Latest Toubkal Winter Conditions Report

I headed up again to the refuge today to check out the mountaineering and climbing conditions and check on how the snowpack was shaping up after the light snow showers we had over the weekend. Toubkal and the High Atlas are in great winter condition. The snowline proper begins at the Sidi Chamharouch (2,350m) with all the snow lower down clearing out quickly over the last couple of days.

 

IMG_7725

Akiode (one of the 4,000m peaks) looking in great condition! 18-12-14

 

Recent Weather

Since the last report snow fell down to Imlil (1,740m) on Saturday night and continued off and on through Sunday. For the most part most of this has gone with just little patches remaining in shaded and north facing aspects. The freezing level has gone back up over the last couple of days and the lovely blue skies have returned! We are back into stable weather for the next week if the forecast is right.

 

IMG_7728

Looking down at the refuges from around the 3,400m mark 18-12-14

 

Snowpack and Snow Cover

I found very stable snowpack due to the freeze/thaw cycles over the last couple of days. The conditions underfoot are also good with a sun crust in places and well consolidated snow overall. There were drifts of windslab in places but overall the snowpack seems to have firmed up and gave us good mountaineering conditions.

 

 Climbing Conditions

The classic mountaineering routes are still in great condition due to the snowpack being firm overall. The ice routes on Afella, Toubkal West, etc still need more time to form properly and some of the build-up on the ice routes seems to have retreated a bit. Fountain Gully might be in doable. Hopefully the recent dusting of snow will help the ice fatten up a bit. Other ice heading towards Tizi Ouagane seems to be forming on smaller cliffs.

 

IMG_7719

Afella ice routes 18-12-14

 

I was on Chockstone Gully last week and found it a bit thin in places but it is definitely climbable, as is Curtain Call. The Afekhoi cascades still are not in, but the mixed lines on the left-hand buttress look to be in great condition.

 

IMG_7734

Mixed Buttress at the left side of the Afekhoi (NW Cwm) 18-12-14

 

IMG_7723

Toubkal West with its big 600m mixed gully lines 18-12-14

 

So, to summarise the climbing conditions: the classic gullies and rock ridge lines are in condition and the big mixed/ice routes on Afella, Toubkal West, etc need more time to form.

 

 

Logistics Packages

For a Logistics Only Package please get in touch with us! Let us sort all the non-climbing and mountaineering aspects to your trip, so that you can focus on enjoying the culture, food, and peaks and routes of the High Atlas.

 

Refuge Access

There is good access to the Toubkal refuges as the path is clear of snow to Sidi Chamharouch (2,350m) and from there the snow has been packed down so no big drifts to wade through!

 

Winter Conditions Summary

Toubkal and the Central High Atlas mountains are currently in great condition for general winter trekking and mountaineering with a good cover of firm snow and should remain so with the current forecast predicting stable weather for the next week. Ice/mixed routes still need more time to come into proper condition. With the freeze/thaw around the 3,500m mark the snowpack will continue to consolidate and hopefully routes will continue to form with the added snow we had over the weekend.

 

For a personalised trekking, guiding or instruction service and/or logistics for Toubkal and the High Atlas, just get in touch with us here at The Mountain People!

 

IMG_7576

South Col route up Toubkal 18-12-14

 

IMG_7726

Tizi Ouagane 18-12-14

IMG_7731

Clochetons 18-12-14

Categories: Blog, Climbing Information, Conditions, High Atlas, Ice Climbing, James, Morocco, Mountain Information, Mountaineering, Winter
Tags: , , , ,

Leave a comment

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>