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Ascent to Toubkal Trip to the Moroccan Atlas

 

Ascent of Toubkal, mountains and Berbers

 

One day, during a mountain meal, those of tortilla, wine and sausage after having conquered some nearby summits, a good friend told us about the wonderful sensations he had felt on the journey he had made to the heart of the Western Atlas, to the Toubkal mountain range in Morocco, near Marrakech. He spoke of mountains over 4000 m covered with snow for many months of the year, of the kindness of the people who lived there and of "Berber whisky" (tea with peppermint). Our curiosity had been aroused, Morocco, mountains, Berbers... it sounded good.

Ascent to Toubkal ImlilPath to the Toubkal shelter

On March 2, 2014, we took a plane to Marrakech and then drove to Imlil. Our adventure began, the objective, to ascend to the summits of Toubkal, Toubkal West, Ras and Timesguida and if we had time to enjoy a day in the city of Marrakech as the 7th we should be at home.

 

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Donkeys, rucksacks and fear of how our bodies would react, since we had to sleep in the Toubkal shelter at 3207 m, define the day March 3. A slow approach, drink a lot of water and once you get to the refuge, (after taking the bunk, eat and rest), go up a little more to, after admiring the beautiful surroundings calmly, go down, have dinner and sleep, can be a good way to acclimatize (it worked for us, but each body is different).

Path to the Toubkal shelterRas and Timesguida panoramic view

At 5 o'clock in the morning of the 4th we start our ascent to Toubkal (4167 m) there is not much snow, but the snow at that time is hard and that makes it easier for us to walk. Not without effort but with a lot of courage a few hours later we were at the summit. After the usual photos, hugs and a little rest sweetened by cookies and chocolate, we decided to attack the summit of Toubkal West (4030 m) by stepping on its peak around noon. Now we have to go down to the refuge, tired but attentive and concentrated to avoid any incident we arrive there, with the satisfaction of the objective fulfilled.

Cima del ToubkalCima del Ras

The 5th day is hard, ascent to Ras (4083 m) and Timesguida (4089 m), descent to the refuge and descent to Imlil (1740 m). With this panorama we start the activity at 4 o'clock in the morning. In this ascent there is much more snow and the environment is totally different from yesterday's. Arriving at the summit, the clarity of the day allowed us to admire the beautiful scenery in all directions. At around 12 noon, we reached the shelter, ate, prepared the petates and went to Imlil. On the way down, we took a break in the village and sanctuary of Sidi Chamharouch (2310m), a place of pilgrimage and offering, where we took the opportunity to buy some souvenirs. We arrive at our destination, a shower and a refreshing dinner put an end to a very intense day.

Sidi Chamharouch Sanctuary and its White StoneMarrakech Jamaa el Fna Square

On the 6th, it's tourism time, return to Imlil, visit to the women's oil production cooperative D'ARGAN, and Marrakech. The square Jamaa el Fna (which as the day goes by is transformed), the souk, the people, the flavours and the smells impregnate our senses making us feel like spectators of an unreal world almost of story that little by little is catching us until making us be part of it.

 

 

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