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climb toubkal in winter
climb toubkal in winter
climb toubkal in winter
climb toubkal in winter
climb toubkal in winter

Plan your winter ascent of Toubkal

Kandoo's View

In the winter months, under a blanket of snow, the High Atlas mountains are a magical place for some winter trekking.  The peaks and high passes that looked spectacular in summer are now even more enticing as they glisten with ice and the promise of crisp, cold mountain air on windswept summit ridges.  If you have a craving to hear the crunch of snow under your boot and the feeling of your crampons biting into the ground as you kick steps towards a distant peak, you have come to the right place.  

On this adventure we will climb Ouanoukrim (4088m), the second highest peak in Morocco and Toubkal (4167m) the highest peak in north Africa.  You will be accompanied by expert mountain guides every step of the way and all your technical gear is provided. 

Trip dossier, route maps and profile

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Climb Mount Toubkal in winter Animated Route Map
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8 Days Prices from £689 Prices from $895 Prices from
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Detailed itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Marrakesh

Arrive in Marrakesh and transfer to your hotel where you will meet the other members of your group.

  • Accommodation: 4 star Marrakesh hotel
  • Meals: Dinner
Day 2Marrakesh to Imlil

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 market places 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.

  • Accommodation: Local cottage
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 3Tizi n'Mzik

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.  A good opportunity to try out crampons and ensure all your gear is up to scratch.  We return to Imlil in the afternoon.

  • Ascent: 800m
  • Descent: 800m
  • Walking: 4 to 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Local cottage
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 4Imlil to the Nelter Refuge

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 living room, dormitories, bathrooms and a fire place.  This will be our base for the next three nights.    

  • Ascent: 1400m
  • Descent: 0m
  • Walking: 6 to 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Refuge
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 5Climb Ouanoukrim

Leaving the refuge early 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 the bulk of the climbing is behind us and we have around two hours to go before reaching the 4088m peak.  At roughly 3850m there is a rocky section which will require some scrambling to make progress.  After this rocky section 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 (4033m), which will require some 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.

  • Ascent: 1100m
  • Descent: 1100m
  • Walking: 6 to 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Refuge
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 6Climb Toubkal

Leaving the refuge before sunrise, we start climbing with head torches up the steep and rocky west flank of Toubkal.  The trail zig zags 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 as we approach 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.

  • Ascent: 960m
  • Descent: 960m
  • Walking: 6 to 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Refuge
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 7Nelter Refuge to Marrakesh

Today we retrace our steps 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.

  • Ascent: 0m
  • Descent: 1400m
  • Walking: 4 to 5 hours
  • Accommodation: 4 star Marrakesh hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 8Departure

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

  • Meals: Breakfast

Availability and prices

Last Updated June 1 2020
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Route
Arrival
Days
Price
Comment
 
 
Arrival: January 2 2021
Days: 8
Price: £689 $895 €0
Comment: Minimum 4
Arrival: January 16 2021
Days: 8
Price: £689 $895 €0
Comment: Minimum 4
Arrival: January 30 2021
Days: 8
Price: £689 $895 €0
Comment: Minimum 4
Arrival: February 13 2021
Days: 8
Price: £689 $895 €0
Comment: Minimum 4
Arrival: February 27 2021
Days: 8
Price: £689 $895 €0
Comment: Minimum 4
Included
  • Airport transfers
  • Qualified Berber Mountain Guide
  • All transportation
  • All accommodation
  • Tent and mattress for wild camping trips
  • Full board whilst trekking
  • Crampons and ice axe for winter climbs
Not Included
  • Flights and visas
  • Drinks during the day or at meal times
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals in Marrakesh

Comfort

Comfort Level 3/5 COMFORTABLE

During this trip you will be staying in a 4 star hotel in Marrakesh, a local cottage in Imlil and a mountain refuge.  In Marrakesh, please be aware that 4 star standards are below what you may expect in Europe.  Our cottage in Imlil is clean and comfortable, rooms will be either twin or dorm style with shared bathroom.  At the Nelter refuge we will stay in dormitories with shared bathroom facilities.  There is a communal living room with an open fire place.

Difficulty

Difficulty Level 3/5 MODERATE

Daily walking time: Maximum 7 hours

Daily Ascent: Maximum 1400m

An accent 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 terrain 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.

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 us. 

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