P2 - Prolonged walking over varied terrain. There may be uphills and downhills, so a good solid fitness is required. Expect to be able to do a 6 to 8 hour walk over undulating terrain with a few punchy uphill climbs carrying a pack up to 6kg in weight.
Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.
T3 - May involve harder scrambling or some trekking and climbing with ropes. If snow is encountered then glacier travel with ropes, ice axes and crampons will be necessary. Basic climbing skills is ideal, but will also be taught and certainly practiced during the expedition and pre-summit phase.
Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.
Date & Prices
Pics & Vids
A winter expedition to Jebel Toubkal, 4,167m, is a very different proposition to a summer attempt, although it follows a similar itinerary. Climbing the mountain between November to February makes the summit ascent a more extreme challenge with crampons and ice-axes likely. The highest peak in the Atlas Range, it might be on our doorstep but it offers a captivating contrast to the mountains we’ve come to know and love in Europe.
Our winter itinerary gives you the best chance of summitting this iconic mountain as few others have, while still offering a taste of wonderful Morrocan culture in a short timescale. We start in fascinating, frenetic other-worldly Marrakech before heading for the Atlas foothills. At Imlil we meet our mule team and climb to the high refuge that is our mountain home. Passing ancient villages, dominated by an enormous Kasbah, we’ll meet hospitable Berbers offering refreshing drinks and showing us beautiful mountain crystals. We stop often to marvel as the high mountain scenery opens up around us.
En route, acclimatisation is via Ouanoukrim Peak. You’ll be carefully instructed in the use of winter climbing equipment and the nights are spent in warm comfortable refuges. Leave the finer details to your guides and immerse yourself in this unique and satisfying challenge.Find out more
Date & Prices
Departure & Return
Price (excl. flight)
Price (incl. flight)
Start: 18 November 2018
End: 23 November 2018
Price without flights:
Price with flights: £1,195
18 November 2018
23 November 2018
- International flights (London/Marrakech)
- Local guides and 360 leader when applicable
- Internal transfers
- Hotel / refuge accommodation based on 2 people sharing
- All scheduled meals
- Mules and muleteers
- 14 Course tasting menu celebratory dinner
- Unscheduled hotels, meals and alcohol
- Personal Insurance
- Staff gratuities
- Items of a personal nature
- Travel insurance
- Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early including any airline surcharges as a result of changing return airline tickets
Pics & Vids
DAY 1 : Marrakech
You will be met at Marrakech airport and taken to your charming 4 star riad. The day is yours to relax, explore the souks and enjoy this vibrant city before heading out for dinner with your leader who will take you through the plan for the days ahead.
DAY 2 : Marrakech - Toubkal Refuge (3,207 m)
After a hearty breakfast, our minibus will drive us up to our start point at Imlil (1,800 m) in the foothills of The Atlas. We set out from there and head initially to Aremd (1,940m) about an hour away and stop for a quick lunch. We continue up meandering mule paths for a further five hours through the Ait Mizen valley and into breathtaking high mountain scenery.
On the way we call in to the marabout of Sidi Chamharouch before reaching the Toubkal Refuge for dinner and overnight.
DAY 3 : Ouanakrim (4,088m) - Mouflon Refuge
Today is spent acclimatising, exploring the area around the refuge. There is the option of climbing Ouanakrim (4,088m), a local peak for those who feel up a bit more of a challenge. We stay at Les Mouflon Refuge that evening for dinner and sleeping overnight.
DAY 4 : Mouflon Refuge - Toubkal Summit (4,167m) - Refuge Toubkal
Up very early for breakfast to set us up for the climb to the summit of Toubkal. We wind through rocky paths as the vegetation starts to disappear at this altitude. As we pass the 4,000m mark the whole of the Atlas range opens up before us before we get a full, magnificent 360 degree panorama at the summit. The silence is remarkable, the High Atlas is unforgettable. Once we’ve all had time to contemplate what we’ve just achieved, we head all the way back down ToubKal Refuge for another night.
DAY 5 : Mouflon Refuge (3,207 m) – Sidi Shamharoush - Imlil (1,700m) - Marrakesh
After breakfast, we come down Via North of Ighibi toward Sidi Shamharoush (2,200m), then continue coming down toward Imlil (1700m) via the village of Aremd (1,900m) We stop to have Lunch in Imlil, before continuing onto Marrakesh. The lively souks and the city of Marrakesh are yours to explore in the afternoon before we head out for an amazing 14 course celebratory tasting dinner that evening via Jemaa El Fna square. Overnight in the hotel.
DAY 6 : Departure
Transfer to airport to catch flight home.
These are subject to minor changes depending on flight arrival and departure times, weather, group dynamics and fitness and so on, but the itinerary outlined provides an excellent indication of the trek and what you will experience.
Bags & Packs
A 80-120L duffel bag to transport kit. A duffel bag is a strong, soft, weather resistant bag without wheels but with functional straps for carrying. Suitcases and wheeled bags are not suitable
Approx. 30L capacity. Your day to day pack that you carry with your daily essentials, fitted with shoulder straps and importantly a waist belt
Waterproof rucksack cover
To protect rucksack from rain
Nylon rolltop bags (or even just large plastic bags) that keep fresh clothing and other important items like passports and iPods dry in the event of a total downpour that seeps into your kitbag. Good for quarantining old socks
Small kit bag or light bag
This is for any kit you intend to leave at the hotel and could even simply be a heavy duty plastic bag
For use on your kit bag for travel and on the expedition plus your hotel bag
4 Season sleeping bag
You should get a sleeping bag rated to -10C and choose a sleeping bag that functions within the comfort rating of this temperature. A silk sleeping bag liner will enhance this rating on the coldest nights
Sleeping bag liner
Silk is best for keeping the bag clean and you a little warmer.
This can be a warm hat, beanie, balaclava, anything to reduce the heat loss from your head
Wide brimmed hat
Keeps the sun off exposed areas like ears and the nape of the neck
Essential for protection from the sun and dust
Worth spending money on good UV filters
Buy the highest SPF you can find as UV intensifies with altitude
Sun cream will not work on your lips and they are very susceptible to burn without proper protection
This is the layer closest to the skin and its principal function is to draw (wick) moisture and sweat away from the skin. You can also get thermal base layers for use at higher altitudes that provide an additional insulative layer while still drawing sweat during times of high exertion
These are typically lightweight microfleeces or similar technology that provide varying degrees of warmth and insulation without being overly bulky or heavy to pack
Optional – A great low volume additional layer to keep your core warm, whether down, primaloft or fleece
Light insulated jacket
A lighter jacket such as a Primaloft or lightweight down which can be worn at lower to mid altitudes is a great addition to your kit offering greater flexibility with layering
Soft Shell (optional)
Optional – These should be windproof (not all are) and insulative. They are mostly made of soft polyester and sometimes resemble a neoprene finish which makes them very mobile and comfortable to wear. While offering a degree of weather repellence, they are not waterproof
These jackets are thin, highly waterproof and windproof and worn over all other items of clothing. You’ll find these made of Gore-Tex or other proprietary waterproof yet breathable technology. Inexpensive hard shells that aren’t breathable will prevent evaporation, making you sweat intensely and are not recommended
Generally made using feathers, these are the ultra-warm and insulated layer that are used when sitting in the tea houses or in extremely cold environments. Those with a windproof outer fabric will provide the best insulation. Ask advice in the shop (or from us) when buying the jacket and mention you want it rated to -10C and the assistant will recommend the correct fill for you
Consider liners or a light polartec pair for lower altitudes and evenings, and a thicker waterproof pair like ski gloves for higher altitudes
These tend to be polyester so they dry quickly after a shower and weigh little in your pack. Consider perhaps a pair with detachable lower legs as an alternative to shorts
Windproof or thermal lined trekking trousers for higher altitudes and the summit phase. Thermal leggings can still be worn underneath if necessary
Thermal insulation for the lower body
Like the jacket, an essential piece of kit to stay dry and should also be Goretex
Merino or wicking material, not cotton. How many pairs you take is entirely up to you
Well worn in 4 season waterproof boots with mid to high ankle support
Comfortable trainers for evening use in the refuges
Start with lighter socks lower down, working up to thicker pairs for higher up as it gets colder. Some people like a clean pair every day, others are happy to change every other day – that’s a personal choice
To keep snow and scree out of your boots, if your trousers do not have in-built gaiters
Just in case
10 or 12 point walking or mountaineering crampons (not technical climbing crampons). Can be hired in UK or Morocco. Make sure they fit your type of boot if bringing from UK
A walking ice axe between 55cm and 65cm. Go to an outdoor shop and try different ones for weight and size so that you get one that feels good to you
3L equivalent – Camelbaks are useful at lower altitudes but have a tendency to freeze up at higher altitudes without insulation tubes, Nalgene bottles are better at altitude. We suggest a combination of a 2L bladder and 1L bottle or 2 x ½L bottles to put in your jacket for summit night
Purification tablets are better than any other system. Highly unlikely to be needed. Always good to have in your bag
Keep it simple on the mountain. Essentials are toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. Moisturiser is advisable, everything else is a luxury!
Travel towels from the likes of Lifesystems are perfect
These are great for washing when shower facilities become a thing of the past
A must have for good camp hygiene
For early stages and once back down
Provided on the mountain but a spare in your daysack may be useful if you need to hide behind a rock between refuges
Nappy sacks or dog poo bags
Only needed to bag your toilet paper if you are caught short in between refuges and for keeping your rubbish tidy
Personal first aid kit
Blister patches, plasters, antiseptic, painkillers; (see FAQ’s)
Keep this in your daypack
These tend to be a personal preference but help with your stability and can dampen the pressure on the knees coming down hill
For protection against the inevitable snorers!
Bring spare batteries
Bring plenty of spare batteries and memory cards
1 to 2 snack bars per day: you will be fed very well and given snacks each day however we advise bringing a small selection as a little bit of comfort. Extra snacks can be bought en-route if needed. Energy gels and protein bars are not suitable
iPod, book, Kindle etc.
Don’t forget this! Your passport should have at least 6 months validity. With your passport expiry date at least six months after the final day of travel.
Copy of passport
Just in case
Dental Check up
We recommend you have a dental check-up before your trip. New fillings can be an issue at altitude if there is an air pocket left in the gap.
We recommend you take at around £150 – £200 in Dirhams onto the mountain in small denominations. This will allow for tip money (£60 – £80) plus any extras like drinks, beers or snacks in the refuges. Small denominations are recommended as it may be difficult to obtain change and it will be easier to divide tip money.
Copy of own travel insurance details – And relevant contact numbers. Please ensure you have appropriate insurance to include medical evacuation and coverage up to an altitude of 4,200m.
Food and Water
What will the meals on the expedition be like?
The meals on the mountain will be simple yet fresh, nutritious and reasonably varied. We try to ensure that dietary preferences are met and that local ingredients are used. Breakfast is typically bread and jam, porridge or muesli, with plenty of tea and coffee. Lunches can consist of cold vegetable salads, usually with a hot dish to go with it, from soup to pasta. Evenings will tend to be vegetable or meat tagines, couscous or pasta.
The underlying aim is to provide balanced, nutritional meals packed with carbohydrates to refuel hungry bodies and to replenish stores for the next day of activity.
Do bring along any of your favourite snacks and goodie bags from home if you want. Concentrate on high energy food-stuffs to give you that little boost on an arduous day.
How often is fresh water available for replenishing during the day?
Initially water will be bottled, but higher up we will source water from local streams. It is advisable that everyone should carry water purification such as iodine, silver chloride or chlorine. When at the refuge the water will normally be purified by boiling.
I have food allergies, can these be catered for?
Absolutely, please inform the office of any allergies or intolerances and we will ensure that these are taken into account on the trek.
What kind of accommodation is there on the trek?
Once in the Atlas we stay in mountain refuges. These are reasonably big buildings with shared living rooms, normally heated with a fire or stove, large dormitories to sleep in, and shared washing facilities. Ear plugs are worthwhile for light sleepers. They normally have blankets available if you get cold. They are clean but basic.
In Marrakech we stay in a well-located, charming mid-sized riad where you will be assigned to share with a room-buddy unless travelling with friends or a partner. Single supplements are available at additional cost.
Health and Safety
What vaccinations do I need?
We advise you to check with your GP surgery or a travel clinic on the latest advice about vaccinations and to ensure you are up-to-date.
What medication do I need to bring?
We require you to take out adequate travel and medical insurance before you set out.
You will need to bring your specific medication that you take for any medical condition that you have, and pack this in your daysack. Please remember to pack plenty of spare medication in case you lose them or they get lost in transport.
It is also worth taking a simple first aid kit such as simple painkillers, Compeed or similar for blisters, plasters, antihistamines and perhaps insect repellent.
Other medications which can be useful are Ciprofloxacin antibiotics and Loperamide which helps to ease diarrhoea. Altitude specific drugs such as Acetazolamide (Diamox) may also be useful. If you are unable to get hold of any of these then please don’t worry, as your Expedition Leader will have these in the trek first aid kit.
What happens if there is a problem on the mountain?
Accidents can happen and anyone undertaking these adventures has to accept there is a degree of risk due to the very nature of the challenge. Our mountain crew are all experienced in dealing with problems that may arise.
Our 360 Leaders are highly experienced in the field. They all have wilderness first aid skills and can handle any emergency to the highest level of competency. For minor ailments, they carry basic first aid kits. They are also equipped with satellite phones if they need to engage our pre-planned emergency evacuation procedures.
What clothing should I wear on this trek?
We advocate the beg, steal and borrow principle for first timers instead of buying brand new stuff you’ll never use again. The cost of equipment is usually a major deterrent for people coming onto trips in the first place. If you think you’ll re-use your gear, then it’s worth starting to invest in good gear. The old adage often applies – you get what you pay for.
Think about the time of year, and how high you are going. While you will be comfortable at the bottom of the mountains where it will be warm rather than hot. It can get surprisingly cold out of the sun at altitude and at the refuges in the evenings, and particularly on the summit, dropping well below freezing.
Both long sleeve tops and trekking trousers are recommended rather than shorts. Long sleeves and trousers are recommended as a deterrent to insects, scratches from bushes and to act as sun protection. Do keep an eye on sunburn, even though it’s winter.
The prevailing conditions of the day on the mountain will dictate what you feel like wearing. And the layering system never fails. If you’re cold, put a layer on, if you’re hot, take one off.
What waterproofs should I bring?
As much as we’d like to guarantee eternal sunshine, we can’t fix the weather for you. You should bring a hardshell waterproof jacket and overtrousers and they should be accessible. It is quite possible to be caught out in an afternoon rainstorm low down on the mountain or snow higher up. Once you get wet and your core temperature drops slightly, it becomes very hard to warm up and dry out your clothing.
Waterproofs should be breathable Goretex material or similar to save you drowning in your own sweat. Additionally they can be used as an invaluable wind shield to protect you against the effect of wind-chill when a strong wind blows.
What is the best type of footwear to use for this trek?
Because of the huge variety of terrain encountered when ascending these mountains it is very important to wear the right footwear. Boots should be sturdy, waterproof, insulated against cold temperatures and offer adequate ankle support. In addition it is highly recommended that your boots are well worn in to prevent the formation of blisters.
A wide range of suitable boots are on the market and further advice as to which brand names are available can be found online or at your local outdoor store. The leather / synthetic combinations are endless and each with their merits. Our best advice is to try them on, walk up the ramps in the shop to check their grip – if you think they’re comfortable, and will be for several hours a day, buy them. Make sure you practice your training walks in your boots well in advance of your trip to ensure your boots are well broken in and not causing any problems.
While you are most likely to be using crampons, your boots don’t need to be highly technical, just capable of taking a C1 crampon, but you can get B2 boots if you will be doing more expeditions on glaciers.
Will I need to wear crampons?
We’re walking on condensed snowpack as opposed to glacier, but we will need to wear crampons and carry a trekking longhandled ice axe in order to prevent ourselves slipping and sliding back down the mountain. If these are new to you your guide will teach you how to use them and ensure you have enough practice at using them before we set off for the summit.
What do the porters carry? What is the correct porter weight?
Fortunately mules will be the taking the strain for this trip, but be nice to them! Pack no more than you would want to carry yourself: 15kg is the limit and should be more than sufficient on such a comparatively short trip. Any extra weight such as spare clothes etc can be left at the hostel before you head for trek. The muleteers will not look favourably on overweight packs.
Duffel bags are ideal for this sort of trip. Whatever bag you go for make sure it is robust and has a large capacity. As one goes higher in altitude it becomes harder to pack the bag and some people struggle closing their bags due to bulky sleeping bags and other pieces of kit. It will be far better having a large capacity bag with extra room (after all air doesn’t weigh much) than having a bag too small and finding problems packing your kit. Even having a 100 litre plus duffel bag is not too large.
You should bring a daysack with you of approximately 30 litres for personal gear which you will carry yourself. Each day you should only be carrying the following: waterproofs, warm top, warm hat, gloves, 2 litres of water, snacks, camera, sunscreen, lipsol, head torch, minimal first aid kit. Anything else is considered more of a luxury than a necessity. It is importance to go as light as possible as weight makes a huge difference at altitude.
How warm does my sleeping bag need to be?
These should be rated within a Comfort Rating of -10 centigrade. At the refuge it is not unusual to experience surprisingly chilly nights and a good night’s sleep is important. Ensure you have a sleeping bag that has this Comfort Rating rather than the Extreme Rating. Sleeping bags can be enhanced by using an inner fleece or silk liner or by wearing additional clothing to bed. The idea is to be as comfortable and warm as possible in the night which will help to ensure a good night’s rest for the challenge ahead.
Are down jackets necessary?
They are highly recommended and are worth their weight in gold on summit day. Our guides tend to wear them every evening around the refuges and may well be appreciated on summit day. A layer system comprising of several layer of base layers, fleeces, and jackets will suffice on the climb but nothing beats the efficiency of a good down jacket (especially when topped with a waterproof layer).
Is it possible to rent equipment before I go?
It is also possible to hire clothing and equipment before you leave from our partners Outdoor Hire (www.outdoorhire.co.uk) where 360 Expeditions has a kit list set up and you can pick and choose hire items from this. We recommend that you buy your own boots which are worn in prior to the trek.
What is the weather like?
Short and heavy rain and snowfalls can be expected in the mountains during the winter months as moist Atlantic air is forced up beyond its dew point by the mountain range, but they don’t normally last long. Often we’re in luck and a big area of high pressure can come in giving us clear crisp days, with starry and decidedly chilly nights as temperatures drop well below freezing.
Back in Marrakech, temperatures will be very comfortable, akin to a fair spring day in the UK, with the odd risk of showers. Our kit list reflects these eventualities.
Do I need to book my own flights to Morocco?
Yes you will. Due to the wide variety of flights to Morocco from various departure points around the UK that may be closer to you than London, which in turn vary greatly in price, we suggest that you book your own flights. If this is a problem we will be more than happy to assist and add flight costs (with a small administration fee) to you final invoice.
Do I need special travel insurance for the trek?
You must carry individual travel insurance to take part in the trek. We cannot take you on the mountain without proof of insurance. For Jebel Toubkal you will need insurance that covers you for trekking to an altitude of 4,200mm.
Your insurance details are requested on the booking form, however this can be arranged at a later date. 360 Expeditions will be requesting your insurance details 8 weeks before departure.
Entry Into Country
Do I need a visa?
UK citizens do not need a visa to enter Morocco.
How can I best train / prepare for climbing the mountain?
Being trekking fit prior to coming to the mountain is of great importance not only to maximise your chances of reaching the summits but much more importantly to enhance your overall enjoyment of the expedition: if you are struggling from day one then you will not enjoy the rest of the trip.
Physical preparation does not have to be Herculean: concentrate on cardio vascular exercise during the week by taking short runs when time allows and try to spend at least 2 weekends a month going on good long walks (longer than 6 hrs) carrying a rucksack of around 8 – 12 kg, and head for the hills.
This kind of regime will not only prepare your body for carrying these loads but will harden your body against the big days on the mountain itself. In addition it will help break in your boots and get used to your equipment. In combination this will pay dividends when you reach the mountains.
What currency is used in Morocco?
The Moroccan Dirham is widely available. Guichets automatiques (ATMs) are now a common sight across Morocco and many accept Visa, MasterCard, Electron, Cirrus and Maestro. Major credit cards are widely accepted in the main tourist centres, although their use often attracts a surcharge of around 5% from Moroccan businesses.
Any advice on tipping in Morocco?
Tipping and bargaining are integral parts of Moroccan life. Practically any service can warrant a tip, and a few dirham for a service willingly rendered can make life a lot easier. Tipping between 5% and 10% of a restaurant bill is appropriate. A supply of small coins is vital for random tips. It is a good idea to load up at a bank when you arrive so you are well prepared.
Any advice on tipping the local crew?
Our local crew work extremely hard to ensure that your expedition runs well. Although tipping is not compulsory, it is customary. As a general rule we suggest around £60 – £80 per person to be shared amongst the local crew. Tipping our 360 Leader is left up to the group but is always a nice gesture and much appreciated.
What adapter will I need?
It’s a standard European adapter (normally round two pin)which you can buy anywhere in the UK and at the airport if you’ve left it to the last minute.
Can I use the satellite phone?
Yes you can use the satellite phone if you really need to make a call, it’s £3 per minute. Mobiles will work sporadically. But with both of these, there is limited charging availability (the refuges normally have generators), we will use the satellite phone very sparingly, bear that in mind with your mobile.