Jebel Toubkal - Morocco

Expedition Dates

 

22nd -29th September 2018

21st-28th September 2019

 

 

Expedition Price

Price per person £695

Jebel Toubkal is a fantastic peak with all the ingredients for a great adventure.  At 4167 metres it is the highest in North Africa and it also has an interesting ascent line and fantastic summit views.  Even better, it is an ideal mountain for every experience level – those new to mountaineering will love it and those with some mountaineering history still love it.

Toubkal is situated in the magical North African country of Morocco.  A land of welcoming local, rich culture, fascinating sights and sounds plus beautiful mountain areas.  Luckily for us, Morocco also has a further bonus of being very accessible for a short haul expedition from the UK.  Having said that, don’t let that closeness fool you – once you experience the uniqueness of Morocco you’ll feel like you are somewhere very different.  This really is a special trip.


The Peak Mountaineering Difference

Peak Mountaineering is a specialist provider of mountain training and adventures.  We provide all types of mountain adventures throughout the UK and each year we run a select range of mountaineering expeditions overseas. 

The Jebel Toubkal expeditions are run by Peak Mountaineering’s owner, Paul Lewis.  Paul holds the Mountain Instructors Certificate (the highest qualification available under the UK qualifications framework).  He has vast experience of high altitude guiding and works full time as a mountaineering instructor.  Paul will be supported by local guides and, depending on the size of the team, additional UK leaders.

Peak Mountaineering makes client safety our very top priority. As well as using the best guides and in-country support we also run a UK incident management system during all overseas expeditions.  This is headed by Caroline Lewis who, as well as being a very experienced expeditioner and qualified climbing instructor, has also summited this expedition’s target mountain and travelled extensively in Morocco.  She will be the UK port of call while the team are overseas and can always be contacted.  We are ably assisted by a brilliant in country agent who is available to help with any problems that may occur during our visit.

To be suitable for this expedition you simply need a good level of fitness and a sense of adventure.  Any additional training that's required will be provided once we arrive in Morocco.  You are also welcome, at a 30% discount, to come and attend one of our scheduled Outdoor First Aid courses if you wish.  As well as making you a qualified first aider you’ll also feel better prepared for the unexpected.

Our expeditions are competitively priced but we also want you to have a good standard of living.  The mountaineering phase is fully catered, the accommodation is of a very high standard and the food is plentiful local fare.  Having said that, this is a mountaineering expedition to a developing country so you’ll also need to be willing to go without a few luxuries along the way.

Expedition Itinerary

Please note that you will find many operators running Toubkal expeditions in 3, 4 or 5 day itineraries.  They may be cheaper and you may get to the top – but in our opinion they aren’t as safe or as enjoyable as taking a bit longer and exploring the Atlas mountains more fully.  It takes time for your body to get used to altitude and that isn’t going to happen in a couple of days.  Ascending to higher altitudes without proper acclimatisation is dangerous.  Even if you do manage to cope with it, you are still likely to find the ascent harder than it needs to be.  We prefer to take a bit longer, prepare your body with a more realistic ascent profile, and therefore let you enjoy the experience more.

In line with our expedition ethos we also take a far less trodden route.  Rather than following the standard approach to Toubkal we skirt the back of the range giving a superb circular route that has received superb feedback from past clients.  Some fantastic reviews from our 2012 expedition team are available here and an account of last year's trip is available on our blog here.

Day 1: Flight to Marrakech then transfer from the airport to our stunning lodge in Imlil (details of the lodge are available here).  At 1740m Imlil gives the team the first experience of sleeping at altitude.

Day 2: After breakfast we start our trek. Imlil is the principal trailhead for walkers. This is the place where we meet our mule team and once all our gear is loaded we will begin walking along the valley towards Tacheddirt, some 8 km from Imlil. Soon the trail begins to rise as we climb up to the pass at Tizi 'n Tamatert (2279m). We then descend to the pretty village of Ouaneskra (2200m) and continue, for a further half-hour or so, to Tacheddirt (2300m), where we set up camp near the river (approx. 4 hours walking).

Day 3: We immediately begin a long, slow ascent to the pass at Tizi Likemt (3555m). At the top we enjoy our first fine view of the Toubkal Massif before a long downhill descent to the village of Azib Likemt (2200m), where we set up our camp for the night (approx. 5 hours walking).

Day 4: This day is going to be a long but quite easy day, passing many different landscapes. From Tizi 'n Ououraine (3120m) we enjoy further views of the Toubkal Massif, including the summit, the east face and the Ifni Dome (3876m). The trail leads on towards Amsouzert (1700m), one of the most striking villages in the region, where we spend the night in a local gite. (approx 6 hours walking).

Day 5: West of Amsouzert are several small villages, which we explore as we make our way towards Ifni Lake (2300m), the only lake in the Massif. It is a memorable sight, surrounded by rocky mountains and giant heaps of rubble, and is unusually deep.  We expect to arrive by lunchtime and spend the afternoon relaxing at the shore. We camp tonight in this area (approx. 4 hours walking).

Day 6: By now we should be both fit and acclimatised. We make our way along a steep path that leads up a scree slope to reach the pass at Tizi n'Ouanoums (3664m), a narrow ledge between two shafts of rock. From here it is a long zigzag descent to the Nelther Refuge (3200m), where we spend the night in tents (approx. 6 hours walking).

Day 7: We leave before dawn, following a well-worn route to the summit of Toubkal (4167m). If conditions are good it should take no more than 2-3 hours to reach the summit, where we enjoy beautiful views of the entire Atlas range and the Marrakech plains beyond. Returning to base, we then descend fairly rapidly to the villages of Sidi Chamharouch and Around, before following the Mizane River, along a well-forested trail, to the trailhead at Imlil. Transfer back to Marrakech for a celebration meal in the main square.  Our last night is spent in a luxurious Riad in the heart of the city (a typical example of a place we use is the beautiful Riad Africa).

Day 8: A free day in Marrakech. Departure from the airport.

The Other Stuff

We know expeditions of this type are expensive so we try to minimise additional expenditure.  Tents are provided and all technical equipment except boots and sleeping bags are included in the price (and even these don’t need to be very technical).  The clothing you wear can be mostly your normal hillwalking kit and there isn’t much else.  Inevitably there’ll be a few other bits and bobs and we’ll give you plenty of guidance – but don’t feel you’ve got to come prepared for an ascent of Everest!

Inclusions

In country transfers to/from airport
In country accommodation
In country transport
In country meals whilst on trek
Mountain guides/porters/muleteers/mules
Cook for trekking phase
Tents for trekking phase
All technical equipment for Toubkal ascent

Exclusions

Transport to/from UK airport
Return flight from UK to Marrakech 
Meals and drinks in Marrakech
Optional tips for local guiding team (we’ll advise you on what the going rate is)
Entrance fees to religious monuments

Flights

Flights to Marrakech are available from various UK airports.  We tend to fly from Manchester but many clients use one of the London options.  Flights are far cheaper if booked as far in advance as possible.  In 2016 we typically paid £140 for return flights booked several months beforehand.  

Environmental Considerations

We know our expeditions pollute.  Infact, every course we run pollutes.  On our overseas expeditions we try to give as much back to the country as possible by using local providers.  However, we also try and do a lot more.  For all participants we purchase carbon offsetting credits for the flights we use.  We do this at no extra charge to the clients.  This is a big commitment for a small business – but we are proud to do it.  Finally, it’s the smaller stuff.  Purifying water rather than leaving several hundred plastic bottles behind, emailing rather than posting letters and that kind of thing.  Every little helps.

What Next?

You’ll probably have questions…..we’re all ears.  Feel free to call on 01433620283 or email info@peakmountaineering.com and we’ll answer any questions.  Once you want to book a place just let us know and we’ll send you the booking information.  At that point we’ll also need a 30% deposit, which can be paid by cheque or BACS transfer. We look forward to hearing from you.

A selection of recent client reviews of our overseas trips are available here.