The Toubkal trek is an adventure to learn about the highest peak in Morocco and North Africa. In fact, at 4167 meters, Toubkal is a sublime peak of the Atlas range: climbing to the top of this peak is sure to leave you satisfied!
To successfully complete the Toubkal trek, one must first hire local guides. There are two solutions: contact the shelters directly (Les Mouflons, or CAF).Or join an organized tour, such as the Civitatis tour.. You need to book well in advance: in fact, Toubkal is a popular destination for both Moroccans and international mountain lovers!
The Toubkal trek begins from Aroumd, at an elevation of 1910 meters. This town lies just beyond Imlil and offers majestic views of the Toubkal. Aroumd is about an hour and a half drive from Marrakech: the road from Imlil to Aroumd is a real mountain road, definitely impressive!
In Aroumd there is passport control. The ascent to Toubkal begins! At first you walk across a rocky plateau, which does not make it easy to start walking. After about ten minutes, however, you take a typical mountain path that leads to Sidi Chamharouch. Here there is a pre-Islamic monastery that, because of its size, is visible from higher altitudes.
In addition, from Sidi Chamharouch it is possible to begin to see the Oued Rheraya River: this watercourse rises just above the refuges (thus at an elevation of 3,200 meters) and reaches Marrakech after a distance of about 60 kilometers.
The climb after Sidi Chamharouch becomes steeper, but never complicated. At an elevation of 3,000 meters the trail flattens out and you arrive like this,
After more than 1,200 meters of elevation gain, to the shelters (TRACK).
At the CAF shelter we eat very early: by 6 p.m., dinner, consisting of chicken and soup, was already served! The lights go out around 9:30 p.m., but by that time everyone has already gone to sleep. The CAF Toubkal shelter can accommodate about 200 people, and in the fall months it is almost always full: the same goes for the les mouflons shelter.
At 6 a.m. Silvia and I, a mountaineer with whom we shared the cost of the trip, set off for the summit with our guide Hassan. The steepest part of the climb, with gradients at times exceeding 40 percent, leads to the Tizi n’ Toubkal pass, located at an elevation of 3,950 meters. As early as 3,500 meters, however, we had already put on crampons: despite the unusual heat in October, temperatures were below freezing and we found plenty of snow on the trail. We arrived at the pass just in time to see the first light of dawn: spectacular!
The last few meters leading up to the pass are very steep and, in my opinion, the most difficult of the entire route. After the pass, in fact, the slopes descend and very gradually you reach the summit of Toubkal, at an altitude of 4,167 meters! The summit is characterized by a kind of pyramid: it is possible to admire the surrounding high mountains (there are as many as seven 4,000 nearby) and it is possible to see, 2,400 meters below, the small town of Aroumd, the starting base.
On the return, the same route is followed as on the outward journey. We arrived at the CAF shelter at 11 a.m. and had lunch before returning to Aroumd. By 3 p.m. our ascent to Toubkal was officially over: we left Aroumd at 1 p.m., so the mission lasted exactly 26 hours!
4 November, 2022