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Mouflon refuge and the south col route up Toubkal after the storm broke! 24-3-16

 

Latest Toubkal Winter Conditions Report – March 26, 2016

The snow fall has been late this year but better late then never! This last week I was out with Mike and Zach from Texas for a Winter Alpine Ridges trip that included a bit of ice climbing. The boys did very well with the adventurous, blizzard/Scottish-like conditions!

 

Snowpack and Snow Cover

A metre plus of snow dropped early this last week which included spells of strong northerly winds. We came across the graupel deposits in isolated places. There are some pretty deep drifts and windslab deposits to look out for and do take care as the snowpack continues to consolidate. Also, take care on the big gullies such as the Tadat and Clochetons couloirs which are pretty loaded. The afternoons with the forecasted warmer temperatures should also be treated with care as the snowpack will become heavy!

 

 

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Walk out from the refuge 24-3-16

The snowpack should settle well over this next week and in the longer term keep the peaks in good snow cover. I imagine the skiing is getting pretty good again!

 

 

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Weather forecast from: http://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Toubkal/forecasts/4167

 

Climbing Conditions

The big lines on Afella and Toubkal West looked in good condition and should stay that way for the next couple of weeks as the recent snow should fatten up the lines.

 

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Toubkal West looking ready for action! 23-3-16

 

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Afella looking ready to go! 23-3-16

 

 

The Afekhoi cascades are good but a bit buried and difficult to get to with all the fresh snow. Chockstone Gully and Curtain Call (the ice smear on the left of Chockstone) once again are ready for action but do take care on the approach.

 

 

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Ice near the refuge!

Overall, the winter climbing should be good for the next couple of weeks but again do take care in warmer conditions!

 

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The boys enjoying the Tadaft Ridge! 23-3-16

 

Refuge Access

Porters are still essential for getting supplies and extra gear up to the refuge. Mules can get a bit further than Sidi Cham (2,350m) but no further. Over the coming weeks, if warmer conditions persist, mules should be able to get higher up the track near the refuge.

 

 

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Mules hanging out above Sidi Cham, 24-3-16

Do make sure to pay your porters and muleteers properly and keep to no more than 80kg for a mule loads and 20 to 25kgs for porters!

 

Winter Conditions Summary

A metre plus of fresh snow fell in the High Atlas mountains of Morocco earlier this week! The snowpack is generally settling well and should continue if the current weather forecast is correct. Do take care as there are weaknesses in the snowpack and avoid windslab deposits. Watch the big gully lines as well as they were pretty loaded. And finally, do watch the later part of the day as the snowpack warms and gets heavy and may become avalanche prone.

 

The climbing conditions should stay good over the next couple of weeks and the mountaineering should stay good as late as the end of April.

 

 

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Summit of Akioud 21-3-16

 

 

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

 

 

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On route to SE face of Akioud 21-3-16

 

James, Full-time guide/instructor for TMP

James, Full-time guide/instructor for TMP

Disclaimer: as a mountaineering instructor I have had avalanche risk assessment training and have a good level of experience but am by no means a professional avalanche forecaster. These reports aim to give you a general idea of the winter conditions for a few days ahead and the risks involved but please be diligent in checking weather forecasts yourself and monitoring the conditions when you are out in the High Atlas.

 

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