ran into a snow storm on my way to the summit. had to turn back at 4.000 meters and spend some time in the refuge. anyway the food there was really good.
Left the Neltner Refuge with my dad and guide at 6:00 am we reached the col just as the sun came over the lip so did the bulk of the climbing in the shade. Good hard snow on the way up. First group to the top (a basque group arrived part before and part after us)reaching it at about 9/9:30 am. Perfect weather conditions. The way down was fun glissading most of the way but the snow was still icy so it was very fast, though was more difficult for me to ice-axe arrest as I had my arm in plaster at the time, but great fun, back down to Neltner by 11:30 am after an hour on the summit and back to Aremd by 4:30 pm after a leisurely lunch and stroll down. Hugely enjoyable end to a hugely enjoyable week trekking in the High Atlas.
Second time atop of Toubkal. It was very different from my previous (June 2007) climb because lot of snow and icy at morning time, so all need use crampons.
Start at 7:00, summit at 11:00.
We got to Imlil around 2am and were still able to secure a hotel for the night. The "huts" at the base of the mountain were the most "luxurious" I have stayed in thus far while climbing/hiking. We left for the summit around 5:40am, which turned out to be a wise choice because the snow was perfectly solid for the crampons on the ascent, and the melted snow was perfect for glissading on the descent.
Group of four reached the summit in perfect, no wind, weather. For those trying to budget this trip: 1) You don't need a guide. 2) You only need snacks as virtually everything can be made available to you at the Toubkal refuge, you may want to bring your own lunch and breakfast though as its kind of a rip off. and 3) Contrary to all my beliefs prior to this trip you don't need an Ice axe if your doing the normal rout (unless there is a ton of snow). If you have sturdy ankles then crampons should be enough, perhaps trekking pols too, which would prove to be much more valuable in the long run. We rented our gear from Cafe Soleil at a rate of 40dh Ice axe/per day and 30dh crampons/per day. At the refuge we stayed at the Les Mouflons, lodging was 80dh a night, a small breakfast and lunch for 40dh each, dinner for 70dh, shower for 10dh, and a blanket for 20dh each.
Ascent in 2 days from Imlil. Night in the Toubkal shelter and then summit in 2 hours from the refuge. Snow above 2300 m (Sidi Chamharouch), very thin on the ridges and the windy parts, but powder on north slopes.
Fine weather, hot with the sun but pretty cold in the mornings.
Experienced quite difficult winter conditions on this attempt on Jbel Toubkal - high winds and deep hard snow on the walk to the refuges from Sidi Chamharouch and after spending one night at the Mouflon mountain refuge, I made it to 3300m on the slopes above the refuges before giving up (2 people in my group did get to the summit though).
Ice-axe and crampons very necessary on this climb, and I think if I try this again I will probably need 2 nights at altitude to acclimatise instead of one.
Full trip report on my blog here:
Good day out in deep snow. Trip report to follow.
With Alain, Omar and Olivier we climbed to the top, quite a lot of snow so early in the season.
With snowboard down through the north face of the Ibikhi sud.
From that garages(about 2200m) used as a ubications cca 6 hour to the top. No need for climbing or ice equipment. Nice walk...
Cold Hut, Avy Beacon, Beyonce in the Taxi.
I was traveling by myself in Southern Spain in summer 1990 with a Spain/Morocco guidebook. On a lark, I took the ferry and night train to Marrakech, met some Brits and climbed the Standard route with one of them in two days from Marrakesh. It was very cold and we didn't have any appropriate mt. gear so wore all the clothing we had we leaving the Neltner hut in the morning. The whole trip, the spontaneity, the climb, the view from the summit looking out east over the Sahara was memorable.
We climbed the normal south face route. Very busy in the refuge as it was Easter holidays. Beautiful conditions, we needed crampons from above the refuge. Fantastic views from the top.
Sabrina and I climbed up normal south route (Tizi Toubkal) and down normal north route (Tizi Imuzzer) with a french group.
I also soloed Toubkal west from tizi Toubkal.
Sabrina and I soloed to 3rd of the four summit of Imuzzer (not easy to tell wich one is the highest but with no doubt none of them is a 4000er (3965 m max).
Bluebird day; very crowded on the summit. This was the third of four 4000 meter peaks we climbed. Toubkal was the only mountain with a clear trail to the top.
I'm too lazy to translate my Norwegian trip-report found here:
So we had a tiny window of opportunity between work, a day! Could we do it? I reckoned we could, but it would need a really early start. The others reckoend there was no point in sleeping - so 11pm saw us drive out of Marrakech. We parked up opposite Aremd, and were off by 2am. By 4 am we were above Sidi Chamharouch and wondering what was wrong - we were exhausted. OK - so maybe missing a nights sleep was not such a good idea. A couple of hours kip, and we were off again. A nic cup of team with my friend Brahima at the CAF hut gave us plenty of sugary fuel to keep going. Now we were on snow and I was a bit worried how my dog would cope - silly really, she did fine, scampered way on ahead of us as to say hurry up slow coaches.
Up at the peak (again), not great views this time, bit too hazy. Windy and cold too, so we didn't hang around and set off after 15 mins to head back to the car.
Descent was fine until Sidi Chamharouch, and then my toes really started to hurt. Too long squashed into my boots. It was such a relief to get those things off and put my feet into more comfortable approach shoes.
So were back in Marrakech for 11pm, a great way to spend 24hrs. My feet were numb for days though ...
My 1st peak...it was cool. Hard to imagine it would lead me to all the things I've done now.
This was an unforgetable experience! I climbed the classic route.
Leaving the hut at 2 AM it took around 4 hours of climbing in moonlight to the summit. Strong winds were blowing occasionally but did not cause any serious problem. I made it to the summit 20 seconds before the sun appeared on the horizon!
We left the hut at 06:00am, and it took us 4h15min to get to the top. The day was excellent. I was very happy standing in the summit. I might be one of the youngest person to climb toubkal.
PHOTOS + VIDEO: http://todovertical.com/jon_unai/blog.php?id=15