Latest Toubkal Winter Conditions Report

On Friday I finished a six day 4,000m Peaks trip with a lovely group from England. Overall, we had fantastic winter conditions on Toubkal and the other 4,000m peaks in the High Atlas Mountains. It is proper winter now with the windchill being sometimes down to -25 C.

 

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Toubkal with the North and South Col routes & Toubkal West with the big mixed lines – seen from the Tadat Col. 11-2-15

 

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Ras (4,083m), Timesguida (4,088m), and Akoiud (4030m) – from the summit of Biguinoussene (4,007m) 11-2-15

 

Snowpack and Snow Cover

There is good consolidated snow on most slope aspects. We did find on more northerly aspects weakly bonded layers and pockets of wind slab, which is due to the S to SW winds we have been having. There is snow in the forecast for Wednesday and Thursday of this week, and the winds look to be coming from the NW and NE, so watch the more southerly aspects for drifting and windslab build up. Also, beware if the big drop of snow comes, as in places it will overlay on a harder layer and may need time for the layers to bond.

 

Take care on those more northerly aspects and areas where wind slab persists early this week and look for drifting and wind slab on more southerly facing slopes as the wind shifts directions later in the week!

 

 

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Climbing Conditions

The routes on Afella are looking doable and Fountain Gully looks to still to be in condition. Last week Chockstone Gully, Curtain Call, some single pitch ice routes at the end of the valley near Tizi Ouagane, and one of the 600m routes on Toubkal West all saw ascents by a group of British climbers. They reported good conditions on most of the routes, but on one of the routes on Toubkal West near the top, one of the teams reported it to be hard going with loose snow, but the lower sections were in great condition. The Afekhoi cascades looked to be in good condition and again the mixed climbing on the left buttress was in good condition.

 

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Ice routes at the end of the valley near Tizi Ouagane 9-2-15

 

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Afella with it steep wall of mixed/ice routes 9-2-15

 

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Afekhoi cascades 8-2-15

 

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Potential route between the Lepiney refuge and Tamsoult refuge 13-2-15

 

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.

 

 

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!

 

Refuge Access

Access to the Toubkal refuge is normal for this time of year, with hard-packed snow starting above Sidi Chamharouch (2,350m). Crampons are a good idea to keep in your rucksack, especially if you are starting out early or arriving at the refuge later in the day. Porters are needed from Sidi Chamharouch.

 

The Lepiney refuge has snow on the track and from the frozen cascades you will need crampons.

 

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Tazaghart Plateau 13-2-15

 

Winter Conditions Summary

Toubkal and the High Atlas mountains are in excellent winter condition with lots of the mountaineering and ice routes ready for the picking. It would be wise to avoid or take care on more northerly slope aspects and also southerly as the wind shifts directions and a big dump of snow is forecast. There are weaknesses in the snowpack on more northerly aspect slopes, so good route finding and watching the wind and weather will allow groups to enjoy the great winter we are having in the High Atlas.

 

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!

 

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Summit of Toubkal – well done boys! 10-2-15

 

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Gully leading to the Tadat Col 11-2-15

 

 

 

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