The final morning on trek we had a short walk down the valley to the village of Imlil at the road end where our mules and muleteers left us. From there we were transferred back to Marrakesh by minibus.
The last full day’s walking was all downhill as we descended the valley from Toubkal refuge to Aremd.
This approach to Toubkal was much busier than the route we had taken. Hikers bagging Jebel Toubkal in 2 days come up directly from the valley, overnight at the refuge, then ascend the mountain and descend back down the valley the second day. Also many day trippers hike to Toubkal base camp (the refuge) for views of the mountain. It was strange to be part of such a mass of hikers after a few days in the relative quiet of the high tops.
Summit day involved a 5am start for walking as we needed to climb the 1000m to the summit at 4167m and return to the hut before it became very hot about 1pm and before the weather changed for the worse as it did most afternoons.
We set out walking by headtorch
Sunrise over the surrounding mountains – about 6am
The third day we walked to Toubkal base camp. This involved crossing the Aquelzim pass at 3550m which gave us wonderful views of the Toubkal Massif.
The following day we walked up through a few small villages on the northern slopes of Toubkal gaining 1,200m during the day.
I’ve not had time to write up much from my holiday, but will share a few photos with you here. The first batch of pictures I’ve uploaded to Flickr are from the trekking part of our holiday.
We had a lovely group of fellow trekkers – 16 in total, including two guys (father and son) from Iceland. (Small world moment: Will showed us a photo of his old family home (now only used as a summer holiday home) in the uninhabited peninsular of Hornstrandir, in NW Iceland. We had walked past this house when we backpacked through this area on our last trip to Iceland).
Mohamed, our guide was brilliant. He had a great sense of humour and managed the group very well – even if we teased him a bit when he told us one night “Bedtime is at 8pm”. The early night was because the following day we had wake up call at 4am, breakfast at 4.30 and start walking at 5am.
The trek started at the small mountain village of Imi Oughland about 2 hours drive south of Marrakesh. Our luggage was loaded onto the mules who carried our stuff for the week and we started walking. The first day we had about 600m of climbing to the Tacht Pass at 2000m, then about 300m descent to the Azaden Valley. It is good practice to ‘walk high; sleep low’ to help acclimatisation and prevent altitude sickness.