Mount Toubkal is widely known as the highest mountain in the southwestern part of Morocco. It is known for its beautiful landscape and features and is a place for tourism. Indeed, it is a beautiful gem. What makes this place a place of beauty? Are there any challenges of hiking this mountain? How can you get there? When is the best time to go there? You’ll learn about this and much more in this article. But first, let’s look at Mount Toubkal’s rich history.
Photo by Youssef Gahouchy on unsplash.
Brief History Mount Toubkal, Morocco.
The history of Mount Toubkal is significant. The Berber natives of North Africa have lived there for countless years and have preserved a distinctive cultural identity, which may be used to date the region’s history.
According to historical records, some individuals named Vincent Berger, the Marquis de Segonzac, and Hubert Dolbeau led a French climbing team that made the first known ascent of Mount Toubkal on12th of June 1923. However, before this time, there is every possibility that the indigenous Berber population had been ascending the peak for generations. Mount Toubkal in Morocco established itself as a key location for protest against French colonization throughout the 20th century. The charismatic commander Abd el-Krim led the Berber people in guerilla warfare against French soldiers in the highland.
The region surrounding Mount Toubkal is now a well-liked destination for travelers, hikers, and climbers and is acknowledged as a place of cultural and environmental value. The Berber still live a traditional lifestyle and commemorate their rich cultural history via ceremonies, music, and other cultural activities.
Description of the Sight
Although sedimentary rocks make up most of the High Atlas Mountains, Mount Toubkal comprises volcanic boulders that have decomposed into highland crests and are divided by deep, narrow valleys. The mountain descends precipitously to the south for 1,800 meters (5,906 feet), ending in Lac d’Ifni, a small lake.
Trekkers are rewarded with breathtaking views that span the entire High Atlas and Low Atlas Mountains upon reaching the peak. The scene is evidence of the splendor and magnificence of this gem of North Africa, leaving a deep impression on the emotions of all who scale its pinnacle.
Ways to Get There
From the busy city of Marrakesh, Imlil is fairly simple to get to. Because of its proximity to the well-known city, it is frequently regarded as one of the most enjoyable day trips from Marrakech.
HOW TO TAKE A SHARED TAXI FROM MARRAKESH TO IMLIL
Taking a shared cab, or a grand taxi as they are known in Morocco, is the most straightforward method to travel from Marrakesh to Imlil. Only 60 kilometers separate the modest mountain community from Marrakesh; thus, traveling there only takes 75 to 90 minutes.
Once you arrive at this taxi station, you can either reserve the entire taxi for yourself or share it with other customers. The cost will be significantly less if you wait until the taxi is fully fueled.
You can also go to Imlil by taking a bus to Asni and then a taxi if there isn’t a shared taxi going there when you get to the station or if the taxi takes too long to fill up.
HOW TO GET BY BUS AND TAXI FROM MARRAKESH TO IMLIL
The bus ride from Marrakesh to the small town of Asni takes about an hour and a half. From there, it is simple to take a shared taxi to Imlil or hitch the final 17 kilometers to Imlil. From Marrakesh’s main bus station, you can take a bus.
HOW TO DRIVE YOUR CAR FROM MARRAKESH TO IMLIL
You can also drive straight to the small village of Imlil if you own or rent a car. The journey should be pretty enjoyable.
You will go through some stunning scenery on the nearly entirely paved road that leads to the mountain settlement. Although the route there is generally safe, drive cautiously in the winter as pebbles from neighboring cliffs often cover it.
The surrounding area will undergo a thorough transformation as you travel there. You’ll notice a change in the landscape from parched dust to lush, leafy vegetation.
Details on hiking Mount Toubkal
The alpine village of Imlil, where the climb begins, will be where climbers will drop off. On the first day, guests will remain there. Climbers will next travel to the adjacent village of Aroumd for the evening, where they will have dinner and recover in preparation for the following day. The expedition will probably take three to five days, while climbs that include adjacent summits can last up to six to ten days.
The following day, climbers will meet with their guide to get ready for an entire day of hiking. During a span of six hours, they will move across the Ait Mizane Valley, sometimes pausing for quick breaks and chances to capture pictures of the lovely valley.
Visitors must go down narrow, rocky roads, but in exchange, they will be rewarded with breathtaking vistas of distant mountains and trickling waterfalls. Climbers will witness local fauna and the local Berber people in their homes in addition to the landscape.
The ascent will then get steeper—the slope incline increases. As the way to the summit gets closer, it gets more challenging to see, and the stone starts piling up on top of itself. As climbers move closer to the summit, the air becomes thinner; thus, they must pace themselves to avoid being out of breath.
But when climbers ascend higher into the mountain, Toubkal’s expansive views grow more breathtaking. The top is a beautiful place filled with snow, and the mountain surrounding peaks go as far as the eye can see into the distance.
Travelers will unavoidably become the best of themselves throughout their ascent of Mount Toubkal, but they will also be rewarded with stunning displays of beauty.
When to Go: Weather and Season
Mount Toubkal has different seasons. Those who intend to visit should choose the one that works best for them.
Mount Toubkal has high temperatures of 16.7°C (62.1°F) and minimum temperatures of -1.8°C (28.7°F) from March to May. Moderate snowstorms, minimal precipitation, and pleasant temperatures are to be anticipated.
Mount Toubkal sees average summertime temperatures of 17°C (64°F) and maximum summertime temperatures of 24.8°C (77°F) between the months of June and August. Typically, July is the warmest month, which makes the mountainous terrain much more difficult.
Between August and October, Mount Toubkal experiences high temperatures of 23.5°C (74.3°F) and lowest temperatures of 3.8°C (38.9°F). In the winter, there will be light snowfall and pleasant temperatures.
Photo by David Magahaes on Unsplash
The mountain is usually less populated in the winter. However, the situation might be more difficult when the mountain’s lower parts are blanketed in snow. Mount Toubkal has minimum temperatures of -4°C (24.7°F) and average temperatures of 0.4°C (32.7°F) during the months of December and February.
On the ascent to Toubkal, there are two shelters. They are Cabine Alpine Francais (CAF) and Les Mouflons. You can reserve a spot at the CAF shelter or wait until you arrive, as there is always space.
The nightly rate for CAF is 140 Moroccan Dirhams (MAD). You will receive a flatbed as a bunk without bedding at that price. The showers are freezing. Paper towels and detergents are scarce in the toilet. The employees are friendly.
Food and Water
The food served on Mount Toubkal climbs is often essential and nourishing, aiming to give you the energy and nutrients you’ll need for the climb. They frequently serve excellent and varied traditional Moroccan food. You can anticipate foods like couscous, grilled meats, tagines (stews with beef and vegetables that are gradually cooked), and Moroccan soups. The meals are created to offer a healthy balance of protein for muscle development and repair and carbohydrates for stamina. This is crucial to maintaining your energy levels throughout the hike. Dishes, including grains, proteins like chicken or beef, or vegetarian alternatives like legumes or chickpeas, are to be expected.
Using fresh ingredients is a top priority for many climbing companies and guides. Local produce and products are frequently used to give you a taste of the regional flavors and to make sure that the dishes are as delicious and wholesome as possible.
To maintain nourishment and energy throughout the walk, snacks like fruits, nuts, energy bites, and cookies may be offered in addition to the major meals. Snacks should always be on hand to help you stay energized throughout long trekking days.
Let your trekking company or guide know in advance if you have any special dietary needs or limitations. They will do everything possible to meet your needs and offer suitable substitutes. The availability of meals might be restricted in the highlands than in metropolitan areas due to the lack of resources and facilities.
Water for drinking is available when climbing Mount Toubkal. It’s crucial to remember that the accessibility of drinking water can differ based on the route and the particular lodgings or camping grounds along the journey.
While trekking, you might encounter freshwater sources like rivers, streams, or springs. These springs typically offer fresh mountain water that can be consumed with the proper purification. You can get advice on the suitableness and safety of these freshwater sources from your guide or trekking company.
To ensure that the drinking water is safe, it is advised that you carry your own water purifying equipment. This can be accomplished with portable water purification equipment, filters, or water-purifying pills. Any dangerous parasites, viruses, or bacteria in the water are removed using these techniques.
Carrying bottled water with you on your walk is an additional choice. You can buy bottled water before climbing in the cities or villages or at specific rest points. However, bear in mind that in outlying places, the cost or accessibility of water in bottles may be higher.
Bringing a reusable water bottle to reduce plastic waste and provide an ongoing clean water supply is strongly advised. Some hikers find it helpful to carry water bottles or hydration bladders in their backpacks, which enable them to consume water through an opening without stopping. This may prove a helpful choice while on the walk.
Staying hydrated is crucial throughout your trip up Mount Toubkal, especially at higher elevations where the atmosphere is harsher, and thirst is more likely to happen.
Challenges When Hiking Mount Toubkal
Toubkal presents a considerable challenge to seasoned hikers, even though it is primarily a straightforward climb that does not call for strings, helmets, or boots. For people who are not accustomed to the crisp air associated with height or are not in excellent shape, the mountain’s altitude can make climbing to the peak challenging. This climb is doable for anyone with an intense sense of thrilling activities, who doesn’t mind getting a little dirty, and who enjoys hiking along an alpine track.
As mentioned earlier, Toubkal is primarily a simple ascent; however, walking next to the summit below can be difficult due to loose gravel on the peak’s top slopes. Hikers can easily climb up this debris and rock throughout the summer, but snow and icy conditions can make the climb more challenging in wintertime. It might be necessary to climb to the peak during those periods of the year using an ice pick or boots.
Tips to know when hiking Mount Toubkal
- There are several routes up Toubkal; pick the one that works best for you.
- Half the battle is won with proper planning. You need to train to hike Mount Toubkal.
- When climbing Mount Toubkal, be careful of the signs of altitude sickness.
- Make sure you visit Mount Toubkal when the season is right for you.
- Get ready for a terrible night in the Refuge
- Respect and acclimatize to the local culture
- Be generous with your money, especially to your guides who assist you in climbing Mount Toubkal.
- Reserve your trip with a reputable trekking organization
There are potential dangers when hiking Mount Toubkal. These dangers are explained below:
- Altitude sickness: At the highest point, breathing sufficiently to enjoy the hike is challenging. Many people could start to feel uneasy or get sick with a fever, nausea, or stomach discomfort. In extreme circumstances, it might potentially result in death.
- Fatalities and Injuries: Accidents happen no matter how proficient you are. You risk suffering a major injury with only one misstep. Therefore, hikers should exercise caution and restraint when ascending Mount Toubkal.
- Change of Weather: No one has any influence over the weather. Both possibilities are the intense heat that hikers find intolerable or the bitter cold that makes hiking uncomfortable. The proper attire can make it easier to adapt to changing weather.
Adventurers are invited to climb Mount Toubkal’s towering heights and discover the beauties of Mount Toubkal. Mount Toubkal serves as a symbol of Morocco’s breathtaking scenery and rich history. The climb to Toubkal’s peak offers an exciting and gratifying experience, providing guests with memories to treasure for a lifetime, whether hiking in the warmer months or skiing climbing in the winter.