INTRODUCTION


Have you ever been enticed by the absurdity of ice climbing in Africa?

 

This is no contradiction or joke: every winter, the Moroccan High Atlas boasts a set of impressive icefalls that start to form in early December and often endure into May. Compare a month’s worth of build up in the following slides from December 2011 and January 2012, respectively. These icefalls are about 3 hours trek from Imlil.

 

Many of these icefall routes are easily accessible from the routes and refuges used to summit Toubkal. Most are pure water ice, following watercourses and drainage lines, so sharp tools are essential. There is a good range of grades from Scottish III to V and beyond, including much scope for continental mixed routes (rime and hoar frost do not linger long because of the strength of the sun). If you want to mix things up, there are also many mountaineering expeditions on Grade I and II ground, such as gullies and alpine ridges. Check out staff member Des’ guidebook, Mountaineering in the Moroccan High Atlas in our Publications area.

 

HEALTH & SAFETY & TRIP LEVEL


solid_blue_logoBecause of the technical nature of these trips, we only use instructors who hold the highest outdoor pursuits awards, in this case the Mountaineering Instructor Certificate. The MIC is a professional award and holders are assessed to high standards in the skills required for instructing winter mountaineering, including all aspects of winter mountaineering and climbing. We do not compromise on your safety.

 

 

TechTechnical trips are when mountaineering and/or summer and winter climbing skills/techniques are put to use i.e. a rope, and protection are used in ascent. The trips and courses below fall into this level. Please feel free to email us make sure that these trips are appropriate for your level of experience.

 

 

 

WE OFFER A NUMBER OF ICE CLIMBING TRIPS AND COURSES IN THE TOUBKAL MASSIF:


Introduction to Ice Climbing

 

This course is about giving you all the skills you need to progress towardsCIMG4630 being a competent ice climber! The focus of this trip is to work on:

  • Movement skills on ice
  • Crampon and ice axe techniques/placements
  • Ice screw placement and anchor building specific to pure ice routes

And, if you are feeling comfortable, we will get you on the sharp end to lead your first route with the coaching of one of our instructors beside you! Please note this course is also aimed at those who have led before, but just want some further input from a seasoned instructor.

 

Venue: single pitch ice routes accessible from the Toubkal refuges.

 

Ratio of Instructor to Participants: up to 1:5 for this course as we are using single pitch venues.

 

What is included in the price? instruction, transport, accommodation in a mountain refuge, mule and porter support, food (excluding snacks and bottled water).

 

Excluded from price: Flights, personal kit and pre- and post-trip expenses are not included.

 

EXAMPLE ITINERARY
Day 1Travel from Marrakech to Imlil (1,740m) via taxi or mini bus. Trek to mountain refuge (3,200m): 5 to 6 hour day; about 10km of distance.
Day 2Head to one of the single pitch ice venues near the Toubkal refuge and look at the basics of ice climbing.
Day 3Go to a different venue and build on skills learned from the day before.
Day 4Head to another venue and continue developing skills and techniques & if ready lead a route or two.
Day 5Trek down from refuge to Imlil and head back to Marrakech: 4 hour day.
Please note that we are flexible to your guiding/instructional needs. If you want to plan your own itinerary with us, do get in touch.
PRICE PER PERSON  
Packages1 PersonGroup of 2Group of 3Group of 4Group of 5
4 day teaching & guiding£1260£790
£580£475£400
5 day teaching & guiding£1485£930£675£550£460
6 day teaching & guiding £1695£1020£765£620£530

High Atlas Guided Ice 

 

For this trip we will get you out on some of the bigger ice/mixed lines IMG_7641around the Toubkal refuge and also, if desired, build in some shorter days on the quality cascade climbing in the area. This trip is for those that have done a fair bit of winter climbing before and are looking for a step up from Scotland. The lengths of the big routes (up to 600m) are comparable to those of the Alps but without the complicated approaches – so why not make Morocco your next ice climbing destination?

 

Venue: Cascades and big lines on the peaks around the refuge in the Toubkal Massif.

 

Ratio of Guide to Participants: due to the technical nature of this trip the ratio of 1:1 or 1:2  guide/participant.

 

What is included in the price? guiding & instruction, transport, accommodation in a mountain refuge, mule and porter support, food (excluding snacks and bottled water).

 

Excluded from price: Flights, personal kit and pre- and post-trip expenses are not included.

 

EXAMPLE ITINERARY
Day 1Travel from Marrakech to Imlil (1,740m) via taxi or mini bus. Trek to mountain refuge (3,200m): 5 to 6 hour day; about 10km of distance.
Day 2To start out the week we head out to one of the cascade venues that is accessible from the Toubkal refuge. This day is to acclimatize and also make sure all the skills need for the rest of the trip are in place.
Day 3Get out on one of the big lines on Toubkal West, Ras or Akioud.
Day 4Get out on a different route on Toubkal West, Ras or Akioud.
Day 5Trek down from refuge to Imlil and head back to Marrakech: 4 hour day.
Please note that we are flexible to your guiding/instructional needs. If you want to plan your own itinerary with us, do get in touch.
PRICE PER PERSON
Packages1 PersonGroup of 2
4 day guided£1260£790
5 day guided£1485£930
6 day guided £1695£1020

Logistics for Climbers and Mountaineers

 

And of course, if you don’t need a guide or instructor, we can also help you with the logistics of your trip. Our services included: accommodation, transport, food and, of course, advice on the best locations to visit. We have trusted local staff from Imlil who have a fantastic track record of taking excellent care of our clients non-climbing/mountaineering needs!

 

For any of the above here is the enquiry form or send us an email at morocco@the-mountain-people.com. We will get back to you with availability and other important information!

 

 

LINKS


In the meantime, check out the following web links for the best videos, blogs and articles on Morocco ice climbing:

 

Andy Stokes-Rees collection [one of the most enterprising adventurers and filmmakers of recent years in the High Atlas]

 

Morocco Winter Alpine

Alpinisme dans le Haut Atlas Occidental (Maroc)

Ice climbs in Western High Atlas