Climb Toubkal – 4167m
Climb Toubkal (4167m) the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains of Northern Africa. The range extends over 2,500km across Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, separating the Atlantic and Mediterranean coastline from the Sahara Desert. Mount Toubkal stands tallest in Morocco, at 4167m and is a highly sought after summit for all mountain enthusiasts.
The highlights of this trip are full of human experiences with the locals, staying in local accommodation and sampling delicious food. The climb is a feasible objective if you have a good level of fitness and previous hill walking experience. We recommend this trip for those looking for something a little different, off the beaten track and possible to complete with just a few days off work.
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- All accommodation during the trip
- All Transport during the trip including airport pick ups and transfers to Toubkal National Park
- Adventure Base leader
- Local and professional guides
- All meals on the trip
What's not Included
- Transport to/from Marrakesh
- Equipment rental
- Travel insurance
- Lunch when in the huts
Who is this for?
Anyone with a good level of fitness and a sense of adventure. Previous mountaineering experience is a bonus, but not necessary as this is a good introduction to mountaineering skills.
Toubkal is the highest peak in Northern Africa at 4167m and therefore the altitude makes it hard work. Determination is needed to keep going to the top. While this course is open to beginner mountaineers, please note that that doesn’t mean it’s physically easy – making sure you have a good base fitness level before you get here as it will make the week feel less strenuous and maximise your chances of success.
Accommodation and huts
Our Toubkal expeditions start and end in a lovely Riad in Marrakesh. All rooms are en-suite and very comfortable. WIFI is also available. We also stay in a beautiful riad in Aroumd on Day 2 in the Toubkal National Park. After that we spend one night in the Refuge du Toubkal followed by our final night back in the Riad in Marrakesh.
What to expect from mountain huts
They are basic but comfortable. They can cater for vegetarians but please let us know in advance. Food is served on a set menu basis (3 course in the evening, hot drink and bread/jam/cereal for breakfast). There is no running drinking water in the hut, however you can buy water for a small charge. You can also buy tea, coffee, soft drinks, chocolate bars and snacks as well as lunches.
Sleeping arrangements are dormitory style bunkbeds. Sleeping bags are needed and we also recommend bringing a thin sleeping liner.
You can always expect a good atmosphere and a stunning view.
Arrive into the unique city Marrakesh and transport to our accommodation for the night. Welcome brief and dinner in the evening with the group.
After breakfast, spend some time exploring the busy square of Djeema el- Fna and venture in to the sprawling souks. After lunch we travel down to Toubkal National Park and spend the night in a mountain lodge in the small village of Aroumd at 1900m above sea level.
Today we start our ascent by hiking to the Refuge du Toubkal. Tonight we sleep in Refuge du Toubkal after a delicious dinner. 6 hours hike, 10km with 1540m of elevation gain.
Summit day! Today we reach the summit of Toubkal and enjoy the amazing views. Once satisfied with our achievement, we begin our descent back to the valley. This is the longest day of the trip, taking us around 10 hours, covering 16km and ascending 1130m followed by descending a thigh burning 2530m. All in the name of adventure. We rest our legs on the transfer back to Marrakesh. Hot showers are a welcome treat in the Riad, followed by a big delicious celebratory dinner with the group.
The trip ends after breakfast. Feel free to contact us if you would like to extend your stay.
To maximise your chance of summiting Toubkal it is important to get as fit as you possibly can. So we have partnered with Uphill Athlete, specialists in strength and conditioning for peak mountain performance to offer you a variety of different training plans via their website.
Trekking and mountaineering is all about being able to exercise at a moderate intensity for many hours (typically 5 to 12 hours) and your training should reflect this. Balance is important too as you will spend many hours walking in crampons. For this a good chore strength is important.
Remember to build up your workouts over time. If you are not used to exercising much, your muscles and joints need time to build up to avoid injury.
The Effects of Altitude
As you climb higher the air gets thinner and so there is less oxygen in each breath you take. This makes exercising much more strenuous than at sea level and so you have to slow down to help compensate. Because you have slowed down, you may also feel colder.
Because there is less oxygen in the air as you get higher, this can lead to ‘altitude sickness’ or Acute Mountain Sickness which will feel like the worst hangover you have ever had (headache, nausea, weakness, fatigue, dizziness) and can develop into a very serious and even fatal (in extreme cases) problem.
To avoid these problems and enjoy the climbing and increase our chances of reaching the summit, we need to acclimatise by spending several days and nights at progressively higher altitudes, so our bodies can adapt. This is a very important part of our preparation and is factored in to our itinerary.
1. Ice axe – for general mountaineering (between 50 and 70cm depending on your height)
2. Standard C2 hiking crampons
4. Trekking Poles – Foldable
5. Mountaineering B2 Boots
6. Rucksack 30-40L
7. Water bottles up to 2L
9. Sun protection including: sunglasses (category 4), goggles, sun hat, Factor 30-50 High Mountain sunscreen, lip salve/block.
10. 3 sets of socks and thermal tops.
11. Lightweight (GORE-TEX® or similar) hardshell hooded top and bottoms
12. Warm hat and 2 pairs of gloves. One pair should be warm, thick mountaineering gloves. The second pair should be a thinner pair suitable for mid mountain conditions.
13. Insulating layers. We suggest a thin lightweight fleece and a synthetic or down jacket.
14. Trekking trousers
15. Personal first aid – blister kit, aspirin, or Paracetamol.
16. Head torch and spare batteries.
18. Two season rated sleeping bag with silk liner
19. Cash for extra drinks / snacks in huts as well as any costs not included in the course price
21. Shorts, hiking shoes or trainers
Please note this is a guide and you may be required to rent or purchase last minute equipment on arrival dependent on the weather and changes in itinerary.
A word on the weather:
The climbing season runs all year round. We like to go in Spring and Autumn for the reasonable temperatures, but winter ascents are also fun and a little more challenging. It’s also possible to ski tour Toubkal so let us know if that would be an option you’d like to go for.
To find out more about our course, availability, or to ask any questions, please get in touch through the website or by phone on +44 (0)845 527 58 12.
A 20% deposit is required to secure your place on one of our Toubkal expeditions, with the balance to be paid latest 10 weeks before the course start date.
We strongly recommend getting specialist travel insurance that covers cancellation, medical and mountain rescue.
Please note your insurance must cover you in Morocco up to 4167m.
Getting to Marrakesh
Most major airlines such as EasyJet fly regularly to Marrakesh from most major European cities.