Depending on your arrival time, there may be some time free for exploration of this wonderfully colourful city.
After a leisurely morning and lunch in Marrakech we transfer by minibus to Imlil, a journey of just under two hours which takes us from the plains into the heart of the High Atlas range. In the afternoon we take a short walk to our mountain gite in Arroumd where there is some free time to explore the area.
Leaving the fields and walnut trees of Aroumd behind, we follow the Mizane valley to the small shrine of Sidi Chamarouch, a place of pilgrimage for many Moroccans. There is time to view the tomb of the local marabout (holy man) albeit from a distance as non-Muslims are not allowed to cross the footbridge. After stopping for a soft drink or mint tea, we continue the climb up to the Neltner refuge at an altitude of 3209m. The afternoon is used to practice with the crampons and ice-axe. The guides will find an appropriate patch of snow and demonstrate the important techniques of walking in crampons and ice-axe arrest - stopping yourself with your axe if you are sliding on a snow slope. 6 hours walking, Alt. gain 1200 m, Alt. loss 0 m
An early start (6-7am) for the ascent of Toubkal. After crossing the river outside the refuge we immediately start climbing through scree and snow up the western flank of Toubkal. About an hour below the summit we we reach a wide open pass for our first views of the south. We then turn north for a climb up the ridge to the summit plateau. Reaching the summit (4167m) provides a great sense of achievement and we are rewarded with breathtaking views. We descend by the same route and should be back to the refuge in time for a late lunch. 6 hours walking, Alt. gain 960 m, Alt. loss 960 m
Another early start to climb Jebel Ouanakrim, North Africa's second highest peak that dominates the head of the valley. We start with a more gentle walk up to the valley head, passing a few snowy 'azibs' (summer grazing pastures) to take us to the Tizi (col). From here we can see the scramble that is needed to take us to the summit plateau. The scramble is easy, but a little exposed in some places so the guides will set up a rope where needed. It's about 100 metres in length, with only the middle section requiring any particular care. We then cross (still quite a bit of ascent to go) the summit plateau to the Timzguida summit at 4089m. The views from here are even more extensive than those from Toubkal, with sweeping vista down the Sous valley towards Taroudant. 6 hours walking, Alt. gain 900 m, Alt. loss 900 m
Today we head for a narrow pass, Tizi Ouanoums, which is jammed in a steep gorge on the side of Toubkal. From here we look down the steep southerly face to the emerald green Lac D'Ifni below. After enjoying the views we return the way we came, back past the refuge, and down to Arroumd. 7 hours walking, Alt. gain 457 m, Alt. loss 1664 m
The short walk down to Imlil is followed by the drive to Marrakech. In the afternoon and early evening we can explore Marrakech and do some serious bargaining for souvenirs. Djemaa el Fna, the open-air market place around which traditional life of Marrakech revolves, is an exciting place to visit. The name literally means 'place of death' as it was the place where the Sultans used to display the heads of their enemies. Now, with the foodstalls, snake charmers, water-sellers, travelling musicians and acrobats, the square is a place of entertainment for both Moroccan and visitors alike. The modern shopping centres of the French-built 'new town' are only a short walk away.
Trip ends after breakfast.