Antarctica & Arctic
This varied and challenging trip treks through remote gorges, passes and valleys of the High Atlas mountain range.
Destinations > Morocco > Peaks and Valleys of the Atlas
14 nights accommodation, all breakfasts, 11 lunches, 11 dinners, transport and activities and services of an Exodus tour leader throughout.
18 Sep '16; 30 Apr; 03, 04, 18 Jun; 06 Jul; 27 Aug; 10, 17 Sep '17
During this varied and challenging trek we aim to summit Jebel Toubkal, North Africa's highest peak (4167m), Jebel Ouanakrim (4088m) and Jebel Adrar n'Dern (4001m). Discover seldom-visited gorges, passes and valleys and are rewarded with spectacular views as far as the Sahara.
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Ascend three peaks over 4,000m, including Mount Toubkal
Experience a classic trek through remote villages and absorb Berber culture
Visit the vibrant city of Marrakech where you can explore the souks and cool off in the pleasant gardens
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Depending on your arrival time, there may be some time to explore this wonderfully colourful city.
After breakfast we head out of Marrakech by private mini bus to Imi Noughlad. Here we meet our muleteers. We start our trek up to Tizi n'Msker (1500m), taking in the beautiful view through the Imnan Valley. From here we hike down to Imsker, where we stop by the river for our picnic. We then continue on to Tizi n'Tkhfiste, where we set up camp for the night.
Today we start our walk in the village of Arg, before continuing uphill through more Berber villages, learning about the local way of life. We stop for our picnic lunch under the shade of walnut trees. Our route then leads us up to Oukaimden, a Moroccoan ski resort in winter, where we camp for the night.
Leaving the summer pastures of Oukaimden, we contiune, zigzagging up hill to Tizi n Ouatar (3100m). From here we will have beautiful views of the lush green Ourikai Valley below. We then dedcend down to Agouns for our picnic lunch. In the afternoon we take a small pass through the valley to Iaabbasen where we camp.
Today we take the Tachdirt Pass (3200m) through to the village of Tachdirt. Our accommodation for the night is a beautiful mountainside gite that dominates this small valley. Tea will be served on the large terrace, giving you time to relax and take in the beautiful panoramic view.
A quite demanding walk today as we start our ascent to the Tizi n'Likemt pass (3615m). On the pass, we continue for another 2hrs, descending to the pastures of Likemt (2600m). Our camp for the night is close to the river where we can enjoy some al‐fresco dinner whilst enjoying the peace of the mountains.
Today we have an early start in order to summit the first of our 4000m peaks, Jebel Adrar n'Dern (4001m). We walk to the summer pastureland of Adouz Azibs through magnificent wild mountain landscapes rarely frequented by tourists. On the summit we are rewarded with splendid views over Toubkal and the Siroua Massifs before finally descending to Aourai Camp (300m). When there are strong winds, this can be considered the most difficult peak to summit due to the exposure of the route. Those who choose not to do this peak can enjoy a gentle 3‐hour walk with the muleteers to the next camp.
Today we walk up to the Aourai Pass, through a wild volcanic landscape. From here we can see as far as the Sahro range in southern Morocco and Toubkal is clearly visible as well. We descend towards the verdant valley of Tizgui and continue to our destination, the village of Amsouzart at 1700m. In the afternoon there is the opportunity to walk to the neighbouring village and water mill. Tonight we stay in a simple mountain gîte with a shop selling all sorts of treats such as chocolate and fresh orange juice. (Note: the gite does have solar power for lighting but no power points for recharging batteries). There may also be the opportunity to try out a Hammam (Moroccan steam bath).
After crossing the beautiful valley of Ait Ighrane and ascending alongside the river, we arrive at Lac d'Ifni (2300m). This is an idyllic spot encircled by towering mountains and we camp close to the lake. There may be the opportunity to take a swim (weather permitting) although this must be reserved for the very brave as at this height, the water is very cold.
We make our way up the Ouanoums Gorge on steep hairpin paths to the 3680m pass of Tizi n'Ouanoums. From here we have superb views back over Lac d'Ifni and forward towards Jebel Bouiguinoussem (4025m). We then start our descent to the Toubkal Base Camp at 3207m, where we will be spending the next two nights.
Today we take on another challenging 4000m peak, Mt Toubkal. At 4167m, it is the highest mountain in North Africa. The route is non‐technical although there may be some sections of snow and scree along the way but these are safe to cross. The view from the summit is truly breathtaking, as you can see the entire Toubkal Massif, the Siroua Massif and, on clear days, all the way to Marrakech. By far, the most rewarding of all achievements over the last nine days.
Our final challenge is the last of our three 4000m peaks, Mt Ouanakrim at 4089m. Although this is generally a non‐technical ascent, there will be a section towards the summit where you will need to use your hands for 30‐40 mins of scrambling. Anyone who doesn't wish to undertake this ascent can instead do part of the trek up to the col of Tizi n'Ougan (3750m) and return to camp along the same route (3½ hours round trip +/‐600m). We retrace our steps to Base Camp and, after lunch, continue our descent to Aremd (1900m) for a welcome shower and night in a gîte.
From Tizi Oussem we head down the valley into the green of the Ouirgane Nature Reserve, where olive and almond trees are abound, the scent of wild lavender and mimosa fills the air. We say goodbye to our muleteers and cooks before boarding the minibus for a transfer back to Marrakech. The evening is free to explore the city. Alternatively, you may choose to have a well‐ deserved swim in the hotel pool after our impressive feat across peaks and valleys.
In the morning we have a guided tour (on foot) to some of the main sights of Marrakech and the afternoon is free for you to further explore this vibrant city. You may choose to take a caleche (horse‐drawn carriage) round the old city walls, visit one of the palaces or the Saadien tombs. Haggle for some last‐minute bargains in the souks or relax at the tranquil Jardin Majorelle. Finally, no trip to Marrakech is complete without a nighttime visit to the main square, the Djema el Fna.
Tour ends after breakfast.
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