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 Arroumd 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, we continue the climb up to the Neltner refuge at an altitude of 3209m. The afternoon is used to check equipment and practice on some of the surrounding snow. Depending on conditions the guides will give basic instruction in ice axe self-arrest and the use of crampons. 6 hours walking, Alt. gain 1200 m, Alt. loss 0 m
We set off early to climb Jebel Ouanakrim, starting with a gentle walk up to the valley head. From here there are a variety of routes to the summit, some with quite steep sections. The guide will decide on the most appropriate route on the day. From the top, the views of Toubkal and the surrounding mountains are spectacular. In the late morning/early afternoon we start our descent back to the refuge for a well-deserved hot drink and a relaxing afternoon. 6 hours walking, Alt. gain 900 m, Alt. loss 900 m
Today we have another early start, this time for the ascent of Toubkal. Neltner Hut, our refuge, is at the base of Toubkal and from it we immediately start climbing steeply through scree and snow before traversing the southern ridge to reach the summit. Reaching the summit 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
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 the 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.
For those on group flights, these depart in the morning and will arrive in the UK the same day.