Latest Toubkal Winter Conditions Report

I was out the other day with Jeremy from Climb Morocco exploring one of the biggest ridges that High Atlas has to offer: the WNW Ridge of Toubkal. This ridge has a well-earned alpine grade of difficile with challenging route-finding, exposed scrambling and rock climbing!

 

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WNW Ridge of Toubkal, D! 25-4-14

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Cheese…. Jeremy trying to replace some calories on the summit of Toubkal after 7 hours on the ridge! 25-4-14

Recent Weather

This last week there was a cold snap that lasted a few days and we had a dusting of snow down to Imlil (1,740m) on Monday night to Tuesday morning. That small drop of snow has all disappeared with the warmer temperatures and Imlil has had temperatures in the mid to high teens since then and the freezing level has been fluctuating at around 3800m to 4200m.

 

Snowpack and Snow Cover

The snow is retreating as expected! See the photos below for current snow cover.

 

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Looking at Toubkal and the south col route from Afella! 24-4-14

 

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South Col of Toubkal (photo taken from WNW Ridge), 25-4-14

 

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A returning party on the traverse into the south cwm on Toubkal on the sol col route, 24-4-14

 

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Looking back at the traverse before the summit of Toubkal, 25-4-14

 

Climbing Conditions

The classic mountaineering routes on peaks such as Afella and Akioud still require both an ice axe and crampons, but more sun-exposed routes like the south col of Toubkal are for the most part clear of snow and can be negotiated without crampons, but an ice axe, to cut a few steps and plunge on a few of the snow-covered traverses, would see an experienced walker through with no problems.

 

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Peaks: Ras, Timesguida n-Ouanoukim, and Akioud. All of them 4,000m peaks! (photo taken from the top of Afella,  24-4-14

Refuge Access

As mentioned in the last conditions update there is good access to the Toubkal refuges with the path being clear of snow and mules being able to pack in equipment and supplies all the way to the refuges!

 

Winter Conditions Summary

Toubkal and the High Atlas mountains continue to shed their snow base! Some of the classic routes on the more northerly aspects still require crampons and ice axes, but routes such as the south col of Toubkal are for the most part clear of snow and doable for the experienced mountaineer/trekker with just an ice axe for the snow-covered traverse sections on the route.

 

With winter on its way out, it is time for some summer scrambling and rock climbing! As mentioned in the previous post we run scrambling and multi-pitch rock trips in the Toubkal Massif. So if you are looking to experience the more vertical world the High Atlas has to offer please get in touch with us at morocco@the-mountain-people.com and have a look at http://www.the-mountain-people.com/alpine-ridges/.

Categories: Blog, Conditions, High Atlas, Ice Climbing, James, Morocco, Mountaineering, Winter
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1 Comment

One Response to Toubkal Winter Conditions #22

  1. 18 May 2014 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the update and specially for the photos! I wish you a good summer season this year in the atlas mountains!

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