When’s the best time to climb Mt Toubkal?
Climb to the roof of North Africa. Mount Toubkal at 4176metres is an excellent intro to high altitude trekking. Taking only a long weekend to complete. The advantage of the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco is that the climate allows accessibility to this alpine range all year round. But the big question is, when’s the best time to climb Mt Toubkal – Summer or Winter? So I thought I’d share some of my favourite points about trekking this iconic mountain in two different seasons. Hopefully this blog will give you the chance to make an informed decision that’s right for you.
15 Years Climbing Mt Toubkal
Firstly, a bit of background to give you some substance behind these recommendations. The year 2021 may be temporarily on hold with regards to world travel. However, it marks my 15th year since I first climbed Mt Toubkal. In reflection, now more than ever, I look back on what a gift those 15 years have been in order to trek in such an incredible environment and meet a wide variety of people and learn about their lives, cultures and traditions. This is the true essence of travel and adventure.
Over these years I’ve been fortunate to have explored a myriad of Moroccan lands from epic mountain ranges, ancient cities, sweeping deserts to dramatic coastlines (a perfect backdrop for any fellow kite surfing fanatic). I also lived in Morocco over the winter months for many seasons. Cycled from the High Atlas Mountains to Essaouira on the coast and hosted scores of trekking & cycling trips from Saharan dunes to the peaks of the High Atlas.
This patch of the planet is made for adventure travel. The warmth and friendliness shown from the locals is the added spice to the tagine. The friends I’ve been so lucky to make in this near yet foreign land, are like family. For me, it’s like returning home each opportunity I get to go back.
So back to the question – Summer or Winter?
In all honesty, there’s no black or white answer to this question. Each trek holds a different experience. But one thing is for sure, whenever you visit the High Atlas Mountains you’ll receive a very warm welcome, enjoy delicious food, drink plenty of mint tea and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Summer Toubkal Top 10
- Witness the dramatic colours of the landscape from lush green valleys, colourful cherry blossoms to the rusty rock layers of the mountains.
- Wake early with the chance to see the sun rise over the mountain range. Trekking early to avoid the heat of the day and have time to relax in the evenings and soak in the remote mountain wilderness.
- Enjoy camping in the warmth under a sparkling sky of stars.
- The mountain villages of Imlil and Aroumd are more alive giving you the chance to meet more locals and witness daily life. Plus experience the buzz of traditional Amazigh communities which line the route.
- Take your time to enjoy delicious Moroccan picnic lunches in the shade of Juniper trees and immerse yourself in the vast views.
- Observe and listen to stunning crystal-clear waterfalls.
- Experience some trekking trails which are only accessible in the summer months.
- Enjoy a thirst quenching freshly squeezed orange juice during your ascent.
- Trek a circular route which also allows plenty of time for acclimatisation.
- Experience vast 360 degree views from the summit of Mt Toubkal over neighbouring mountain ranges and across to the Sahara Desert.
Winter Toubkal Top 10
- Fantastic opportunity to learn winter mountain skills in a high-altitude environment.
- Historically, return flights are cheaper with being the low season and Marrakech is more relaxed.
- You’ll experience less people en-route whilst the crunching through the snow to the summit of Mt Toubkal.
- Experience the atmosphere and camaraderie of a myriad of nationalities in the mountain hut (refuge).
- Witness the spectacular High Atlas Mountains wearing a flawless white dressing. It’s snow stunning.
- Observe nature’s creative tapestries of frozen waterfalls, snow drifts and have the chance to leave your boot prints in perfectly freshly fallen snow.
- Enjoy the fusion of sunset colours across the skyline and surrounding landscape. The mountains gradually change to a host of orange and pink as the sun sinks behind the ridge.
- Experience a huge sense of achievement when summit the highest peak in North Africa in winter conditions.
- Be in awe of the 360 panoramic view across the snow covered High Atlas stretching out to the yellow glow of the Sahara Desert.
- After 50 + winter ascents, standing on the summit with crampons and an ice in hand looking down to the Sahara still amazes me and leaves me feeling like a badass explorer.
Hopefully this has helped you decide which Mt Toubkal trek is right for you. However, if you’re still undecided, please feel free to give me a call and I’m more than happy to chat it through with you on 07747 346 588. Or you could even join us for both? Just saying.
Whatever you decide. We have over 15 years’ experience and passion of exploring Morocco and trekking the Atlas Mountains. We absolutely love it and we can’t wait to show you this incredibly diverse landscape and to experience the warmth & kind hospitality of the local people.