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Mount Toubkal, Morocco

13,667 feet (4,167 metres)


Picture of Mt. Toubkal

1st - 8th June 2002

 

Introduction

Mt. Toubkal at 4,167m (13,667 ft), is the highest peak in North Africa. From the summit looking north are the fertile plains of the Magreb and Marrakech, to the south the wild rugged landscape of the pre-Sahara; to either side the many jagged peaks of the High Atlas stretch into the distance.  

Itinerary

Day One - Saturday 01 June 2002 - Fly from London Heathrow to Marrakech via Casablanca and transfer to hotel in Marrakech. Arrive 22.30 local time.

Day Two - Sunday 02 June 2002 - Transfer by mini-bus to the small town of Oukaimeden, a journey of two hours that takes us from the plains around Marrakech into the heart of the High Atlas range. In the afternoon we take a short walk to the mountain lodge for the overnight stay.

Day Three - Monday 03 June 2002 - Today we climb the nearby peak of Jebel Oukaimeden (3,257 m - 10,683 ft) in order to acclimatise to the altitude. The summit gives excellent views of the Atlas range, including our destination Mt. Toubkal, and other 4,000 m peaks. We descend and cross the pass of Tiz'n'Ouardi (2,927 m - 9,600 ft) on our way to Tachedirt for the night. (Refuge or camping)

Day Four - Tuesday 04 June 2002 - From the Tachedirt Valley with its sweeping views of the Aksoual Massif, we pass the small village of Ouaneskra. The trail gradually climbs to a second pass (the Tiz'n'Tamatert, 2,200 m - 7,216 ft) and descends more steeply into the fertile Mizane Valley and the large village of Imlil. From here we go up the valley through small irrigated fields and pasture to the village of Arroumd and our house for the night. (Village house)

Day Five - Wednesday 05 June 2002 - Leaving the green field and walnut trees of Arroumd, we follow the Mizane Valley  and come to the small shrine of Sidi Chamarouch, a place of pilgrimage for many Moroccan people. There we can see the tomb of the local marabout (holy man) albeit from a distance as non-Muslims are not allowed to cross the footbridge leading to it. We continue the climb up to the Neltner refuge at an altitude of 3,209 m (10,525 ft). If the refuge is crowded, we will bivouac. (Refuge of bivouac)

Day Six - Thursday 06 June 2002 - We make an early start for the ascent of Mt Toubkal, climbing steeply through scree before traversing the southern ridge to reach the summit at 4,167 m (13,667 ft). We then take in the magnificent views before descending to the Neltner hut and then on to the village house in Arround for the night. (Village house)

Day Seven - Friday 07 June 2002 - The short walk down to Imil is followed by the drive to Marrakech, arriving in time for lunch. In the afternoon and evening we are free to explore Marrakech. Djemaa el Fna, the open market around which the traditional life of Marrakech revolves is one place to visit. The name literally means 'place of death' as it was the place where the Sultans used to display the heads of their enemies. Overnight in the hotel in Marrakech.

Day Eight - Saturday 08 June 2002 - The morning is free in Marrakech. After lunch, transfer to the airport for the return flights via Casablanca to London Heathrow arriving 16.30 local time.

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