A Winter ascent of Mount Toubkal (4,167m) provides an amazing introduction to Winter mountaineering at high altitude. The hike is not very technically challenging but prior experience of Winter hill walking in crampons and with an ice axe is beneficial (but not mandatory).
It is a physically demanding hike, but suitable for anyone with a good level of fitness.
START & ENDS
Easy Moderate Challenge Hard
- DAY 1
- day 2
- day 3
- Day 4
MARRAKECH TO IMLIL (1,740M)
In the morning you will be picked up from either the airport or your hotel in Marrakech. We will then drive 1.5 hours towards Imlil valley (1,740m) where you will be met by a local guide. After checking in at a guesthouse we will set off on an acclimatisation hike through the Berber villages of Imlil valley. We will stop for a delicious lunch prepared by a cook. After lunch we will walk back to the guest lodge in Imlil where you will spend the night.
There will be time to visit a rental gear shop in Imlil and your guide might use the acclimatisation hike to conduct some crampon and ice axe training.
Imlil Guest Lodge
Drive 1.5 hours. Hike 8 km (4 hours)
466m to 1,740m
IMLIL TO TOUBKAL REFUGE (3,200M)
After a hearty breakfast at your lodge, we will start hiking along the Maizane Valley, first towards the village of Armed and then onto the shrine of Sidi Chamharouch, which attracts tourists and pilgrims alike (although only Muslims are allowed to cross the stone bridge to visit the shrine itself). The village sits beside 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 Toubkal Refuge (3,200m), our stop for the night.
At the Refuge your guide will be on hand to conduct more crampon and ice axe training.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hike 12 km (5-6 hours)
1,740m to 3,200m
TOUBKAL REFUGE TO SUMMIT (4,167M). RETURN TO IMLIL
After an early breakfast you make your attempt on the summit of Jebel Toubkal, the highest peak in Northern Africa. Your route takes you up the south cirque. The ground underfoot will consist of mixed snow, ice and rock. Make sure to use the crampon and ice axe skills you have acquired to safely cover any steep ground. At around 4,000m you will crest the ridge-line onto a plateau, from where it is a short walk to the summit. The views from the iconic cone-like summit stand are unrestricted 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. Retracing your steps you then return down the mountain to the Refuge camp where we will have lunch. We then head back to Imlil for your last night in the Atlas Mountains.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Imlil Guest Lodge
Hike 20 km (10-11 hours)
3,200m to 4,167m. Back to 1,740m
MARRAKECH TO IMLIL (1,740M)
After a relaxing breakfast we will transfer back to Marrakech. The driver can drop you anywhere you like in central Marrakech including the airport.
Drive 1.5 hours
1,740 m to 466m
Dates & Prices
Below are our open group dates for this adventure. Toubkal winter ascents run from December through to the end of March. If you would like to do a Summer ascent click here.
If the dates below don't suit, please get in touch as we can open a new group on any day as long as you have at least 2 people in your party.
When is the best time to hike?
Mount Toubkal can be hiked all year round, however, this tour is for a Winter ascent (December through to end of March), when the mountain is snow-covered and requires technical mountaineering skills. For a Summer ascent of Toubkal (April to end of November) click here.
How fit do I need to be?
You will need to be in good health and relatively fit for this hike. You will be hiking on average 10km per day at high altitude over mixed terrain (snow, ice, rock and scree). We recommend doing 4-6 weeks aerobic gym / hiking training before embarking on this adventure.
Do I need a visa?
Most country nationals, including the UK, US, Canada and the EU, can enter Morocco visa-free for 90 days. Check eligibility and exempt countries here.
What immunisations should I get?
We recommend reviewing the UK NHS fit-for-travel website for Morocco: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/africa/morocco
How big are the groups?
Group size is limited to 12 people.
Can I do the trek privately?
Yes, if you would like a private trek just contact us and we can arrange this. There may be a single supplement charge.
Is there a minimum age requirement?
Yes, the minimum age to join this adventure is 18. Children over the age of 16 can join this adventure but will need to be accompanied by a parent / legal guardian.
How much should I tip the crew?
Tipping is discretionary. But as a rough guideline you should budget 10% of your trek cost. Tips should be given to the guide at the end of the trek and can be given in US$ or Morocco Dirham. Your guide will distribute tips fairly to porters and the cook.
What are your cancellation terms?
Should you need to cancel the following terms apply.
- Less than 4 weeks from departure: No refund
- Between 4-8 weeks from departure: 100% refund less full deposit
- More than 8 weeks before departure: 100% refund less 3% refund transaction fee.
Cancellation fees are set our in our Terms and Conditions. You may be able to reclaim refund charges if your reason for cancellation is covered by your travel insurance policy.
- Base layer
- 1 x hiking shirt + 1 x long-sleeve hiking shirt
- Mid-weight fleece jacket
- Hard shell jacket
- Warm insulating down or synthetic jacket
- Light gloves and insulating warm gloves
- Sun hat + Sunglasses
- Warm beanie
- Neck warmer
- Mid-weight B1 or B2 hiking boots (i.e. ones that can take crampons)
- C1 Crampons
- 2 x hiking socks
- Trainers for camp
- 20-25L Daypack
- 50-60L Backpack (carried by mules, needs to be no heavier than 22 lbs)
- Plastic bags to protect sleeping bag and other gear from rain
- 4-season sleeping bag
- Sleeping mat
- Hiking poles
- Straight shaft ice axe
- Water bottle / hydration bladder
- Water treatment tablets
- Sun cream
Rental gear and note on hiking boots
There are a number of good rental gear shops in Imlil where one can rent most items listed above, including crampons and ice axes for Winter ascents.
A Winter ascent of Toubkal requires the use of crampons. Without getting too technical, standard hiking boots (aka B0 hiking boots), have too much flexibility in the sole to take a crampon. We recommend bringing a more rigid sole hiking boot that is suitable for Winter walking. These boots are classified B1 or four-season B2 boots and take strap-on C1 crampons.
We highly recommend getting travel insurance for your trip. We recommend World Nomads as they provide comprehensive cover for adventurous activities and are very affordable. Get a quote below.
meet Your Guide
Houssain and Team
Born and raised in the village of Imlil in the foothills of Mount Toubkal, Houssain has a passion for mountains. He began working as a mountain guide in the 90´s and today employs a talented and dedicated team of guides and porters. You will be in safe and capable hands with Houssain and his team.
Great experience all round!
Just a quick thank you for organising such a fun tour. From the moment we were picked up in Marrakech to the moment we got back, we felt really well looked after and had an awesome summit experience of Toubkal. Special thanks to our guide Abdul for the crampon training and insights on Berber culture.
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