Category Archives: Trekking

Toubkal Trek for Nordic Walkers

The High Atlas are teetering on the edge of winter! I got back from guiding a six-day trek in the Toubkal Massif for Gemini Outdoor, a Nordic Walking company based in the UK. It was a pleasure to run the trip with Gemini’s founder Steve Ellis and the group that he brought together for the trip were great fun.

 

Well done again everyone for tackling North Africa’s biggest peak!

 

Conditions: please make sure you either have the relevant winter experience or you hire a guide, as there is snow on a few of the more exposed sections of the Toubkal south col route!

 

 

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Summit day – getting ready to take on Toubkal 18/10/14

 

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Exiting the south cwm and heading to the south col of Toubkal 18/10/14

 

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Exiting the cwm near the south col of Toubkal 18/10/14

 

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On the traverse leading to the summit 18/10/14

 

 

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Guides posing at the summit 18/10/14

 

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Trek back to Imlil from the Toubkal refuge 19/10/14

 

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Last day walk up to Tizi M’zzik (2,480m) 20/10/14

Categories: Blog, Conditions, High Atlas, James, Morocco, Mountain Information, Trekking
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Trips and Courses for the Summer and Autumn

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Quick update on some of the trekking and climbing trips and courses we are offering over the summer and autumn! The High Atlas still has so much to offer outside of the winter season: great scrambling and trekking, stunning views of colour-filled  landscapes and ancient villages, and epic multi-pitch routes offering hundreds of metres of adventures. Our summer and autumn season lasts from the end of May to late October.

 

Please click on the links below for more details:

 

Drop us an email at morocco@the-mountain-people.com for more details.

Categories: Anti-Atlas, High Atlas, James, Mountaineering, Summer, Tafraout, Trad, Trekking
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Toubkal Winter Conditions #23

 

Latest Toubkal Winter Conditions Report

 

Here are some photos I took yesterday morning of the current snow cover! As you can see winter is officially over. This will be the last winter conditions update from us at The Mountain People. We will start posting the Toubkal Winter Conditions update in the autumn at the first sign of winter!

 

If you are interested summer trekking & mountaineering or rock climbing get in contact with us to find out more about the trips and courses we offer.

 

 

Traverse into the south cwm of Toubkal

Traverse into the south cwm of Toubkal

 

Looking up at the Clochetons and Tadat Col

Looking up at the Clochetons and Tadat Col

 

Last third of the trek into the Toubkal refuges (middle peak Akioud)

Last third of the trek into the Toubkal refuges (middle peak Akioud)

Peak on right Ras, 7-5-14

Peak on right Ras

 

 

Categories: Blog, Conditions, High Atlas, James, Morocco, Mountaineering, Summer, Trekking, Winter
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GSM Mobile Phone Coverage Mgoun Region

Mgoun

Mgoun 4,068m

Mountain Mobile Phone Coverage Mgoun

As mentioned in my previous blog post I was out guiding on Mgoun last week. I wanted to give a quick update on mobile phone coverage in that area.

 

Mgoun is the most remote of the 4,000m peaks in the High Atlas and is a serious undertaking. Generally speaking you must be self-reliant in this corner of the world and the mobile coverage is very limited if not non-existant once off into the mountains. After speaking with the refuge guardian I was delighted to find that he had marked a spot of GSM coverage about 500m NW heading directly towards the peak of Aghouri (3,536m). The peak connects to the Tizi ‘ Tarkeddit (3,400m) the pass you typically come over to access the refuge.

 

Here is a photo taken on the left side of the Tarkeddit Refuge (2,900m) if you are looking up toward Aghouri peak. It is quite hard to see the spot but it is marked at the moment with a white bag covering a stone sitting on a boulder that has a very large boulder behind it. I have marked it in this photo with a red arrow.

 

GSM Coverage Tarkeddit Plateau

GSM Coverage Tarkeddit Plateau

 

I also took a GPS grid reference at the point:

N 31.53521

W006.51919

 

If you have any issues finding the coverage point get the guardian at the Tarkeddit refuge to show you the spot. It is worth checking that your service provider works on the Maroc Telecom network before heading out because that is the mobile service that covers the spot described above.

 

Also, if you are heading into this area, I would get rescue insurance that covers helicopter rescue services. There is a good private helicopter company called Heliconia based in Marrakech who can do a helicopter rescue from the Tarkeddit plateau where the refuge is situated. Contact them through their website for further details on helicopter rescue services at http://www.helicoptere.heliconia-maroc.com/

 

The Eastern Atlas is a beautiful area that is well worth a visit but you need to go prepare if heading into more remote areas. If you are interested in the trips we run for Mgoun please see get in touch at morocco@the-mountain-people.com.

 

Categories: Blog, High Atlas, James, Morocco, Mountain Information, Mountaineering, Trekking
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Toubkal & Trekking Trip | High Atlas, Morocco

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It has been a remarkably cool and wet week in the High Atlas where I was leading a large group who were raising money for charity by trekking from village to village, and finishing with a Toubkal summer ascent.

 

Check out our Facebook page (public album) for some photos from the trek.

 

Our first day ended inauspiciously with a massive thunderstorm, having trekked up from the village of Tamatert in Imlil into the next valley system. The lightning caused thunder to rebound from one end of the sky to the other, and reminded me of the volley of fire from a Tennyson poem I mentioned recently. Some words came to mind as we rushed to escape the storm:

 

A racket of thunder volleying in the eaves of the sky

 

Luckily the damp weather kept the temperatures relatively low, and, of course, brought well-needed moisture to the fields and crops. As we made our way to the Toubkal refuge, one passer-by commented that there had even been snow on the summit at noon the previous day. However, thankfully our summit day was clear of any bad weather, although a little chilly before the sun cleared the surrounding high ridges.

 

All icefalls had long fallen down since James’ last visit in May, and no snow patches or gullies lingered within visible range, so scree and loose rock are the order of the day until new snowfall in the autumn. The refuges seemed busy and easy ways up Toubkal thronged with parties, but I did not notice any climbers or parties on more technical routes.

 

Overall, it was a very enjoyable trip. It is always good to meet a big group of new acquaintances, as I find fascinating the interactions with people from all walks of life and satisfying being able to pass on new skills and knowledge about Morocco.

 

 

This trip was a custom package, combining village to village trekking and a summer Toubkal ascent. If you are thinking of planning a custom trip, see our Custom Trips & Courses page. Otherwise, for accurate information on conditions, weather etc., feel free to get in contact.

 

Categories: Blog, Conditions, High Atlas, Morocco, Simon, Summer, Trekking
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