Hike the Highest Mountain in North Africa - in Winter Conditions.
You will be picked up at 19h30 (frm Hotel Ali cafe) if you are already in the city. And from Marrakech Airport at 20h00 for those arriving in the evening. You will be driven to the village of Imlil, where you will enjoy your welcome dinner, and take in the spectacular panoramic views of the High Atlas Mountains. All food, accommodation and transfers are included on this trip.
In the morning you’ll give your main bag to the muleteers. With your day bag on your back, you will hike for around 3 hours to the tiny settlement of Sidi Chamharouch - here your cooks will serve up lunch. There is freshly squeezed orange juice available from the local stalls, not to be missed! Afterward, you continue for another 3 hours to Refuge de Toubkal, where you’ll stay for the night.
Today you'll head up Ouanourkim Peak (4088m), which offers wonderful views of the High Atlas Mountain Range. There may be an opportunity to summit the mountain, but the focus is on gaining experience with your crampons (spikes for your boots), and your ice axe. In the afternoon, you'll head back down to the mountain refuge for dinner.
You start at around 4 am, with a slow and steady pace upwards. After 2-3 hours you’ll aim to reach the summit of Mt Toubkal (4,167m) at sunrise! From the snowy summit, you can look down to the green Anti-Atlas Mountains, and the vast Sahara Desert beyond! After taking some time to enjoy the views, you'll head back down to the mountain refuge. Enjoy lunch in the refuge and walk down to Imlil. Have a nice hot shower and a delicious dinner.
Following a nice breakfast, you will be driven back to Marrakech city at 10h00 and arrive to Marrakech at 11h30. There is also an option to be dropped off in the airport if needed.
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Documents; - Passport & visa if needed - Travel insurance details - Boarding passes for flights - Wallet - Pen for filling in arrivals form Clothing; - 2-3 base-layer long-sleeve t-shirts (e.g. running t-shirts) - Fleece/soft-shell jacket - Waterproof jacket - Insulated jacket for warmth (e.g. Rab, Alpkit, Mountain Equipment) - Spare clothes for Marrakech - Underwear - Base-layer trousers - Trekking Trousers - Waterproof trousers - Shorts - Swimwear for Marrakech (optional) - 4 thick wool mountaineering socks - Warm Gloves and Hat - Winter hiking boots, that are well insulated, waterproof and have good ankle support - Footwear for Marrakech - Wool hat - 2 – 3 pairs of gloves Miscellaneous; - Large rucksack for the mules/porters - Daysack (25-35L) - 3L of water bottles - Sunglasses - Suncream - Sunhat - Insect repellant - Glasses/contact lenses (if needed) - Sleeping bag (comfort rating of -5 degrees Celsius, available to rent @£5) - Bathroom items including travel towel - Electronics - Head torch, travel adaptor (French plug style), phone & charger - Lipsil - Book/mp3 player (optional) - Walking poles (available to rent @£3) - crampons (availlable to rent @£6) - ice axes (available to rent @£5)
Please see the 'Inclusions' section above
The summit day can be 6 - 8 hours (with lots of breaks) so you do need a good level of fitness. We recommend training with jogging or sport 1-2 times a week, in the run-up to your trip.
We would recommend a good pair of hiking boots. They need to be warm, waterproof and have good ankle support. For those a little technically minded, a B2 boot, or similar would be ideal. Crampons and ice axes are available for rent in Imlil. Here's a list of equipment we have available to rent (prices are for the entire trek); - Crampons: £6 - Ice axe: £5 - Gloves: £2 - Rain jacket: £3 - Sleeping bag: £5
You can see the latest NHS advice at https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/africa/morocco.
The minimum age for this trip is 18, or 16 with a parent/guardian.
You must get appropriate travel insurance for winter hiking up to 4,169m. Popular providers include the BMC and Dogtag. Please check that your insurance includes mountain rescue.
The local guides use mules to carry your main bag. You just need to carry a small bag with water, sun cream and waterproofs whilst trekking.
Winter season (Nov – Mar) Winter can be quite cold on Mt Toubkal, with temperatures on the summit going as low as -18 °C. March starts to warm up with a higher chance of rain.
Yes, you can leave anything there that you don't need for the trek.
Each group is typically 12 people, with a maximum of 14.
On the first and last nights, you'll stay in a comfortable hotel in the village of Imlil. A variety of rooms are available, but usually, you will be sharing with one other person from the team. During the middle two nights, you'll stay in a mountain refuge which is very basic, with dormitory-style accommodation.
Start: There is an airport pickup from Marrakech Airport at 20h00, on the first day of your trip. Alternatively, if you have arrived early, we recommend you spend a few hours exploring Marrakech city. You can be picked up from the main Medina, in the city center (Jemaa el-Fnaa) at 19h30 pm. End: For return flights, you will be driven from Imlil at 10h00 am and dropped back in the city centre around 11h30. There is a possibility of direct airport drop off if needed (on request)
Wi-Fi is available in the hotels on the first night, however, it can be unreliable given the remote location. There is no internet available in the mountain refuge, and phone signal can be poor.
Day 1: No hiking Day 2: 4-5 hours (11km) Day 3: 6 hours (7km) Day 4: 6-8 hours (6km) Day 5: 3 hours (11km)
While it is the intention to adhere to the itinerary described, there is a certain amount of flexibility owing to conditions and, on occasion, it may be necessary to make alterations. Your guide will make dynamic risk assessments throughout the whole trek, and his or her decision is final.
You can book private rooms for the trip - to do this simply click "message your guide" from your dashboard (after booking) and they'll arrange all the logistics for you. You can then pay on arrival. The price is £30/night in Imlil and £90/night in the refuge. Note that in the refuge it's primarily set-up with dormitory-style rooms (typical of almost all high-altitude refuges ). This means that it's quite common to book a private room just for the parts in Imlil.
Yes! Many people choose to do this before the trip. You can use the group chat to arrange to meet other people from your team.
You will spend most of your time with the Berber-people of the Atlas Mountains who are very friendly and welcoming. However, if you decide to visit Marrakech before/after the trek, there is a higher risk of crime. You can see the latest travel advice from the FCO at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/morocco .
The muleteers have been trained by a UK-based vet on ethical treatment of the mules. They use modern harnesses and follow strict weight limits.
All trips on Skyhook are run by small, hand-picked local guiding companies. For this trip your guides run Atlas Vertical, based in Asni.
By booking through Skyhook you'll be joining a small-group trip. This can make it nice and sociable (you'll be added to a group chat after booking), and guarantees great value for money!