A short trip to the Atlas mountains to experience a different culture and climbing a high mountain. This really is the perfect trip for someone who has never done big mountains before. The Mouflon Refuge offers a good base for going light and fast on summit day. We aim to carry our own equipment and not rely on porters and mules. Stripping down to the bare essentials and arriving at the Mouflon under our own efforts feels like an achievement and is a good preparation and training for harder high altitude trips which may be more remote and require self-sufficiency.
This trip is easily a success – we get the sun, the sweat, the impressions of a Northern African culture, and most of all, the achievement of the summit.
Day 1 – Flights to Morocco and transfer to Imlil. Overnight in Dar Adrar.
Early morning flight to Morocco. From the airport, we take our transfers to Imlil in the heart of the Atlas Mountains. We watch with excitement as the dusty plains around Marrakech are replaced by terracotta and sandy coloured mountains, small clay-built hamlets and green riverbeds for grazing cattle. The road winds up on narrow A-bends to reach our final altitude of 1,200 meters. There are traders along the road selling crystals and tagines, old men with mules and farmers in the fields collecting walnuts and cutting grass for the animals with sickles. We arrive in Imlil, a small village sheltered by walnut trees and the huge Atlas Mountains. A mule carries our luggage up to our accommodation, Dar Adrar, where we step out on the terrace for a first sip of mint tea and a look at the surrounding mountains. Bread, tea and tagine for dinner and we’re off to bed.
Day 2 – Hike Imlil to Tazaghart refuge at 3000m.
The route today is via the Tizi Mzik, the path roughly contouring above the Assif n Ouarzane. It wanders along steep mountain slopes, through woods, past a number of Azib’s (summer refuges for shepherds), steeply up past the Cascade d’Irhoulidene, and finally a slog up to the hut. With a 2,800 meter ascent, this is a tough day and we make sure to take it slow and steady. Along the way, we pass a number of Moroccan cafes, small huts built along the paths where we can buy cans, tea and oranges.
Day 3 – Tazaghart refuge to the Mouflon refuge.
Today we make our way through the valleys and over passes to the Mouflon refuge located at the start of the ascent to the summit of Toubkal. It is at an altitude of 3200 meters and offers showers, large dormitories with bunkbeds and a comfortable group room where we have dinner and breakfast.
Day 4 – Ascent of Mt Toubkal.
Today is our summit day. We pack light, leaving everything that isn’t needed for the ascent in the Refuge. We get our packed lunches from the Mouflon and set out to tackle the first steep slope of the route to the summit. The ascent is tough but not technical – and it is only 1000 meters to the top – less height gain than we did on the first day of hiking! The path soon levels out to reach a flatter section before leading up to the summit ridge. From now on, we are more exposed to the conditions on the mountain and it is still about an hour’s hike to reach the summit via a broad ridge scattered with small boulders, rock and gravel. Lunch, photos and a short rest on top, before we return to the refuge via a choice of routes to pick up our equipment. We return through the valley to Imlil from where we get our transfers to Marrakech. In the evening we have time for a celebratory dinner either at our accommodation or in the city and for exploring the main square and the Souks.
Day 5 – Flights back to the UK.
Breakfast and morning transfer to the airport for our flights back to the UK.
Equipment is one of the areas we get the most questions on. Once you are signed up for the trip we will send you a kit list which explains thoroughly what you need. This trip requires generic trekking equipment – no specialist equipment is needed. For your personal equipment, we are able to offer advice on choosing the best kit, most of which we can order in for you at good discount prices.
The food we get on this expedition is prepared by cooks in the refuges. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners in the refuges are included in the trip package. The food consists of basic local cuisine: flatbreads, tagines, couscous and oranges for dessert. Bottled water and additional snacks are available to buy in the refuges.
Please let us know in advance if you have special needs or concerns regarding food or nutrition, we will do our best to help.
Training and Preparation
The first trip to high altitude can be a worry, especially in terms of acclimatisation. During the hike up the valley from Imlil you are likely to feel out of breath and even slightly dizzy, as well as on the last leg towards the summit. The timescale of this trip is short, but still allows enough time for acclimatisation. We are here to answer your questions on acclimatising and provide support before the start of the expedition to make sure that all team members are as best prepared as possible.
Guide-Client ratio is a maximum 1:9. Our teams carry a satellite phone and a Personal Locator Beacon which sends out a signal via satellite to identify the approximate position of the party. The infrastructure of the valley is good with mules and porters going up to the Mouflons refuge, which allows for a quick exit and good backup if needed.
What is included
- Accommodation – Marrakesh and refuges
- All expedition meals
- Medical safety equipment and supplies
- All in-country transfers
- Expedition team leader
- Access to our RMS team of doctors
What is not included
- Travel to and from UK airport
- International flights and taxes
- Personal equipment
- Travel insurance
- Drinks, snacks, personal spending money
- Meals in Marrakech
- Tips for local staff
Flights are not included as part of the trip price and have to be booked individually, however, we are happy to give advice on best flight times.
Booking – What happens next
- The Booking reserves you a place on the trip. Cancellation is possible inline with our Booking Terms and Conditions.
- You will receive a confirmation of booking and further details about the trip, including a complete equipment list.
- We will need you to fill in a Client Booking form for our records, regarding any health issues, your experience, insurance and next of kin details.
We can organise this expedition on a ‘tailor-made’ private basis for groups of friends, families, clubs, charities or any other group. Please contact us to discuss the itinerary and your preferred dates. We will then send you a quote, with no obligation.
You will need a travel insurance policy that caters for the activities you will undertake on your trip with Mammut Mountain School. It is a requirement of our booking conditions that you have such a policy. For advice on best policies get in touch.