best suited to your
demands, the weather and the operational conditions, changes to the itinerary
may be made.
For safety reasons, we reserve the
rights to interrupt your participation at any time if your technical level or
fitness is deemed unsuitable or if you are seen as a danger to yourself or to
those around you. Under no circumstances would this give rise to a refund or
An ascent of Toubkal requires you to be
in good physical condition and have some experience of walking for up to 6
hours a day for several days in a row.
The trail will vary from easy trails at lower altitudes, to very steep
and rocky terrain covered in snow and ice.
There will be changes of altitude as you climb to 4000m and above, and a
good amount of endurance is necessary.
It is important the personal equipment
you bring with you is suitable for the conditions. Your clothing needs to protect you from very
cold temperatures and winds. A good
quality sleeping bag is essential as well as protection for your eyes and skin.
Please refer to the equipment section below for more information.
There is no technical climbing on the ascent of Toubkal. You will be walking in crampons and with the use of an ice axe but nothing more. Although some previous experience of
trekking in winter conditions would be beneficial, it is not necessary. Your guide will provide training in the
proper use of crampons and ice axe. If you have any questions about your
suitability or how to prepare for this trip please do not hesitate to contact
During your trek you will be accompanied
by a cook who will prepare all of your meals.
At breakfast there is tea, coffee and hot chocolate, bread, jam, cheese, Nutella and sometimes a local speciality. A typical lunch will be a
salad with fresh vegetables, corn, boiled eggs, tuna and rice or pasta served alongside a traditional curried dish, such as dahl or a tagine.
Evening meals will always be made up of delicious Moroccan cuisine prepared with locally sourced ingredients. There will normally be a soup starter
followed by a tagine or stew with salad, couscous or pasta and bread. We can provide vegetarian, vegan or gluten
free meals on request. If you have
special dietary requirements please let us know when booking your trip.
In Marrakesh, at the start and end of
your trip, you can purchase meals at the hotel or head out in to the city to
find a restaurant. Less than a 5 minute walk from the hotel you will find Bd Moulay Rachid, a street with a wide range
of international and local options and you will find most dietary requirements
are catered for. Restaurants with international options such as pizza and burgers, French and local cuisine, or if you are wanting something lighter then look for the roadside cafes offering the locals favourite, Omelette Khaali (lamb omelette) and Mint Tea.
Drinks are not included in the cost of
your trip. You will need to bring a
water purification filter or tablets and at least two water bottles or flasks for your trip. During your trek you can refill your water at
natural springs, in villages and at the refuge below Toubkal. On some days you may not pass a shop as the trek goes through remote valleys and many of the shops are in small villages or settlements and therefore may close without warning. Please ensure you are able to purify natural water safely, rather than relying on buying bottled water; we also do not recommend acquiring single-use, plastic water
bottles as these must be carried out and recycled.
In Marrakesh, you will be staying in a comfortable 4 star hotel in an en-suite twin or double
room. The hotel has a swimming pool, hammam (spa), restaurant and free WiFi.
The Nelter Refuge sits in the bowl between Toubkal and Ouanoukrim and is the perfect location to rest up ready for your winter ascent! We will stay in mixed sex dormitories with
shared bathroom facilities. There is a
communal lounge with an open fireplace, hot showers, western toilets and free Wifi at the refuge. Food here will be prepared in the communal kitchen by our cook.
Main bag weight: 15kg
We recommend that you wear your
walking boots to travel and pack as many essential items as possible in your
carry-on luggage. If your luggage is delayed we can then do our best to kit
you out to start the trek on time. In the event that your luggage is delayed
or lost, our procedure is as follows:
Establish what items are missing and a
contingency plan for each critical item
If it reaches 6pm on the evening before
starting the trek and your luggage has not arrived we recommend buying and/or
hiring items immediately as a precaution
We will take you to a shop where you
can buy toiletry items, e.g. toothbrush. You will be able to find everything
need in Marrakesh.
We will do everything we can to help if
your luggage is lost or delayed. Be sure to check your insurance policy
coverage for lost luggage cover.
On our Moroccan adventures you will need
to arrive in Marrakesh on a Saturday and the tour will begin the following
morning. For UK travellers there are direct flights with BA, Easy Jet and Ryan
Air from Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and Manchester. With a short stop
in Europe, you can travel from virtually any major UK airport. The flight time from the UK is roughly four
There are no direct flights to Marrakesh
from the USA but, it is only necessary to have a short stop of less than 3 and
a half hours somewhere in Europe. Delta Airways operate convenient flights via
Paris from New York, Boston and Los Angles. TAP Air Portugal, American Airlines
and United provide further options.
Menara Airport is located 8km outside the
city of Marrakesh and the transfer to your hotel will take between 20 and 30
you have cleared immigration and collected your luggage, please exit the
arrivals area and look out for a Kandoo team member holding a big sign reading
"KANDOO ADVENTURES". Please be aware that if your flight arrives within 90 minutes of another guest you may be asked to wait until they have arrived to share a transfer. Rest assured, you won't be asked to wait for more than 90 minutes.
The local currency is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD). For the most up to date exchange rate please visit www.xe.com.
Guide: 100-160 MAD ($10-15)
Cook: 85-110 MAD ($8-10)
Mule drivers: 160-210 MAD ($15-20) - amount per driver (depending on your group size you may have between 3-5 mules and drivers)
We prefer that you do not wear cotton
clothing, including underwear, when participating in activities. When cotton
gets wet from water or sweat it ceases to insulate and does not dry quickly.
The best materials for outdoor activities are fast drying materials like
polyester or materials which are warm when wet like wool. The most powerful
materials against the wind and rain are 'breathable' materials like Gore-Tex or
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Want to ask us a question or book a private trip? Don't hesitate to contact us!Contact us