Morocco: Atlas Mountains Trek

Morocco: Atlas Mountains Trek

 

17-24 October 2021

4 days trekking
3 nights camping
Height gain 4167m
Joint celebration with cyclists
Flights NOT included

This trek goes through the High Atlas Mountains to the summit of Mount Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak at 4167m. It’s not just a great challenge; it's an immersion into the culture of the Berber people, Morocco's original inhabitants. Few roads penetrate this craggy mountain stronghold, where the way of life has changed little over centuries.

Our journey takes us from the exotic sights of Marrakech to the remote, barren and dry High Atlas Mountain range. The route is on a mixture of rocky and sandy paths as we pass grassy meadows, towering limestone peaks to sheer red-rock canyons, isolated patches of snow and flowing rivers. We pass through traditional Berber villages which cling to the side of mountains, seemingly carved into the rock in layers of terraces that appear to defy gravity, and will see Berber women in brightly coloured dresses tending fields, and higher up, we meet nomadic shepherds in summer pastures.

The tough final ascent around sunrise is over boulders and rough scree where at the top of North Africa we will enjoy breath-taking panoramic views to the east and west over the snow-capped peaks of the High Atlas Mountains. To the south the Sahara stretches out below us and to the north the plains of Morocco. A finish in the vibrant city of Marrakech with all of its history, bazaars and nightlife and this is a challenge with something for everyone.

 
Itinerary BOOK NOW
Day 1Sunday 17 October
Depart London to Marrakech with a 1.5hr transfer to our hotel. We meet with our guides over dinner with a full challenge briefing on the adventure ahead.
Day 2Monday 18 October • Marrakech to Azib n’Tamsoult
Trek 5hrs
Following a 1.5hr transfer south to Imlil, our trek starts at 1740m. We cross Imlil village heading west to climb the Tizi-n-Mezzik mountain pass which at a height of 2450m, gives us our first view of the magnificent Atlas mountains and the valley of Azzaden. After a hearty and well deserved picnic lunch, there’s another climb towards our first camp at Azib n’Tamsoult.
Day 3Tuesday 19 October • Azib n’Tamsoult to Mount Toubkal Base Camp
Trek 6hrs
Today involves a fairly stiff climb out of the Azzaden Valley to the Toubkal refuge over the Aguelzim mountain pass at 3600m. There’s no escaping the tremendous views of the Atlas Mountains as we lunch and then continue down to the Toubkal Hut (3200m), where base camp is established in preparation for the big climb the following day.
Day 4Wednesday 20 October • Mount Toubkal Ascent
Trek 9-11hrs
It’s an early start today as we head towards the summit of Toubkal at 4157m to enjoy the panoramic views of the Mountains and the Sahara Desert. The trekking becomes steeper and more rugged as we climb higher, taking it slowly as we adjust to climbing at altitude, but the views become increasingly more spectaular. We return to base camp by the same route for a second night stay – celebrating that the hardest part is over.
Day 5Thursday 21 October • Toubkal Base Camp to Marrekech
Trek 4/5hrs
Retracing our steps, we take the well work path past the refuge and back to Imlil, transferring on to Marrakech. It’s a welcome relief to check into a comfortable hotel with a free evening to explore the vibrant souks in the Medina (old town).
Day 6Friday 22 October • Marrakech
After the exertion of the previous days of climbing but revelling in completing one of the highest peaks of Africa, we’ve got an enjoyable tour of the Majorelle Gardens to look forward to – a 2.5 acre botanical garden and artist’s landscape in Marrakech. There’s a free afternoon, but don’t wander too far as we need to be back at the hotel to greet the cyclists coming in from their ride of the Atlas Mountains. It’ll be great to see them as we’ll hopefully connect with the synagogue in Marrekech and all walk over together to see in the Sabbath in a more traditional setting. Dinner in a local restaurant for all and we’ll celebrate our achievements into the morning.
Day 7Saturday 23 October
With a free day in Marrakech, there is plenty of time to explore this vibrant city, the Jewish Quarters and cemetery before meeting with fellow challengers for a fun and relaxed dinner.
Day 8Sunday 24 October
Transfer from the hotel back to the airport for the return journey home.
 
What’s included BOOK NOW
Airport Transfers if taking the recommended flights/meeting at the specified point and time
Twin-sharing accommodation in good quality hotel at start and upgraded hotel at finish of trek
3 nights of camping
All meals – vegetarian -with the exception of lunches on non-trekking days. Includes joint celebration meal in Marrakech at end of trek
Local guides, support team and trek doctor
Mules and muleteers and daily transfer of luggage
Entrance to Majorelle Gardens
FREE Norwood trek jersey

What’s not included

International return flights from London to Marrakech. Flight time 4hrs 40mins
Airport transfers outside of the times of meeting the recommended flights. Please note, that there will be a wait at the airport if you are arriving on the earlier Easyjet flight
Lunch on non-trekking days
Personal trek clothing, boots, trekking poles and sleeping bag
Travel insurance, tips, gratuities and personal expenses
 
How challenging is it? BOOK NOW

Overall this is a tough trek that requires a very high level of physical fitness. The terrain and length of time you spend walking and extremes of temperatures could present a tough, physical and mental challenge. You should be prepared for the rigours of trekking for long hours and the adventures of sleeping in basic camp conditions in cold conditions – and an open mind to new cultures. While not technically difficult, you will encounter a variety of terrain, some rocky surface, big ascents and descents plus an altitude of 4167m.

This itinerary is complex and subject to change. There will be an alternative trekking option for those unable to complete the final ascent to the summit which does require climbing at altitude.

 
 

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