Cultural & walking tours in the High Atlas and beyond

Mount Toubkal Winter Climb

3 Days/ 2 Nights

During the winter, Mount Toubkal and its surrounding peaks in the High Atlas Mountains provides some of the most spectacular winter trekking on earth. From the colorful city of Marrakech we venture into the High Atlas Mountains to climb the highest peak in North Africa. The first day is for acclimatization to ensure you are fully prepared before trekking to the Refuge and you will learn some basic alpine techniques. Even if you are new to winter walking, this hike is designed to be achievable if you are fit and determined enough.

Trek Duration: 3 days

Starting time 8/10 AM

Walking grade:

Challenging


Itinerary

DAY 1: Marrakech - Imlil

We are going to departure by car from Marrakech around 8h in the morning. The ride will take 1h20min and we’lldrive south up the Moulay Brahim Gorges, Asni weekly market every saturday, then to Agersioual (1,600m), set in the upper level foothills of the Western High Atlas mountains.
Here you will leave the vehicle and meet your local guide prior to setting out for a beautiful and exciting 12km excursion. You will head towards the east to the Berber village of AIkkiss (1,700m), over Tizi n agersioual pass (2200m). Lunch will be taken in an authentic Berber home (or by the river) and then you’ll carry on walking up the Imnane valley then over Tizi n Tamter pass (2779m). From here there are two valleys, down into the Imlil Valley and back down to the Imnane valley. The other 1h30min trek down from here will take you to the village of Imlil where you will enjoy an evening meal in a cozy Imlil guesthouse.

DAY 2: Imlil – Sidi Chamharoush – Toubkal refuge

After breakfast we begin our trek, heading along the Mizane Valley, first towards the village of Aremd and then onto the charming shrine of Sidi Chamarouch. Built on a moraine spur overlooking the valley floor, Aremd is the largest village in the valley and provides an interesting mix of traditional terraced farming, gites and streets that seem to be permanently gridlocked by goats and cattle. For generations the local Berber villagers have worked on these lands, producing corn, potatoes and walnuts from the harsh landscape. Continuing east and crossing the flood plain our route takes us along mule tracks and up into the high rocky cliffs above the valley Crossing the river we eventually come to the pastoral shrine of Sidi Chamarouch, which attracts tourists and pilgrims alike (although only Muslims are allowed to cross the stone bridge to visit the marabout shrine itself). The village is located besides a small waterfall, a jumbled cluster of houses that seem to melt together into an anarchic mass. From here the trail continues to climb steadily, snaking and zigzagging its way up to the snowline and the Toukbal Refuge (3206m), our stop for the night.

DAY 3: Trek to summit of Jebel Toubkal (4165m); return to Imlil - Marrakech

Early this morning we make our attempt on the summit of Jebel Toukbal, the highest peak in Northern Africa. Our route takes us up the south cirque, crossing the stream above the refuge and then heading across one of the mountains numerous scree fields, where we willexperience a seemingly endless carpet of boulders and rocks. The walking is relatively straightforward, but the scree and the altitude will make the journey quite difficult sometimes, however, the views along the way make the journey totally worth the struggle. Cresting the ridgeline we find ourselves on the plateau, from where it is a short walk to the summit and the vistas out across the surrounding landscape are breath-taking.
From here there are unrestricted views in every direction, from the Marrakesh Plain to the High Atlas in the north and as far south as the Anti-Atlas and the Sahara. Pliny, the great Roman scholar, once described the High Atlas Mountains as "the most fabulous mountains in all of Africa" and from our vantage point high above the valley it is easy to understand why. The views are completely stunning! Retracing our steps (and having the possibility to experience this wonder of nature once again) we then return down the mountain and head back towards Imlil prior to drive back to Marrakech.


Tour Details

Availability

This trek is available from October to May
If you are travelling alone please contact us as there is often the opportunity to join a group.

Included meals

Breakfast: 2
Lunch: 3
Dinner: 2

Accommodation

Night 1: Hotel or Riad in Imlil.
Night 2: The Mouflon or Neltner mountain refuge.

Tour staff

Local Guide
Cook
Muleteer/mules/porter to carry your kit bags
Driver


Frequently Asked Questions

During this trek, we will use one of the tow refuges on Jebel Toubkal the Neltner Hut (Club Alpin Francais) or the newer Mouflons Refuge (they are right next to each other), both offer basic shared dorms with bunk beds and passable shared bathroom facilities. There’s a common area to relax in the evening and chat with other climbers from around the world.


The night in Imlil will be spent in a Hotel or Riad

Meals will be largely Moroccan based but are likely to be infused with a little European influence.
Example:

  • Breakfast: Bread with jam, butter, boiled eggs and processed cheese, with the option of olive oil, served with mint tea, coffee and milk. And also juice, fruit and yoghurt.
  • Lunch: salad, tomatoes, carrots, lentils, beans, rice or pasta, kefta (meatball tagine). fish (sardines, tuna), seasonal fruit
  • Dinner: Soup, classic Morooccan tajine, couscous, olives, nuts, seasonal fruit

Read more aboud meals during the trek here

Crampons and ice axes are usually required throughout the tour (depending on weather),

Read more aboud meals during the trek here

Have more questions? Please check out our FAQ page!

FAQ PAGE

Take a look at our other tours