Jbel Toubkal (4167m) – Highest peak of Morocco

Jbel Toubkal is the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco and in North Africa. It is a non-technical summit requiring only a reasonable degree of fitness and determination. Toubkal is climbable year round, albeit from Nov till May snow settles above 3000m and crampons and ice axes are required. No permits or fees required. No seasonal closures. I went solo and unsupported.

Check out more of my spectacular 360° Photo Spheres from the roof of Morocco:
 Chamharouch Village (2350m) Jbel Toubkal (4167m)
 Mouflons Refuge (3200m) Neltner Hut (3200m)
 Jbel Toubkal South Cirque Route (4000m) Jbel Toubkal North Ridge Route (3400m)
From Dublin to the 4176m high summit in less than 40 hours:

Day 1 (28.09.2014):

  • 8pm arrival airport (RAK)
  • 2h airport immigration
  • 1h 4×4 transport (40€/1 way)
    to Imlil Lodge 
    (1950m)

Day 2 (29.09.2014):

  • 9am departure from Imlil Lodge 
  • 35mins to Trail Head (1925m) via “Shortcut”
  • 1.5h to Chamharouch Village
  • 2.5h to Mouflons Refuge
    (30€/night incl. dinner & breakfast, 1€/1.5l water)

Day 3 (30.09.2014):

  • 6am departure from Refuge
  • 2.5h to summit via South Ridge
  • 1h Toubkal summit 
  • 2h down via North Ridge to main path (3050m)
  • 1.5h to Chamharouch Village
  • 1h to Trail Head (1925m)
  • 45mins to Imlil Lodge (1950m)

Imlil & Chamharouch:

After about an hour and a half past Imlil there is a the tiny settlement of Chamharouch, which has grown around a Muslim shrine. Check out my 360° Photo Sphere: Chamharouch Village (2350m)!


Refuge Toubkal:

There are two refuges open to the public. They are literally next door to each other, the lower one is newer and called Mouflons Refuge, the older one sits right above and is called Nelter Hut. Each of the huts can provide meals and have a shop for daily needs.


The South Cirque (Ikhibi Sud):

This is the most popular and straightforward ascent of Toubkal. There is a worn path, which is easy enough to follow. More of a problem is finding the right track down through the upper slopes of loose scree.


The North Cirque (Ikhibi Nord):

This route is a little bit longer and best for more experienced climbers. It is far more interesting than the south col route and en route you will pass the remains of an aircraft that crashed in 1969 and was only discovered 7 months later in spring snowmelt by mountaineers. The north col also benefits from having fewer people on it. The final ridge to the summit area calls for some scrambling. People that climb the north col route will normally descend by the south col route. This makes a great day out with the advantage of not covering ground already seen. As I was unsure about the conditions and didn’t bring crampons or axe, I climbed via the less icier south route first and then scrambled down the north route after making sure the situation is safe to do so.


Summit Toubkal:

“Don’t ask what the world needs.

Ask what makes you come alive.

Because what the world needs is People who have come alive.

Climb on top of a bunch of random dudes on the roof of North Africa, highest point of Morocco!”

Day 4 (01.10.2014): 

The next morning I walked back down from the lodge to Imlil village where I negotiated a 22 EUR private taxi ride back to Marrakech…

September 30, 2014  Tags: , , , ,   Posted in: On the road 2014-15 Views: 2059

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