Climbing Mount Toubkal in Winter
The highest mountain in North Africa and the highest of the Atlas Mountains. Beautiful, stark surroundings and unrelenting local guides are all part of climbing Mount Toubkal! If you hire a local Moroccan guide, do get used to the word ‘Yallah, yallah’ …. ‘faster, faster’. Morocco and Mount Toubkal are easily accessible from the UK, costing anywhere from £40 each way, therefore climbing Mount Toubkal should be on everyones mountain must-do list.
Hiking Mount Toubkal without a guide
You can hike up Mount Toubkal without a guide! It is possible. Even in Winter by the average, fit hiker. It does involve you being prepared and gathering information about the mountain on the days leading up to your hike of Toubkal. The mountain will have snow and ice so be prepared with sturdy walking boots, Crampons and ice axe. The following snapshot of the Toubkal hike is my personal experience from using a local guide. I certainly thought this was worth it during the Winter as that extra piece of reassurance.
Mt Toubkal Height
- 4167 Metres – highest mountain in North Africa
How difficult is Mt Toubkal to hike?
- Accessible, ‘non technical climb’. Of course this is relative to your ability, although not strictly ‘technical’ compared to technical climbing this mountain does require you to be physically and mentally fit (particularly if you undertake the mountain in 2 days from Marrakesh)
- Arduous in winter requiring crampons and ice axe – Local equipment on the dodgy side, to be on the side of caution, it’s definitely worth taking your own gear
Where to stay on the mountain?
- Stayed in Les Mouflons refuge at the base of toubkal – bed bunk style accommodation, wood fire, balconies overlooking mountainside. Bring warming sleeping bag and torch! In theory this place is a warm haven especially in Winter, however due to a lack of hot water and light I couldn’t withstand more than a night staying here. Call me a drama queen!
How long do I need?
- You can get from Marrakesh and up to the top and back in 2 days at a big push. I would recommend doing it in 3 days for a more leisurely pace.
- The walk from Imill Village to the Les Mouflons Refuge is a 1 day walk
- From Les Mouflons Refuge to the Peak of Toubkal and back down again to the Refuge takes 1 day, so you can see to get back down to Imil and back to Marrakesh in 2 days is a push. Chill out and take 3 days.
How much does it cost?
- Hire of local Guide: (the guide we experienced was susceptible to strops): His services cost £100 pp which included his time, accompaniment of a donkey to the refuge stage only, 1 night accommodation in Les Mouflons refuge, Dinner on 1st day and breakfast on morning of 2nd day and taxi from Marrakesh.
- Without a guide: If you opt for going solo then your costs may well be comparable, this would include the cost of a taxi, accommodation on mountain and all food.
What to take? The M.E Toubkal Kit List – Winter Climb
- Hiking boots with ankle support
- Crampons *
- Ice Axe *
- Waterproof trousers and jacket
- Layer system
- Breathable, waterproof gloves
- Sunglasses – sun is strong
- Trail Mix – chocolate, nuts, dried fruit
- Water bottle / water pack
- Insulating sleeping bag