Mount Toubkal winter climb, Morocco
Optional single supplement £50.
Description of Mount Toubkal winter climb, Morocco
This Mount Toubkal winter climb holiday is one of the most superb adventures you will have during the European autumnal and winter months, at only a few hours flight from home. Spend five full days trekking in the snowy magnificence of the High Atlas Mountains and summiting Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa at a towering 4167m.
One of the joys of the Mount Toubkal summit trek is that the season is long, with trips starting in October and going on until April. Travelling in a small group with expert mountain leader guides, this is serious trekking using crampons and ice picks and, although you will receive training in winter walking, a good level of fitness is required.
Starting in the village of Imlil, the gateway to the High Atlas, the first accommodation is in a mountain gite, giving you time to acclimatise and take in the mountain magnificence. By day two you hike to Neltner refuge, practising some crampon techniques en route before tackling the summit on day four of the trip, climbing up the west side. There are plenty more highs on this trekking holiday, however, with the next day taking you up to North Africas second highest peak, Jebel Ouanoukrim with more terrific views over the massif. Including over the plateau to Timzguida, another peak to tackle at 4089m.
After a wonderful descent to greener valleys, the reward is a day and a night in Marrakech, with plenty of time to see the souks, sights and soak up the atmosphere of this great city. Your accommodation here is a three star hotel, one of three nights spent in hotels during this trip, with four nights spent in gites and mountain refuges.
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1 Reviews of Mount Toubkal winter climb, Morocco
Reviewed on 25 Feb 2020 by Deirdre Hannigan
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Reaching the summit of Mt.Toubkal
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
If going in February bring plenty of warm clothes for the mountains.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
It definitely benefited the local people, but I'm not sure how it could have reduced environmental impact or supported conservation.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
It was an amazing experience made more enjoyable by our guide Youssef who took care of everything with a smile & was extremely knowledgeable, I would definitely recommend this trip.
The only negative was the lack of toilet/shower facilities in the Refugee, there should be a separate male/female facility.
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a trekking trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. Even though this is a short trip, it still offers some good opportunities to benefit the local community. Passing through Berber villages up in the High Atlas Mountains, staying in local gites, using markets and local mule transport has a positive impact on the local economy.
Water is a really important issue with walking trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Lack of recycling is already a massive problem in Morocco so we suggest that instead of repeatedly buying bottled water, guests should re-fill a singular bottle. Since the EU banned the use of iodine tablets, we are no longer able to provide these on trek. The recommended alternative of Biox Aqua drops is not available in Morocco, therefore we also advise you buy your own purification tablets in the UK and take them with you.
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
PeopleAccommodation and Meals:
We will spend two nights in a hotel, one in a mountain gite and one in a shared refuge. Our local operators generally prefer to select accommodation which is locally owned in order to support smaller businesses and their employees. This ensures that most income generated is reinvested into the area and the community. Where meals are supplied, seasonal, fresh food is used wherever possible. Most vegetables come from the region of Sous; meat is locally supplied by butchers and fruits can be found at markets or farms in the countryside. The main Moroccan dishes most people are familiar with are couscous, meat and vegetable tajines, fish chermoula and bocadillos, which are available from street stalls almost everywhere.
Local Craft and Culture:
On our final afternoon, there is free time in Marrakech to explore the wide variety of sites and activities in this major city. Clients are advised to head to the souks for souvenirs, take a ride in a traditional Caliche, or to visit the world renowned Marjorelle gardens. These tranquil gardens are decorated throughout in indigo blue and there is a small and charming museum of Islamic art in the grounds. In the evening, the Djemma el Fna central square comes alive with musicians, snake charmers, travelling acrobats and food stalls. This is the perfect opportunity to interact with local people, purchase locally produced handicrafts and to support small street vendors by trying authentic food. There will be other chances to do so on the trip at local markets, which are awash with bright images, animated characters and the smells and sounds of food being made and sold.
Campaigning for Change:
In conjunction with Baraka Community Partnerships, we have sponsored the development of a small village called Tijhza for many years with a variety of projects. These include supplying a pipeline system and water tower to the village and a toilet block for the school. Thanks to our volunteer groups, Tijhza now also has electricity and an annual medical clinic, which has had a hugely positive effect on the welfare of the village. More recently, we have achieved our aim of building a Hammam to alleviate some of the hygiene issues in the area and to provide a sustainable source income for many inhabitants. Unfortunately, devastating storms struck in November2014, leaving much of the village severely damaged. We were able to raise emergency funding to provide supplies and to re-build many of the homes affected.
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.