Category Archives: Mountaineering

Toubkal Winter Conditions #15

Toubkal winter conditions, 11 February 2014

Looking up to Toubkal from above Imlil on 11 February 14: good snow cover


A quick update on Toubkal winter conditions


There was a couple of centimetres of fresh snow on Monday morning on Toubkal. See above a photo taken yesterday. Look for a full conditions update on Sunday! I’ll be guiding on Toubkal on Friday and Saturday, so will have fresh photos soon.


Join the discussion!


Great to meet and hear from some of you who are finding these updates helpful, including those from the forum thread! Let me know if there is any other info that would be useful.


Get some of the Toubkal winter action


Got the FOMO (fear of missing out)? Then here are some ways you can keep the psyche up:




  • Watch our @toubkalwinter feed on Twitter for latest images from the Toubkal area




Categories: Blog, Conditions, High Atlas, Ice Climbing, James, Morocco, Mountaineering, Winter
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Toubkal Winter Conditions #14

The latest in-depth Toubkal winter conditions report


Toubkal winter conditions, 7 February 2014

Having a go on some Grade V ice!

Good ice climbing up for grabs


Yesterday I was out climbing with Luke, Aid, and Rob from the UK. We arranged to meet up on the path from Imlil to the refuge to climb on the cascades I have posted about over the last couple of months. We had a fantastic time working our way up the short pitches culminating at the upper tier and the steepest climbing (Grade V ice!) at this venue.  Great day out guys and hope all went well with the bivvy on the NE ridge and summiting Toubkal today!




Overall the snowpack is consolidating well at about the 2,900m mark and below. The freeze/thaw cycles are doing their job and, with stable conditions forecast and the continuation of the freeze/thaw cycles at 3,500m and below, stability should only improve.


Please note… with the amount of snow that is around be aware off heavy-laden slopes especially in the afternoon as the snowpack become saturated and bonds weakened through warming. Be aware of deep powder laid over a hard crust!


At higher altitudes where the freeze/thaw hasn’t hit, teams of mountaineers and climbers have been reporting soft, dry deep powder (typical for the High Atlas at this time of the year). The snow needs more time to consolidate and firm up at the higher, colder altitudes.


Climbing Conditions


The chock stone route on Afella is in good condition at grade IV, but Curtain Call M7, VII (mixed route to the left) still needs some more ice on it. As mentioned above, the cascades are in good condition. Routes higher up are either unconsolidated or too thin and need more snow. The alpine ridges are a great option with routes like the AD+ South West Ridge of Toubkal West.


Toubkal winter conditions, 7 February 2014

Rob & Luke on the second tier, North West cwm, Afekhoi

Toubkal winter conditions, 7 February 2014

Aid on lead!


If you are interested in mountaineering on the alpine ridges contact us on the address below and for a quick overview of our Alpine Ridges trip see


Logistics for your Toubkal winter trip


If you are looking to get out in the mountains here and need some assistance with arrangements, we offer logistics packages to suit your needs including arranging transport to and from Marrakech, mules and porter support, food and route advice. Get in touch with us at!


Toubkal winter conditions, 7 February 2014

Grade V pitch – Upper ice tier, North West cwm, Afekhoi


Toubkal winter conditions, 7 February 2014

Toubkal Refuge path (between Sidi Cham 2,350m and refuge 3,200m)


Toubkal winter conditions, 7 February 2014

Upper ice tier, North West cwm, Afekhoi


Toubkal winter conditions, 7 February 2014

Good snow cover in the High Atlas!

Categories: Blog, Conditions, High Atlas, Ice Climbing, James, Morocco, Mountaineering, Winter
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Toubkal Winter Conditions #13

Quick update on Toubkal winter conditions:


Toubkal and the snow covered riverbed 2-2-14

Toubkal and the snow covered riverbed 2-2-14


It has been warmer over the last couple of days, which is helping the fresh snow to consolidate. Later in the week I will head up towards the refuge and have a closer look at things. Look for a full conditions update on Friday!


Tizi M'zzik 2,489m 2-2-14

Tizi M’zzik 2,489m 2-2-14

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

Toubkal Winter Conditions from The Mountain People


The big question: ‘What are the latest Toubkal winter conditions?’


One of the consistent questions we receive is, ‘what are the latest Toubkal winter conditions?’ Happily we have an office in Imlil, which is the starting point for most Toubkal expeditions, whether walking or climbing, so we are well placed to answer this important question.


Reports directly from our office in Imlil


During the winter months, we now provide regular, up-to-date conditions reports for walking and climbing conditions. These include: snowfall, where the snowline is, icefall conditions, snowpack conditions and some indication of avalanche status. We also include photos and images with most updates so that you can see straight away what is going on.


Our resources for Toubkal winter conditions updates


  1. | Our blog where we post trip and conditions reports, which go into a fair amount of detail
  2. | Our Twitter account in which you can find live (or almost live) posts; handy for new snow or quick Toubkal shots. Watch out for the hashtag #toubkalwinter
  3. | A general, public thread on where a variety of people post on conditions this season (2013-14)


Happy walking and climbing!

Categories: Conditions, High Atlas, Ice Climbing, Morocco, Mountaineering, Winter

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Scotland Winter Mountaineering Trip #1

Scotland Winter Mountaineering

Scotland winter mountaineering in the Cairngorm mountains, Scottish Highlands

This is the first in a series of posts, leading up to our inaugural Scotland Winter Trip which starts on 23 February. It is no ordinary Scotland winter mountaineering trip, but the first of an handful of annual community events, in which we aim to give you the chance to get to know like-minded people, have a laugh and enjoy an adventurous week in amazing surroundings.


It is poignant to think that exactly one year ago, I made the long journey north, deep into the Cairngorms, shouldered a heavy rucksack and stepped out onto the hills of Lochnagar above Braemar. Inspired by the film Skyfall (Scotland, Skyfall & Ulysses), with its evocative Scottish backdrop, and the words of Tennyson in the forefront of my mind, I  tentatively set about fulfilling my plan for the next six weeks which would result in me successfully gaining my Winter Mountain Leader Award.


Adventures are best shared 


There is something satisfying, then, in announcing our Scotland winter mountaineering Community Event, in which one of the key aspects is, of course, community. Whereas I spent most of my last winter season alone, left to my thoughts and devices, this February is all about returning to share adventurous experiences together. There is great satisfaction in not only passing on skills, knowledge and experience to others, but also sharing those very same adventures with another; to return home and evoke that shared process, the sensations and reflections. This truly makes the experience whole.


On my first mini expedition (Highland Hobo #1), one of the main battles was with myself: I was totally alone and with recourse to no one. I vividly remember the feeling of vulnerability and the need to own my decisions, as well as any potential mistakes. It was a liberating experience, but one that I yearned to share in a broader context than that of one.


Good laughs, good company


In this way, you are invited to join us this February for the sheer pleasure of enjoying the amazing mountains of the Scottish Highlands in good company and for some good laughs. If you have never been out in winter before, we will ensure you are taught the necessary skills, and then the aim is to get on the high tops and see what the weather throws at us! For those itching to get stuck in straight away, we will brush off the cobwebs and then tackle some classic ridges and itineraries.


The emphasis is on good relationships, rather than running a commercial event, hence the shared minibus ride north, self-catering and cooking together. However, an all inclusive Scotland winter mountaineering trip for £350.00 is good value, so spaces are limited and fill up fast. Get in there quick!


For more details, see our Community page.


Categories: Blog, Mountaineering, Scotland, Simon, Winter
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