Marrakech to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco on a trek through the beautiful Azzaden Valley. Climb Mount Toubkal(4167m) is a true Berber Valleys adventure in 4 unforgettable days. Trek from Marrakech city and go deep into Villages of the ethnic Berber, a herding and forming community. Visit their homes and interact with a glimpse of their day-to-day living.
toubkal ascent & azzaden valley
Marrakech –Imi Oughlad –Tiziane:
At around 8:30 you will be picked-up from your accommodation in Marrakech city for a pleasant drive heading south, through the gorges of Tahanoute and Mouly Brahim, passing by the town of Asni and arriving at Imi Oughlad at 1450m. Meet up with the local Berber team, guide and muleteer crew and set off for a 3-hour acclimatization hike along mule tracks, surrounded by cornfields and Juniper trees. On the pass of Tizi N’Tachete ,through a beautiful forest of juniper, you will have a mixed- fabulous views of Imlil and Azzaden valleys. After that, you will hike down for a half an hour for your picnic under juniper trees. After lunch, you will set off following the path down to small traditional Berber villages before we arrive at one called Tiziane at 1750m, where we will spend the night.
Tizian – Tizi Oussem – Lepiney hut
After breakfast, we will start the day by hiking along the Azzaden valley through groves of walnut trees, fields of corn and barley, crossing the huts of sheep and goats. We will also see local people going to their daily activities like washing clothes in the river, cultivating the lands. We then continue by heading up till we reach Ighouliden waterfull, the highest waterfull in the Atlas Mountains. Afterthat, we will walk further for 1-hour uphill till we come into the Lipeney Refuge without forgetting to look back for more spectacular views of Azzaden valley.
Lepiney hut -TIZI AGUELZIM – TOUBKAL REFUGE
Today involves a hearty climb out of the Azzaden Valley to Toubkal refuge by zigzagging the mule tracks up to Tizi N’Aguelzim (3650m). A delicious picnic lunch will be taken here with spectacular views over the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. We then continue down southwest to Toubkal Refuge at 3207m where we will spend the night. Approx 6hours.
Toubkal Refuge- Toubkal Summit- Sidi Chamharouch – Imlil – Marrakech
Today starts with an early wake up for breakfast around 4:30 am.The ascent will begin at 5:00 am in order to escape from the heat and being on the top at the best time. Through our hiking uphill, we will stop a few times for a short break to have some water, orange and Moroccan nuts. Within 3-4 hours, you will be able to enjoy the magic views of Toubkal Summit and peaks over 4000m. Here, you will have the chance also to look at other valleys and Sahara direction. After that, we will descend down the same way to the Refuge after your admiration and meditation over the Atlas Mountains. After lunch, we will go back down to Imlil then transfer back to Marrakech.Approx 10 hours.
Mount Toubkal – Essential Info
At Mount Toubkal, the World we believe in, provides our clients with the best services and key to the enjoyment of any holiday in our opinion, it is the balanced and up-to-date information offered by the tour operator. We are confident that the items detailed below when taken in conjunction with a reputable and reliable guide book will enhance your Trekking experience as well as ensuring you receive the very best service from Mount Toubkal, the World in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
M-T : STAFF
It is important that our staff in our Mount Toubkal office have experienced the wonder of High Atlas Mountains Trekking and are able to answer many of your important questions.
Mohamed, for example, has trekked in the Toubkal and Berber regions and visited many of the places included on our hiking itineraries has also made it to the top of Jebel Toubkal – many of the photos on our web site were taken by him and his travelling companions on his various trips to the region.
M-T : GUIDES
All Mount Toubkal guides are fully licenced and are experienced from an early age in the Atlas Mountains areas, and guiding continues to be the heart and soul of who we are. We require that all of our guides undergo extensive safety training before officially joining us a mountain guide /or winter guide, local knowledge and guiding abilities. We believe that a local, licenced guide will offer more insight into the High Atlas region and Berber people as well as enhancing the local economy.
As well as a tip (see below) if you have had a great experience with your guide , you may wish to offer him something of yours that will assist his duties.
Please be guided by your guide’s expert advice on difficult or exposed paths and please respect the prayers of your guide and muleteers – they will usually do this outside of walking times so as not to interrupt your hiking.
M-T : MULETEERS & MULES & LUGGAGE
Your team of muleteers, along with mules, will vary in number depending upon the size of your group and whether you are camping or staying in guesthouse/refuge but they will all perform the same function which is to provide a full back up service for your hike, cook and prepare meals and set up the evening camp.
The mule team will load up your luggage, food and, if relevant, the camping equipment at the start of each day but will not always walk either at the same time, pace or route as your hiking party .So, it is important that you consider which items you may require to carry yourself in the morning and then again in the afternoon as on some days you may only meet up at lunch-time.
The mules are completely used to carrying the loads and it is not unusual for them to carry in excess of 80 kgs each which is equally balanced in two baskets. The muleteers take great care in both hygiene and presentation of your food and perform wonders with such limited conditions.
We recommend you take your trekking luggage in a large holdall or rucksack which can perhaps be folded up inside your main luggage if you are also travelling around Atlas Mountains and wish to have the security of your usual suitcase(s). You should also take a suitable day pack which will carry drinking water, camera, hat, raincoat, etc. as you may not be in direct contact with your support team at all times during the day.
In winter , much of the region above 2500m can be snow-covered and hiking in these areas could require the use of crampons and ice axes. High winds and precipitation in whatever form may preclude some routes and this will be discussed before you set out or can be modified at any time with the advice of your guide.
We will maintain our programme of trekking during the holy month of Ramadan but we would ask you to respect your team by allowing them the courtesy of eating an early breakfast (before sunrise) and to avoid, where possible, drinking, smoking and snacking immediately in front of them during the day – they will of course prepare the usual lunch though as part of their duties.
It is important to drink lots of water during your hike; water can be purchased in Marrakech before you set off or in Imlil. It is also possible to obtain water from small kiosks in many villages and from the trailhead of Imi Ourghlad and at the Toubkal refuge. You will need to carry some of this by yourself but your mules will carry some more. Please , discuss with your guide the water requirements on a regular basis.
Breakfast – tea, coffee,juice,fruit, milk, bread, butter, jam, cheese, porridge,
Picnic lunch – fresh Moroccan salad, cheese, slicing sausage, tinned tuna fish and sardines, bread, fruit, mint tea (pasta, beans, potatoes and rice can also be included).
Dinner – Soup,Tajine (chicken or mutton with vegetables), spaghetti, cous cous (main courses rotate depending on duration of trek .You are also more likely to get couscous on a Friday), bread, coffee, tea, cake, fruit.
* Vegetarians, vegans and those with special dietary requirements of any kind need to advise at time of reservation.
Naturally, tipping is an entirely personal matter and a little goes a long way in Morocco; however, we are always asked for a little guidance. So, here is what we would consider as fair, amounts refer to your guide, a smaller amount can be given to your muleteer team:
1-3 days hiking –150 dhs per person total
4-7 days hiking – 200 dhs per person total
7 days + hiking – 250 dhs per person total
Of course, you can offer more if you wish; tips are usually held and then passed over during a handshake to avoid any embarrassment or undue attention to the matter.
GRADING OF HIKES
Whilst, we try to ensure that our descriptions are accurate for most people wishing to undertake hiking in the Atlas Mountains, clearly, there are many differing factors that contribute to the difficulty of a particular hike.
These include the length of day, terrain, altitude and weather conditions. Since these factors are necessarily variable, any system of grades can only provide a general indication.
We have tried to make our system as clear as possible but it cannot account for personal abilities or experience.
CLIMBING MOUNT TOUBKAL
The hike to the top of this peak which is almost 960m up from the refuge will usually take at least 3 hrs and start at 5am followed by a fairly hard 2-3 hrs walk down amongst the loose rocks by another route where possible. It is essential that you are fully prepared for what is for many people a demanding walk. Try to get a good sleep the night before and a good breakfast (plus a Mars bar!) before setting off.
You are likely to need warm clothes all year round and strong boots are essential, even in summer a warm hat would be useful as well as some protection from the wind. If you climb down the northern route then look out for the wreckage of a plane which hit Toubkal in bad weather in the early 1960s, purported to be carrying guns from Portugal.
It is vitally important that you respect the mountain environment; litter, in particular, is damaging the landscape and can injure animals. Please, please, please take all your litter home or drop it off at suitable points.
Mount Toubkal guiding teams are proud guardians of their natural heritage and will ensure that rubbish is collected and either taken out or burned where possible. In fact , our guiding teams have been known to take a few extra minutes to collect and burn the rubbish of groups that were not so environmentally sensitive. Some organic matter can be left as much of it will be eaten by the local goats.
Berber tea house
The Accommodation will be in a Berber guesthouse will be simple and basic but has beds with foam mattresses. The food will be cooked by the Mount Toubkal Expedition cook who is traveling with you.
Camping is an option if prefered (june-Octo).
We provide modern igloo-style tents that sleep two persons each; they are of various sizes so ideally we would like to be advised in advance if any of your party is particularly tall (6 ft or over). So that, we can provide the most suitable tents for all groups.
Along with the sleeping tents, we also provide one or more large
traditional Berber tents for cooking, eating and socialising which make your
camp a little bit special.
NB : If accommodation is required in the Atlas Mountains either before or after the trek, we can always book you at our Imlil Refuge or at our Riad Dar Bab Toubkal in Armed village.
The refuge is simple but offers warm showers, a few western toilets and a warm lounge with electric lighting in which to read or chat with your fellow hikers. There is a full kitchen for your team to cook in and a couple of dining areas. Please note that boots must not be worn in the refuge. So, sandals, shoes or flip flops should be taken to keep your feet (and socks) warm, dry and clean.
Clothing and Equipment
You should dress according to altitude and the environment you will be located in. Most treks are in high altitude climates in remote areas. Therefore, there are often large temperature swings. Temperatures are often colder at high altitudes.
Clothing for Trekking
- Trekking boots or light weight walking shoes. Having comfortable footwear is essential for a good trek. Make sure all footwear is broken in well prior to your trek. Do not break in boots on your trek,
- A track suit and a pair of track shoes to wear in the Berber tea house and camp at night,
- Two pairs of woolen socks for trekking shoes and track shoes,
- Warm down jacket and rain proof jacket with hood for protection from rain,
- Woolen hat for the cold and sun hat or cap for sunny days
- A pair of woolen gloves and a pair sandals to wear in Berber tea houses or camp,
- Two cotton T-shirts and two pairs of long shorts/skirts
- Woolen shirts and thick sweaters as well as wind and water proof trousers,
- Pair of light or heavy weight trouser and one light weight long sleeve shirt,
- Two pairs of thermal undergarments,
Equipments for Trekking
- Trekking or duffle bag to carry trekking gear. Mount Toubkal can provide a duffle bag for you to borrow during your trek. This will be returned after your trek,
- Trekking daypack for personal items such as water, snacks, extra layers and camera,
- Water purification tablet and bottles,
- Sleeping bag,
- Travel Pillow,
- sun glasses,
- walking poles,
- Small torch light or head lamp with spare batteries,
- Sun block,
- Lip balm with sunblock in it,
- handkerchief or wiping papers,
- Money belt,
- first-aid kit,
Trekking equipments are available at Imlil Center. Mount-Toubkal can recommend shops for you to purchase equipment. If you do not wish to buy equipment, you can easily hire or rent them for the duration of your trek with reasonable prices.
- Round-trip Transportation between the trek and your accommodation in Marrakech.
- Expert summer guide, English-speaking
- Mules and muleteers to carry your luggage.
- Berber Cook
- All meals on the trek
- Accommoadtion in the Atlas Mountains.
- Travel insurance.
- Soft/alcoholic drinks
- Tips and personal expanses