On the 28th December 2016, twelve hardy souls met up in a hotel in Marrakech ready to embark on their High Atlas Adventure to summit Jebel Toubkal. These are the posts to Facebook from that trip by one of those hardy souls – Jane Tolhurst. Some of the posts and pictures were posted retrospectively.
Day one of our trek to Toubkal. Minibus ride from Marrakesh stopping off to buy provisions. Our starting point was a ski resort . There has been unusual amounts of snow and the resort was in full swing; street vendors selling second hand ski boots and children’s sit on toys refashioned into toy snow mobiles. Our mules were laden up and we met our chef for the trek. No mint tea here but hot sweet liquid made from an infusion of mountain herbs.
The trek today was physically challenging, steep climbs in hot sun, already at altitudes of over 2000 metres. Our lunch stop was a breathtaking col and from here we could see the mountain range lying before us, with our summit in view. Crampons were needed for the steep, snowy descent. We could hear sheep and goats call from the mountain tops and large birds of prey were riding on the thermals and calling. A Berber Shepherd, his young sons and dogs were taking time out, running up the steep snowy banks with ease and sliding down on improvised sledges.
During our descent we could see Berber villages nestling into the hillside blending in to the mountain side being constructed from the local mud. Our accommodation tonight is a mountain refuge based in a busy village, a jumble of houses intersected by narrow paths. People, chickens, sheep and horse share the space within the village. Our entrance was a cause of much interest from groups of small children to the giggling of adolescent girls looking beautiful with jewelry and fine fabrics. It is cold cold cold. No hot shower and just a central fire place. I’m now in my sleeping bag contemplating what else I can put on. The nights will only become colder as we head further towards the summit.
Will4Adventure annually lead groups in Morocco to summit North Africa’s highest mountain – Jebel Toubkal. Further details of our next guided trek and ascent can be found here.