Mount Mgoun in Winter

A winter ascent of the highest peak in Morocco`s Central Atlas




From $1,300 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • A trekking holiday offering more of an expedition experience
  • The hospitality and remoteness of the Berber`s `Happy Valley`
  • Overnight in trek gites and the Tarkeddit mountaineering refuge
  • Time to explore the spectacular waterfalls of Ouzoud

The Atlas range of mountains is the largest in all Africa, extending through Morocco for some 500 kilometres north-east to south-west and characterised by steep sided valleys, rocky peaks, and the picturesque terracotta-coloured villages of the Berber people. From November to April, the snow-covered peaks of the Atlas provide a fantastic range of options for the winter hillwalker. The winter ascent of Mgoun takes us away from the crowded area around Toubkal to an unspoilt and less visited region of the Central Atlas. Starting in the warm climes and irrigated farmland of the Bougmez, known as ‘The Happy Valley', we will experience the friendliness and hospitality of the Berber people before heading up above the snow line, crossing the Tizi n' Oughri (3400m) to the Tarkeddit Refuge. From here, we make the challenging ascent of Mgoun (4068m), Morocco's third highest summit, but the second highest summit outside of the Toubkal massif. The summit offers a fabulous 360 degree panorama including range upon range of Atlas peaks and the endless desert expanse to the south. We return to the Bougmez Valley for a night and then this superb trip concludes with a drive back to Marrakech, visiting the spectacular waterfalls at Ouzoud. Although this trekking holiday involves negotiating easy-angled snow slopes there is no technical climbing involved and while an ice-axe and crampons will be used, previous experience of winter mountaineering is not required but is recommended. Fully guided this is a short, challenging and very special winter walking break.


The Secret of Our Success on Mgoun.

We've been taking our clients walking, trekking and mountaineering for almost thirty years so we know the ingredients of a good guide!  Although the mountain is neither particularly high nor technically demanding the experience and knowledge of our Moroccan leaders can make a big difference to your chances of success when attempting Mgoun, a fantastically remote peak, especially in winter. Those who are new to off the beaten track trekking will take particular comfort in the presence of our experienced Moroccan guides, who we believe are the best in the business.

Is this holiday for you?

The maximum altitude attained on this Moroccan trekking holiday is not great and we start out with an easy day of trekking in the valley above Agouti. Then, moving up to the Tarkeddit Refuge and climbing the peak itself, involves 3 long days of trekking on moderately-angled snow slopes. Some familiarity with the use of crampons and an ice axe are recommended for this trip but previous experience of technical mountaineering is not required. The ascent of Mgoun in full winter conditions will present a challenge even to regular winter hikers, especially if there is unconsolidated snow.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Marrkech. Transfer from Marrkech Airports are provided.
  • Drive to the breathtaking Bougmez Valley. Afternoon walk in the surrounding area.
  • Morning trek through the Arous Valley to Azib Ikkis. Afternoon introduction to winter skills.
  • Trek to Tarkeddit Refuge via the Tilibiyt n’Tarkeddit High Plateau.
  • Early start for the spectacular ascent of Mgoun (4068m). Return to the Tarkeddit Refuge.
  • Return trek to Agouti via the Tizi N`Oughri (3400m).
  • Drive to Marrakech via the stunning Ouzoud waterfalls.
  • Departure Day. Transfers to Marrakech Airport are provided.
Sat 06 Feb - Sat 13 Feb Code MGW /01/16/ Adult$1,300 Status Available Book now
Sat 13 Feb - Sat 20 Feb Code MGW /02/16/ Adult$1,300 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sat 05 Mar - Sat 12 Mar Code MGW /03/16/ Adult$1,300 Status Available Book now
Sat 26 Mar - Sat 02 Apr Code MGW /04/16/ Adult$1,300 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
Sat 28 Jan - Sat 04 Mar Code MGW /01/17/ Adult$1,300 Status Available Book now
Sat 11 Feb - Sat 18 Feb Code MGW /02/17/ Adult$1,300 Status Available Book now
Sat 04 Mar - Sat 11 Mar Code MGW /03/17/ Adult$1,300 Status Available Book now
Sat 25 Mar - Sat 01 Apr Code MGW /04/17/ Adult$1,300 Status Available Book now
We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis and recommend that you book your flights to Marrakech Airport, which is approximately 15 minutes drive away from the group hotel in downtown Marrakech. Please refer to the 'Joining Arrangements and Transfers' section of the holiday dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

If flying from the UK there are a number of low cost airlines offering flights to Marrakech. These include Easyjet who have flights from London, Manchester & Glasgow, Thomson Airways who have flights from London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol & Glasgow and Ryanair who have flights from London. Click on the 'Flight information' link below for further information on booking low cost airlines. Alternatively if you would prefer to book a 'flight inclusive package' using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • trip direction
  • peaks
  • trek
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Marrkech. Transfer from Marrkech Airports are provided.

    On arrival in Marrakech you will be met by a KE representative who will assist with the short transfer to the group hotel in the city. Depending on your flight arrival time, after settling in you may have the opportunity to do a little exploration. Marrakech is a friendly city and quite easy to get around and most people head for the central square of the Djemaa-el-Fna beneath the imposing tower of the Koutoubia Mosque. KE Land Only package services begin with the evening meal taken at the group hotel or a nearby restaurant. The trip leader will give a briefing during dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Drive to the breathtaking Bougmez Valley. Afternoon walk in the surrounding area.

    After breakfast in the hotel we load our bags onto the transport and begin the journey to the Central Atlas. In a short time we’re beyond the Marrakech hustle and bustle and travelling on good roads through the
    farmlands of the Moroccan countryside. Arriving in the Bougmez Valley, a green oasis in an otherwise arid, craggy and starkly beautiful region, we stop at the village of Agouti (1780m). Here we have lunch and check in at our comfortable gite base. In the afternoon there is the opportunity for a short exploration walk in the surrounding area.

    • Accommodation Gite / Hostel

    • Ascent 600m

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • Morning trek through the Arous Valley to Azib Ikkis. Afternoon introduction to winter skills.

    We set off into the Mgoun massif by following the river as it meanders through fields and walnut groves, past small farms and traditional village gradually ascending to Arous. Above this village we pass several ‘azibs’,
    small stone shelters built by Berber herdsmen for the summer grazing. Near Azib Ikkis we reach the newly built gite at around 2300m. After lunch we have the afternoon to fit snowshoes and look at some winter

    • Accommodation Gite / Hostel

    • Ascent 600m

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • Trek to Tarkeddit Refuge via the Tilibiyt n’Tarkeddit High Plateau.

    From the gite we steadily rise and traverse towards the col known as Tizi-m-Oumskiyg (2910m). The river gradually peters out as we enter the higher mountain scenery of the Central Atlas. We take a welcome rest at the col before bearing left and upwards towards the ridge-line above. We continue along the ridge to a second col known as Tizi n’Oughri (3400m), from where we have spectacular views of Mgoun. We now aescend towards the high plateau of Tilibiyt n’Tarkeddit, overlooking the Tessaout Valley. In the summer this is a strikingly green oasis surrounded by spectacular rock formations and the high pastures here are used
    frequently by Berber herdsmen. After a descent of 500 metres we reach the Tarkeddit Refuge, our home for the next two nights and check in. The hut provides basic accommodation for mountaineers with outside toilet
    facilities and a single wood-burning stove.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 1000m

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 500m

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs trekking

  • Early start for the spectacular ascent of Mgoun (4068m). Return to the Tarkeddit Refuge.

    A predawn start is required today and we gain height steadily, at first by headtorch, onto the lower slopes of the mountain. This straightforward route, crossing easy angled snow slopes with the odd rocky section first
    climbs the ridge of subsidiary peak Mgoun Oest (3978m). After approximately 4 hours we gain the stunning ridge-line leading to Mgoun and shortly afterwards the summit comes into view. The final ascent is quite narrow along the ridge, which drops away steeply on both sides.
    There are stunning views all around us. To the south the Jebel Sahro region frames the edge of the Sahara beyond, and southwest we can see the Toubkal range in the distance. Looking back to the north our route of
    yesterday is clear, dipping into the Bougmez Valley and the Draa region. A further 2 hours of steady work, undulating along the ridge brings us to the cairned summit of Mgoun itself (4068m). After the obligatory summit photos we begin our descent returning to the refuge where we spend a second night.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 1500m

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1500m

    • Time 11 - 12 hrs trekking

  • Return trek to Agouti via the Tizi N`Oughri (3400m).

    Leaving the refuge we climb back up to the Tizi n’Oughri (3400m) where we can look back at Mgoun and clearly trace our route of the previous day. Now it is mostly downhill all the way to the to the village of Ait Said at the head of the Bougmez Valley and from here, it is an easy walk of an hour to reach the gite at Agouti where we can enjoy a welcome shower.

    • Accommodation Gite / Hostel

    • Ascent 500m

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1600m

    • Time 7 hrs trekking

  • Drive to Marrakech via the stunning Ouzoud waterfalls.

    We drive back to Marrakech today. The first hour of the drive, in clear weather, gives us great views of the Mgoun massif which we have just walked in. After 2-3 hours drive we stop off at the Ouzoud waterfalls above the village of Tanaghmeilt. The falls are accessed by a pleasant path which wends its way through olive groves (Ouzoud is the Berber word for olives). The falls which are 110 metres high are quite spectacular, dropping in a series of separate cascades o ver ochre rock into a verdant gorge. We will have our lunch at a small estaurant at the top of the falls before continuing to Marrakech where we check into our hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure Day. Transfers to Marrakech Airport are provided.

    KE group package services end after breakfast. For those clients with evening flights, the remainder of the day is free to explore the streets, souks and colourful sights of Marrakech. A popular option is to simply sit
    and watch the world go by from one of the restaurants overlooking the Djemma el-Fna. Complimentary Airport transfers are provided.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • A professional KE leader
  • Marrakech Airport transfers (on Day 1 & 8 only)
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as indicated in the holiday dossier
  • Meals as per the Meal Plan
  • Mules or porters to transport personal equipment to the refuge

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees (if applicable)
  • Meals as per the Meal Plan
  • Tips for staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

All clients travelling to Marrakech on day 1 of the Land Only itinerary will be met at the airport by a local KE representative who will arrange the transfer to the group hotel. Clients must inform the KE office of their flight details and should let us know if a transfer is not required. Clients intending to make their own transfer arrangements at Marrakech Airport should note that taxis are available outside the arrivals hall at all times. The standard fare to the city in a "petit taxi" should be around 50 dirham though you may have to pay a little more if arriving late at night. The airport is approximately 4 miles from the city and the journey takes 10 - 15 minutes. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

During this trip the group will spend 2 nights at a standard tourist class hotel in Marrakech. We will also have 2 nights at a comfortable gite (trekkers lodge) with hot showers in the village of Agouti, 1 night at a newly built gite (trekkers lodge) near Azib Ikkis and 2 nights at the Tarkeddit refuge at the foot of Mgoun. The accommodation in Marrakech is twin share. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. Single rooms are available for a supplementary cost. Accommodation in the gite at Agouti is in dormitories with separate bathrooms and hot showers. This gite is very comfortable and clean. Accommodation in the refuges is dormitory style in bunk beds. These are basic mountain refuges with a fireplace and outside toilets. Hot water is sometimes available depending on weather conditions. (heating is via solar energy). Additional hotel nights in Marrakech are also available.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

The meals provided will be a mixture of local and international dishes. Breakfasts are continental style, with tea and coffee, orange juice, cereals including muesli, bread, jam, honey and cheese. A morning snack is also provided and this usually consists of a piece of fruit (apple, orange), together with Moroccan 'trail mix' of dried figs and dates, peanuts, sugar coated peanuts and other nuts. Lunch usually starts with the Berber speciality of mint tea, followed by a buffet of rice, pasta or cous cous, with a freshly prepared salad - onion, tomatoes, green peppers, grated carrot, green beans, with tinned sweetcorn or peas added. Hard and soft cheeses, tinned fish, olives, biscuits and bread are also on the lunchtime menu. Dinner starts off with soup and bread. The main course is usually rice, pasta, cous-cous, spaghetti or chips, with a vegetable stew (or tagine) consisting of some of the following - onion, potato, carrot, green pepper, zucchini, turnip, parsnip. green beans, peas. There will be some meat (usually chicken, lamb or beef). All dishes come with traditional sauces which are rarely (spicy) hot. Desserts usually consist of fruit, some fresh but more likely tinned, including pineapple, apricot, pears, peaches or mixed. To round off dinner, there is the usual range of hot drinks. Whilst staying in Marrakech we will take our meals in the hotel or at local restaurants. While staying in the gite in Agouti meals will be provided by the gite. In the refuge we have a trek cook.

All meals are included in the trip price, from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8.

Approximately £150 (or equivalent in US dollars or Euros) should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including approx £40 for tips for your trek crew. It will also be sufficient to cover the meals not included in Marrakech, soft drinks, snacks, and lunches in Marrakech if you should happen to arrive early in the day or depart late in the day. Marrakech is a great place for souvenir buying and all major credit cards are accepted. If you are intending to buy expensive items, you should budget accordingly. It is not necessary to purchase Moroccan currency (Dirham) outside the country. You can withdraw money in local currency from ATM’s in Marrakech or your travel money can be carried in the form of cash or travellers cheques. (Sterling and US dollars are easily exchanged but note that travellers cheques are more difficult to exchange and attract a higher rate of commission). Credit cards can be used to purchase goods and it is a good idea to carry one in case of emergency.

The group will be accompanied by an experienced professional English-speaking guide throughout the trip. We will have the assistance of mules and/or porters to carry our equipment up to the refuge.

Tipping is the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ for good service. Tips do not form part of the wages of your trek crew but they are very much appreciated. It is important to remember that tipping is voluntary and should be dependent on good service. Normally the tips are given at the end of the trek and this is best done as a group. Your trek leader will give you help and advice on this. As a guide, we recommend that each group member contributes around £40 (in dirhams) to these tips (a little more for smaller groups of 6 or less).

On the trek to the Tarkeddit Refuge your personal equipment will be carried by porters and mules. During this part of the trip your baggage should not weigh more than 15kg. Items not required for this part of the trip can be left at the gite in Agouti. Travel clothes can also be left at the group hotel in Marrakech. We recommend that you bring a fold away bag for this purpose.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 3500 metres. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude on our website which can be viewed via the link below. You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

No visa is required for travel to Morocco by the holders of the following passports: United Kingdom, United States of America or Australia. Please note that your passport must be valid for at least six months after your date of entry to Morocco and that this entitles you to stay in the country for up to three months. Holders of passports not on the above list should contact the Kingdom of Morocco visa information service to see if a visa is required. (Most people will find that no visa is required).

We do keep our information up to date but be advised visa requirements are subject to change. It is recommended that you contact the relevant commission in the case of recent alterations.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. Please remember that you need to keep the weight of your equipment to a maximum of 15 kg. – 33 lbs

You must bring the following items:

  • 4 season mountaineering boots capable of taking crampons (Boots need to be in good condition)
  • Gaiters
  • Trainers / sneakers / Sandals (for use in the hut)
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Trekking trousers/pants
  • Waterproof and breathable jacket
  • Waterproof overtrousers / rainpants
  • Long johns (thermal underwear)
  • Base layer shirts or T-shirts
  • Fleece jacket
  • Warm jacket (down)
  • Sunhat or cap
  • Fleece hat
  • Eyewear – Sunglasses
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips) Factor 20+
  • Warm Inner ‘thermal’ gloves or mittens
  • Waterproof over-mittens
  • Earplugs (especially if you are not the one doing the snoring)
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Small travel towel
  • Antibacterial hand wash
  • Small padlock (to lock your KE kit bag)
  • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)
  • Daypack 40 litres / 2500 cu in with ice axe loop
  • Headtorch/headlamp with spare batteries
  • Trekking poles x 2 with snow baskets
  • Water bottles 1 Litre / 2 pint (x2) Please note that the tube on camelback / platypus type systems can be prone to freezing up in cold conditions)
  • Toilet roll
  • Water purification tablets
  • 4 season sleeping bag*
  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

Mountaineering Equipment:

  • Mountaineering ice-axe* (50 – 70 cm or as preferred)
  • Crampons with front points*

The following items are optional:

  • Spare laces
  • Thermos flask
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Pocket knife (remember to pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Repair kit (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Camera, media equipment, spare batteries
  • Travel clothes
  • Wet wipes – biodegradable (note that water for washing can be scarce at the Tarkeddit refuge)


  • KE will provide snowshoes for this trip if the conditions dictate they need to be used. They are stored in Morocco and can be used with any 4 season mountaineering boots. It is recommended that you have 2 trekking poles to use in conjunction with the snowshoes. You still need to bring along ice axe and crampons. The leader will decide on each of the 3 days on Mgoun whether to use ice axe and crampons, or snowshoes and poles, depending on the snow conditions.
  • Equipment Hire:
  • Items marked * can be hired / rented through KE Adventure Travel. Please make all requests at least 6 weeks prior to the trip departure date as there is a limited supply. Mattresses are provided in the gites and refuges. We cannot hire/rent out mountaineering boots or down jackets. Cotton clothing is not suitable for the conditions found in the mountains of Morocco in Winter

PHD Gear Advisor

  • PHD specialise in cold weather equipment, from the world’s lightest right up to the most protective for Everest or the Poles. It’s a large range so to help you choose what you need to keep you warm, PHD have listed the gear that is appropriate for this expedition.
  • >>

Needle Sports (specialist mountaineering equipment shop)

  • Needle Sports is the English Lake District's foremost specialist climbing shop supplying mountaineering, rock, ice, alpine and expedition equipment worldwide. Internationally recognised as among the very best of the UK's top technical climbing gear retailers. They have a good range of equipment appropriate for this trip and offer knowledgeable advice both on their website and in store.
  • View >>

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa Morocco

UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa for short stays.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking or climbing trip getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. For this trip you need to be aerobically fit and also comfortable with walking up to 8 or 9 hours each day. We would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime. Jogging, cycling and/or swimming are good for developing stamina. Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country. We also recommend that you gain some experience of walking in winter conditions wearing crampons.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

It is pleasantly warm during the day in Marrakech in the winter months of November through to April with daytime temperatures to reach a 20 - 22°C, dropping to 7 – 10°C at night. Once we are on trek and we start to gain height, we can expect the temperatures to be rather lower, with daytime temperatures in the range of 10 to 15°C. At night, outside the refuge the temperature will drop to around -5°C. From Arous we are likely to encounter snow. As in all mountain regions, short lived storms do occur and in winter these can bring quite heavy snowfall.

Lonely Planet Guide – Morocco. The Rough Guide to Morocco. Mountaineering in the Moroccan High Atlas. Des Clark. (Cicerone Press). Trekking in the Moroccan Atlas. Richard Knight (Trailblazer Publications) Moroccan Arabic phrasebook. Lonely Planet. Dan Bacon

Ighil Mgoun, Editorial Piolet. 1:60,000

Ighil Mgoun range in the central part of Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains on a detailed, GPS compatible, contoured map at 1:60,000 from Editorial Piolet, Contours at 20m intervals are enhanced by bold relief shading, with numerous spot heights and names of valleys, etc. The map is centred on Tabant and shows local roads, track and trails, including the ascent routes to the peaks. Symbols mark locations of refuges, hotels and gîtes d’etape, information centres and medical assistance facilities, ski and climbing areas, etc. The map has a UTM grid. Map legend and accompanying text include English.

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