Is a mountain peak in southwestern Morocco, located in
the Toubkal National Park. At 4167 metres (13,671 ft),
it is the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains and in North
Africa. The mountain is located approximately 63 km south
of the city of Marrakesh.
first ascents of Toubkal were most likely by Berber tribesman
during hunting trips long before recorded ascents began.
The first recorded ascent by Europeans was on 12 June
1923 by two Frenchmen Marquis de Segonzac, Vincent Berger,
and Hubert Dolbeau. The
height of the mountain was recorded in 1924, and the summit
pyramid, which is a trigonometrical signal, was built
key climbing seasons
can be made throughout the year, though it's normal for
the ground to be snow covered from November until May.
During these months crampons and axes are advisable. Even
in the summer, temperatures can be well below freezing
above 3500m, and therefore good boots and waterproofs
are required throughout the year, and trekking poles are
invaluable for the scree. Most trekkers usually approach
the mountain from the road-end village of Imlil, using
mules and porters to carry equipment and food supplies
higher into the mountains.
on Mount Toubkal
normal route starts with an easy walk to the village of
Aroumd, then across a floodplain before the route follows
the left slope of the valley southwards. The valley bends
to the east to the tiny settlement of Sidi Chamharouch,
with the path leading over the stream and steeply uphill
to the right side of the Isougouane valley, which leads
to two stone-built refuges (old Neltner Refuge and new
Refuge du Toubkal). More information on both refuges can
be found below.
From the refuges, the path crosses a stream and then climbs
a steep scree slope to the east and enters a valley, then
climbs another steep slope to reach a col (Tizi'n'Toubkal
at 3,940m). At the col the route turns left (northwards)
to the summit ridge of Jbel Toubkal. The 4,167m summit
is crowned pyramidal metal frame from which the views
are amazing across the mountains to Marrakech to the north,
and the start of the Sahara to the south.
Summer Ascent of Toubkal
of the route during the summer (from May) is non-technical
yet moderately difficult, only complicated by steep and
slippery scree slopes and altitude sickness. Sturdy boots
and proper (windproof) clothing are required, and trekking
poles are helpful on the scree. An ice-axe may be needed
on the remaining snowfields in the early summer. In summer
the mountains can be very dry, but are sometimes subject
to storms. Although the temperature should remain above
zero during the day, freezing conditions are possible
Ascent of Toubkal
ascent during the end of the winter and spring (February/March)
is more difficult. In winter the mountains are covered
in snow and ice, and can be prone to avalanches, and crampons
are necessary. The winter months allow an opportunity
for skiing and ski touring as the snow can lie to considerable
depth and cover many rocky slopes.
ascent of Mount Toubkal in the winter can be undertaken
as part of Icicle Mountaineering's Winter Toubkal, Morocco
2015, which is a 8 day course (6 days guiding), and runs
from the end of June until mid-September. The guiding
ratio for this course is 1:6, and includes the summit
of Mount Toubkal 4167m; and Ouanoukrim 4089m. No previous
winter experience is required for this course, as all
skills are taught on the trek. The itinerary has been
designed for keen walkers, as the ascent is non-technical,
but involves some easy scrambling and snow slopes.
both summits, the views are amazing across the mountains
to Marrakech to the north, and the start of the Sahara
to the south. All around are the jagged peaks of the High
Atlas stretching as far as you can see in every direction.
Icicle also run a Toubkal ski touring course, which runs
over a period of 9 days, 7 of which are guided, during
February, March and April. The course includes acclimatisation
before ski touring up Toubkal, and is suitable for experienced
ski tourers as there are you have to ski up to 45°
in sections. Meals on the mountain are all provided, and
accommodation is in refuges, villages and gites / riads.
huts on Mount Toubkal
the base of the south col / cwm route there are two refuges
at 3207m that are open to the public, positioned at the
head of the Toubkal / Imlil Valley. The refuges are literally
next door to each other, the lower one called the 'Refuge
du Toubkal', the other called the 'Les Mouflons de Toubkal'.
There are also several refuges in the neighbouring Azzaden
Valley. Whichever refuge you end up at, you can expect
fairly crammed in dormitories, and shared bathrooms, as
both of the huts are usually full to capacity, especially
in peak season (Easter, September and in the summer).
Camping is also allowed outside both of the huts.
In 1938 the French Alpine Club Section Casablanca decided
to build a shelter called Neltner, named after Mr Louis
Neltner, one of the best geologists and mountaineers of
the time. The purpose of the shelter was to provide a
fixed base at the foot of the northern slopes of Toubkal.
The hut was renovated in 1999, and provides 86 beds for
tourists, and 20 beds for muleteers.
Although this hut is older and with less modern facilities
than the nearby Les Mouflons hut, it is still very popular
with mountaineers, and many guides and muleteers prefer
to stay in this hut due to it being a warmer building.
The hut includes a dining room, a small shop selling snacks,
soft drinks and mineral water, a sitting room with a fireplace
and lots of large dorms. All dorms have bunk beds, with
mattresses laid side by side with barely space to fit
a book between. It also provides kitchen facilities for
food preparation by guests staying at the hut, which can
then be served in the dining
The Les Mouflons do Toubkal mountain hut was built by
a local man Haj Mohamed Imzilen, and construction finished
in 1997. The Les Mouflons do Toubkal hut benefits from
the more recent construction. It has a welcoming large
open plan space with tiered galleries, however due to
the open plan design it can get rather cold at night,
especially in the middle of winter, with the only fire
being inadequate to heat the large room. The dormitory
bedrooms and shared bathroom facilities are of a similar
level as those at the Nelter Hut. The Les Mouflons do
Toubkal hut has a well stocked shop which provides basic
food, water and snacks. The refuge caretaker can also
organise meals for you, or alternatively a kitchen available
are in the process of developing these mountain
focus pages for many of the key peaks that we offer
trips too, in order to help people prepare better
for their trips.
page has largely been written by Emma
from our Windermere
HQ, and it's here that most people
have their first contact with us, in person or on
are always editing these pages, so if you have any feedback
about information we should add to the page, please let
us know. We feel it's important that all our staff are
experts on the mountains we offer trips to, so we are
all involved in developing these focus pages.
& photo gallery
news from Icicle
for the ascent
ascent of Toubkal should not be underestimated, and you
should arrive for this course in good physical condition
as the climb will probably be the greatest physical exertion
of your life. Please don't ignore this issue...
highly recommend that you read our training page (click
here) for details
on how to prepare.
mentioned previously we require our clients to have specific
experience, skills and fitness before attempting Toubkal.
While not the most technical course we offer it is important
to be able to move quickly and adeptly up and over rock.
Indoor climbing while great for building up strength and
balance is not a substitute for rock so head to the Lakes
or North Wales: a couple of days getting used to uneven
terrain and gritty rock is a perfect way to improve your
skills never mind escaping those sweaty gyms and having
a douse of fresh air to invigorate your training.
that have not had much experience with crampons could
still attempt Toubkal if they have appropriate rock climbing
experience as it is only the final summit block that usually
demands crampons. We also expect you to have the required
levels of fitness for such a demanding route not only
for bettering your chances of summit success but also
for your own safety and well-being. Please follow our
training plans and, once you think you've reached the
physical peak required train even harder!
to this focus
page is constantly updated as a result of changing techniques,
conditions, and latest news. Please don't use this page
alone as the research you undertake for an ascent, and
it does definitely not attempt to offer any of the instruction
of techniques which you will require. Details of many
other sources of information have been provided, which
you should consult before an ascent. Remember that to
climb any mountain is a privilege, not a guarantee. If
you found this page of use, and have any other information
that others may find helpful, then please e-mail us. We
will post any useful extra information on the page, and
you will be cited. It is this sharing of knowledge that
makes the climbing community so close, and this extra
knowledge will increase your chances of reaching the summit.
key part of choosing a company is being able to come and
talk about your plans with an experienced course advisor
face to face. In an increasingly virtual world, we know
our clients value speaking to real people, getting open
and honest advice. The vast majority of our clients are
British, and our office and outdoor store is based in
Windermere in the English Lake District.
in contact to arrange a meeting, and come in for a coffee
to discuss your course in person with a trip