Mt Toubkal – Day 4 – Summit Day!

Refuge (10,330’) to Jbel Toubkal (13,665′) to Imlil (6,000′)

Up very early, 3:30 for breakfast at 4:00 and on the trail by 4:30. We start in the dark so everyone has headlamps on.

Steep, cold, slippery and dark.

The trail quickly comes to a snow traverse that is slippery and very steep. Wishing we had crampons! This short traverse was the scariest part of the day for me.

A quick stop in the dark.

After the traverse we began a steep rock scramble that seemed to go on forever. The trail is crowded and we pass several large, slow moving groups.

Sun is starting to come up. Lot of folks ahead of us on the trail.

The trail leveled out a bit as headed up towards the saddle.

Heading toward the saddle.

We reached the saddle around 7:15. Only 300′ to go but it is very rough.

At the saddle!

We never stopped for very long because, with the wind, it is very cold.

Nearly there!

And finally, around 8:15 we reached the top.

At the top!

We don’t hang around long at the top because of the cold but the views are stunning.

Summit view
Summit panorama.
At the top!

Then we began the long, 7,500′ hike back to Imlil, stopping for an hour at the refuge to pack up our sleeping bags and have a quick lunch.

Heading down.

We got to our hostel in Imlil at 4:30 PM, a 12 hour day.

Finally! Our hostel.

Mt Toubkal – Day 3

May 12, Arumd (6,600’) to Refuge du Toubkal (10,330’)

Big day as we climb to the refuge for the climb tomorrow to the summit. This is a 4,000′ day. We started at 9:00 with a couple hundred foot drop to the valley floor just south of Imlil then we started up.

Heading up! Toubkal is not visible but it is in those big mountains at the head of the valley.

The trail today is pretty good, rocky but not too steep. We very quickly re-entered the national park.

Back in the park.

We have a view of the big mountains pretty much all day.

Our guide Ibrahim.

We stopped a couple of times along the way, once at a pretty stream crossing.

The only trail obstacles were the mules. We’ve learned that the mules always have right of way!

Our fellow mammal hikers.
Rest stop

At our lunch stop, as we were leaving, Ibrahim realized that one of the hikers coming down had accidently grabbed his pack! He had to race down to catch him. How could somebody not know their own pack?

Approaching the refuge (middle of the picture). Toubkal is in the background.

We got to the refuge about 3:00 PM and there were few people there but that changed as the afternoon wore on.

At the refuge!!

By dinner (6:30) the refuge was packed with hikers. Our guide gave us the option of sleeping in the refuge or in tents and we elected the tents.

Putting up our tents (orange and green ones).
And fishing is forbidden! Just in case you were thinking of it.

Mt Toubkal – Day 2

May 11, Tacheddirt (7,600’) to Arumd (6,600’)

Day 2 Hike

Breakfast at 8:00 and on the trail by 9:00.

Hiking our of town.

Started with a road walk out of Tacheddirt and then trails/dirt roads the rest of the day heading for our mountain pass of the day.

Hiking down a very pretty river valley

The trail today is much nicer, a nice mix of mountain trails and gravel roads as we move from one mountain valley to the next.

Crossing a stream on a nice wooden bridge.
Today’s view of Toubkal… a little closer? Maybe?

We could see Toubkal a few times today and it looks bigger than ever. Arumd is a small town perched on a hill above Imlil. The place is nice but busy with hikers and noisy. We arrive about 3:30 and have our usual tea/popcorn at 5:00 and dinner (the ubiquitous veggie tagine) at 7:30. Joe is paying the price for hiking with vegetarians.  

Today’s selfie! Why are these people smiling? There’s a mountain to climb!

Mt Toubkal – Day 1

May 10, Oukaimeden (8 ,600’) – Tacheddirt (7,600’)

Mohamed, the tour owner met us at 9:00 at the hotel and helped us load into our shuttle for the ride to the ski resort of Oukaimeden where we would start our trek. After a 90 minute (very curvy) ride we got to Oukaimeden where we met Ibrahim (our guide) and the two Hassan’s (mule drivers, cooks).

Day 1: Oukaimeden to Tacheddirt

We started up out of Oukaimeden about 11:00, circling the ski valley, stopping after a couple of hours for a picnic lunch.

Hiking out of Oukaimeden
Hot picnic lunch

We got to the top of today’s pass (just under 10,000′) just before 3:00 after passing the sign saying we were in the national park.

We are in the park.

We are feeling the first day at altitude but everyone is moving well.

High point today. And that mountain over my right shoulder is where we are heading!

After that we began a very steep, rough descent to Tacheddirt.

Steep descent to Tacheddirt
Tacheddirt, our destination for the evening.

We got to our hostel about 4:30, a very quiet place with few other hikers.

View from our hostel

We got a couple of views today of where we are heading and it’s hard to believe we will be up there in a few days.

Mt Toubkal is one of those big peaks behind me. Very exciting!