We flew into Morrocco from Luton London to Marrakesh but left Manchester at midnight for the early flight at 6am from Luton and arrived 10.30am local time. I arranged the whole trip for my friends, the same friends who came to Keswick, Lake District in September for a practice hike up Blencathra. We arrived in Marrakesh and was collected by taxi and headed to Imlil which was in the Atlas Mountains and our start point for the two-day trek to the top of Mt Toubkal.
We stayed the night in Imlil and while we relaxed in the setting sun we took in our first glimpse of the mountain range which was gorgeous. The weather was about 29 degrees at ground level but the summit forecast of -1/-3. Due to changes by the government, we had to pay for a guide to take us to the top but I’d already planned the route and did my research as the route isn’t exactly difficult and it does follow a route all the way up to the refuge.
The first day took 8 hours to reach the refuge but we did stop for lunch in a village called Sidi Chamarouch at 2335m. Once we reached the CAF refuge at 3207m it was time for some tagine, Morrocan tea and get used to the altitude.
We managed to get to bed for 10am as the alarms were set for 3am for breakfast and leave at 3.30am so we could have a chance seeing the sunrise over the Atlas mountains when we get to the top.
We left on time and straight away we were hit with the steep ground and the path changed to rocks and loose scree. We all used head torches to see as it was pitch black and it was great to see the stars in the African sky when we turned them off while resting and getting rid of the altitude head rushes. We took it slow and steady and making sure all was okay with our health. I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting the altitude to kick in like it did. Our guide welcomed us at the top with a few others that made it up there before us and the view was stunning.
It was cold with light wind but after 20 minutes taking our shots and videos, we then headed back down as Adam in the group was struggling with circulation in his hands so we quickly went down out of the cold wind and tried to warm up quickly.We headed back to the refuge to recharge with some snacks and tea, then got ready again to head all the way back down to Imlil then headed to Marrakesh for the evening to relax in our city centre Riad and explored the City the next day and chilled on the Riad rooftop in the sun while re rested our legs next to the pool.
It was a great experience and another crack at another Europe mountain. I enjoyed that much I think I’ve found my location to heap lead some groups here for practice for my ML since we have to have a guide as well. I can put my skills into practice with Mt Toubkal if I get any more friends to hike this mountain.
I’ve also made video of the trip…. please subscribe to my channel: Morrocco, Mt Toubkal hike 4167m…