Why trek to Mount Toubkal?
Why go on a trekking holiday to Mount Toubkal in Morocco?
Toubkal provides the focus for lots of amazing Moroccan adventure holidays, its ascent adding that all-important ‘frisson' of excitement and sense of achievement to a number of great treks. The mountain's location is also a big part of its attraction and no-one travelling to this region can fail to be blown away by the ‘Arabian Nights' city of Marrakech, with its nightly Djema el-Fna spectacle, labyrinth of souks and fantastic cuisine.
"Marrakesh is simply the nicest place on Earth to spend an afternoon" Winston Churchill
The magical walled city of Marrakech was one of Churchill's favourite places and the spectacular High Atlas Mountains, inspired him to paint some of his finest watercolours and it's easy to see why. Extending 1600km through Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, the high point of this range and the highest peak in all of North Africa, is Jebel Toubkal at 4167m. Lying 60 kilometres south of Marrakech, and clearly visible from there, the key to Toubkal's attraction is its sheer accessibility and the fact that to stand on the highest point in North Africa offers an unforgettable highpoint.
Toubkal can be climbed all year round and any reasonably fit and prepared person can reach the summit of this non-technical peak. The reward is an unrivalled panorama of the High Atlas Mountains and the opportunity to spend time with the charming Berber people who make their homes in the high valleys of the Atlas Mountains.
The most popular approach is to follow a dramatic trekking route heading south from the village of Imlil (1740m), easily reached from Marrakech. The route from Imlil cuts through the Atlas Mountains via Aroumd and the shrine at Sidi Chamharouch to a pair of mountain refuges at 3207m. Nestled in the valley and known as Toubkal base camp, it's from here, the ascent of Toubkal begins. A zig-zag route ascends to a high mountain bowl that is overshadowed by rugged outlying peaks and holds patches of snow until late in the year. Once reached, the Toubkal summit is famously crowned by a distinctive 4 metre high tetra pod - perfect for those all-important summit shots!
During the summer, the ascent of Toubkal is nothing more than a trek, steep in places, but otherwise straightforward and non-technical. In the winter, when the mountain is usually snow covered, crampons and a single ice-axe are required and previous experience of winter mountaineering, whilst not essential, is helpful.