Learn winter skills & climb Toubkal - North Africa's highest mountain (4,167m)

The Toubkal Winter Skills Course is for total beginners who want to learn key skills such as using a hiking axe, avalanche awareness and winter navigation.

Situated deep within the High Atlas mountain range, we can take full advantage of long days and stable weather. It's often possible to get more done in one day than in a week in Scotland! By the end you'll have built up a broad winter skill-set, cemented as a team by planning and tackling a summit attempt of Mount Toubkal itself.

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Day 1 – Arrive in Imlil (1, 740m)

We’ll do a pickups from Marrakech (7.45pm) and the airport (8:00pm), before the one hour drive to our Gîte (guesthouse) in Imlil. Once here, we’ll serve up some tea and do introductions.

Day 2 – Hike to Refuge Toubkal (3,200m)

From Imlil, we load up the mules with a week’s worth of supplies and your equipment, and send them ahead to the Refuge. The hike up takes 6 hours.

Day 3 – Winter Skills Practice

We head out from the refuge at 9am to practice ice axe and crampon technique. After becoming comfortable with the basics, we put these skills into practice by heading up one of the old passing points for trade between the mountains. The terrain is steep (Grade I/II) so it’s a great place to practice kicking steps and self-belay with the axe.

Day 4 – Tizi n’Ouanoumss Pass (3,660m)

On day 4 we hike for five hours up to Tizi n’Ouanoumss pass, with the possibility of continuing to the summit of Ras (4,080m) for fit team members. Along the way we cover avalanche assessment and the basics of snow shelters in case things go wrong.

In the evening, you’ll pour over the maps and guidebook to work out an appropriate route for summiting Toubkal!

Day 5 – Summit Toubkal (4, 170m)

Summit day is all about putting your skills into practice, becoming confident in using them more independently. Our fun and experienced instructors will also be on hand to assist with any sticking points.

Usually it takes 3-6 hours to summit, depending on the route, and we return to the Refuge with plenty of daylight spare.

Day 6 – Return to Marrakech

In the morning, we hike down for 4 hours to Imlil, and then travel back by car to Marrakech.

Day 7 – Extra Day in Marrakech

Most participants will stay for an extra day in Marrakech to take in the sights. For groups, we often arrange a tour of the medina (old city) and can also head to the bath houses for some recovery and relaxation!

1. Requirements

A good level of hiking fitness is required (e.g. the ability to hike for full days in the summer).

You must be over the age of 18 for our standard courses - however we can organise custom courses with no minimum age.

2. Logistics

Fly to Marrakech (Ryanair is typically the most affordable). The cost then includes:

  • Transport to and from Marrakech
  • Accommodation and food, in Imlil and the Refuge.
  • Guiding

The cost excludes:

  • Flights
  • Accommodation and food in Marrakech
  • Souvenirs
  • Tips for the support staff
  • Snacks and drinks from the Refuge
  • Travel insurance

3. Equipment

Skyhook Adventure provides all technical equipment (ice axes and crampons) on our winter skills courses.

You must bring with you:

  • Loose fitting comfortable clothes (non-cotton)
  • Waterproof jacket and warm layer
  • Food for lunch and plenty of water
  • Winter hiking boots (that can fit crampons)
  • Small (20-30L) rucksack
  • Sleeping bag/liner for the refuge

We send around a full gear list to all participants.