New Years Eve Winter Toubkal Trek -

New Years Eve Winter Toubkal Trek

Dates & Availability

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Highlights

  • Start your New Year with an amazing Winter adventure
  • Conquer North Africa’s highest mountain, Mt Toubkal, at 4167m
  • Perfect intro to winter trekking in the High Atlas Mountains with winter skills training provided
  • Enjoy incredible 360 degree panoramic views from the summit of Mt Toubkal
  • Experience the rural village of Imlil and the friendly local Berbers’ way of life
  • Celebrate NYE in vibrant Marrakech with time to explore the maze of souks and plazas
  • Complimentary celebratory drink to see in the New Year
  • Just a short flight from the UK, join us for an epic New Year’s adventure.

Overview

Starting from bustling Marrakech you will venture into the heart of the High Atlas Mountain Range to climb North Africa’s highest peak, Mount Toubkal at 4167m. This incredible mountain range provides some of the most spectacular winter trekking in the world! With its traditional villages, friendly Berber people, awesome trails and breath-taking mountains, this dramatic area takes on a magical appearance in winter time. From the summit of Toubkal who will experience incredible 360-degree panoramic views which extend across the rocky Atlas ranges and southwards to Jebel Sahro and the Sahara Desert. Crampons and ice axes are usually required during the trek (weather dependent), but this trip is designed to be achievable by those who are fit, even if you are new to winter trekking as training will be provided.

Plus what better way to celebrate your trekking achievements than a double festivity in the vibrant city of Marrakech. Following your mountain climb you will return to this thriving medieval city dating back to the Berber Empire in time to enjoy the delights of the New Year celebrations. Marrakech’s medina is a show-stopping sight of colourful souks with plenty of restaurants & bars dotted around the main square in which it’s carnival night every night.

Costs
Registration fee: £85 per person. Non-refundable and payable on booking.
Remaining balance: £665 per person. Payment due 4 weeks prior to departure.

Included before your trek
– Plenty of support from your highly experienced Adventurous Ewe crew
– Pre-trip support materials – kit list, travel, advice, responsible tourism tips
– Discount code for ashmei sporting apparel, Cotswolds Outdoor, Snow & Rock retail stores, both online and in store
– All risk assessments and safety management
– Public Liability insurance
– International Passenger Protection

Included on your trek
– 2 nights accommodation in Imlil 
– 2 nights accommodation in Neltner Refuge
– 1 night accommodation in Marrakech on NYE (twin share basis)
– Celebratory drink for NYE
– Adventurous Ewe Leader and Chief Ewe – Jim Young
– Expert, Berber, English-speaking mountain guide/s
– Ice axe and crampons hire 
– Winter mountain skills training
– Airport transfers and trekking transfers at designated times
– Mules and muleteers to carry your luggage to and from the mountain refuge
– All meals as outlined on the itinerary
– Complimentary celebratory drink for NYE

Not included in the price of the trip
– Flights to and from Marrakech, Morocco
– Items listed on your Kit List
– Drinks 
– Meals in Marrakech
– Tipping
– Costs incurred with retiring from the trek early ie. transfers, accommodation, flight change costs, etc.

Itinerary 

Day 1 - Friday 27 December 2019

Marrakech – Imlil
Flight arrives into Marrakech where you will be transferred by minibus to your locally owned guesthouse in the Berber mountain village of Imlil at 1700m. This transfer will take approximately 1.5 hours, leaving the lively Marrakech and passing through traditional Berber farming villages with the High Atlas Mountains framing the vast landscape views. On arrival you will have time to get to know your fellow team-mates and make final preparations for your trek. Your Adventurous Ewe Leader (Jim) will provide a full trek briefing over dinner.

Please note, once you have booked on this trip, we will provide you with the flight information arrival time to coincide with the airport transfers to Imlil. A transfer will also be available from Marrakech for anyone who wishes to arrive prior to day one.

Included
– Transfer from Marrakech Airport / Marrakech to Imlil 
– Overnight accommodation in guesthouse (twin or triple room share)
– Dinner

 

Day 2 - Saturday 28 December 2019

Trek Imlil – Neltner Refuge
After a delicious Moroccan breakfast whilst watching the sun rise above the village, your support team will load up all the equipment and food supplies ready for your trek of Mount Toubkal. Today’s journey sees you leaving the quaint Berber mountain village of Imlil and heading for the Neltner Refuge.  Your trekking route passes fields and walnut trees of Arroumd and makes its way up the Mizane Valley to the small shrine of Sidi Chamarouch, a place of pilgrimage for many Moroccans. After stopping for a soft drink or mint tea, you will continue the climb up to Nelter Refuge at an altitude of 3209m. Approximately 6 hours of trekking.

The afternoon is used to practice with your crampons and ice axe. Your mountain guide will find an appropriate patch of snow and demonstrate the important techniques of waling in crampons and and ice axe arrest – stopping yourself with your axe if you are sliding on a snow slope.

Included:
– Main kit bag transferred from Imlil to Neltner Mountain Refuge on mules (please ensure your bag weighs less than 10kgs for the benefit of the mules)
– Crampons and ice axe hire
– Overnight accommodation in the mountain refuge (dorm rooms)
– Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 3 - Sunday 29 December 2019

Acclimatisation Day to either Tizi n’ Ouagane or Quanoukrim 
Today is a planned acclimatisation day which will help prepare you for your Toubkal summit attempt the following day. This is also the perfect opportunity to learn and practice some winter mountain skills which are appropriate for the current conditions. The team will leave the refuge early morning and continue up the Mizane Valley. As part of your acclimatisation and preparation, the team will either trek to the spectacular viewpoint of Tizi n’ Ouagane or the summit of Quanoukrim (4088m) which is the 2nd highest mountain in the High Atlas Mountains. Today’s trekking itinerary is very dependent on weather conditions in the mountains. The team will then arrive back at the refuge in the late afternoon and enjoy the surrounding mountain views. Approximately 8 hours of trekking.      

 

Included:
– Crampons and ice-axe hire
– Overnight accommodation in the Mountain refuge (dorm rooms)
– Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 4 - Monday 30 December 2019

Summit Toubkal
Today is another early start as the team take on the highest mountain in North Africa with your summit attempt of Mount Toubkal at 4167m.  After crossing the river outside the refuge you will immediately start climbing steeply up the south cwm before traversing the south ridge to the summit. On reaching the summit you will be rewarded with vast 360 degree views extending across the rocky Atlas ranges and southwards to Jebel Sahro and the Sahara Desert. This view is simply jaw-dropping. With time to take your summit photos you will then make your way back down to the refuge for a well-earned break and some food before continuing down to Imlil. Here you will bid farewell to your chefs and muleteers before we then continue to walk through the village of Imlil. There’s time to browse past some local shops before reaching your guesthouse. You will then have a couple of hours to either relax or further explore Imlil with plenty quaint souvenir shops, fresh bakery’s and cafe’s before dinner. Approximately 10 hours of trekking.

Included:
– Crampons and ice-axe hire
– Overnight accommodation in Imlil guesthouse (twin/triple share rooms)
– Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 5 - Tuesday 31 December 2019 (NYE)

Transfer from Imlil – Marrakech
After a relaxing breakfast it’s a short drive back to Marrakech. After checking into your riad, there’s time to explore Marrakech and visit the Djemaa el Fna, an open-air market with food stalls, travelling musicians and acrobats. There’s also some great bargain hunting to be had. The best places to get a view over the square are the La Grand Balcon du Cafe Glacier or Cafe de France. You have to buy a drink, but it’s worth it for a great view.

Majorelle Gardens or Le Jardin Secret make a great escape from the bustling city, and offer a chance to discover its gardens and buildings, which are outstanding examples of Islamic art and architecture. Or venture to Cyber Parc Arsat Moulay Abdeslam and stop and smell the roses at this 8-hectare royal garden, dating from the 18th century.

If you’re craving a cold beer or a glass of wine, make your way to La Salama, again just off the Djemaa el Fna square. You can enjoy the beautiful interior and lively atmosphere.

After your day of exploring or simply chilling out and watching the world go by, it’s time for dinner. With our Riad located within walking distance of Djemaa el Fna you will experience the transition of this main square as it flourishes with a hive of activity as the moon rises. With a feast of glorious scents, an incredible carnival-like atmosphere and ever-changing sights and sounds, this marks the perfect place to see in the New Year. You are welcome to do you own thing this evening or you can join the Adventurous Ewe crew for a night of double celebrations with rejoicing your Toubkal trekking achievements and seeing in the New Year. What better way to start your 2020! 

Included
– Transfer from Imlil to Marrakech
– Overnight accommodation in a traditional Riad located within walking distance to Djemaa el Fna (twin share basis)
– Breakfast only
– Complimentary drink for New Year’s Eve celebrations

Day 6 - Wednesday 1st January 2020

Return to UK

Following breakfast, and perhaps a few cups of strong Moroccan coffee, it’s time to return home filled with a huge sense of achievement following your Toubkal trek. Airport transfers will be available at set times ready for your return flight home. You are welcome to extend your stay in Morocco if you wish and Adventurous Ewe can help with further recommendations of things to do and places to go and organise bookings for you too.

Get your 2020 off to an adventurous start and join other like-minded people on this incredible Moroccan mountain journey.

Essential Information

FLIGHT BOOKINGS
Flights are not part of the package allowing you the flexibility to book a flight from your nearest UK airport and also giving you the option to extend your stay in Morocco if you wish. There are a number of airlines who operate flights from the UK to Marrakech. Depending on which UK airport is closest to you check out British Airways, Easyjet, Thomas Cook, Royal Air Maroc and Ryan Air. We recommend using Sky Skanner to source flights to suit your requirements: https://www.skyscanner.net/ 

Once you have booked on this trip, we will send you recommended flights which will have airport transfers available for you.

PASSPORT, VISA, INSURANCE & VACCINATIONS
Passport
As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Once booked on the trip you can log into the Adventurous Ewe system to update your booking with your passport details. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

Visa
Currently, British nationals don’t need a visa to enter Morocco for the purpose of tourism for up to 3 months. We do recommend that you check with the relevant embassy for the most up to date information regarding visas. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and obtain your own visa, if one is necessary. Adventurous Ewe is not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise.

Please visit the UK Foreign & Commonwealth office website, or your respective nationality governing website, for the latest travel information on Morocco at: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/morocco/entry-requirements

Insurance
It is a condition of joining this trip that you are insured and we require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

Vaccinations
For up to date vaccination information please check the NHS government website ‘Fit for Travel’ at: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations

Please note, some vaccinations require a course of injections therefore we recommend consulting your GP or Travel Clinic 6-8 weeks in advance of travel.  

Travel Aware
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. To keep informed of current travel news visit https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

SAFETY
Adventurous Ewe prioritises the safety of all of their trekkers and staff, and as such have developed a thorough safety management system. This encompasses comprehensive risk assessments and procedures together with audits of all aspects of your challenge from vehicles to accommodation to the trek activities. Your health and safety is our top priority.

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Travel advice website for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.

Please visit: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/morocco

WEATHER
Marrakech is likely to be warm (rather than hot) during the day, and a little chilly at night. In the mountains expect temperatures to vary from 10 or so degrees in the sun during the day, to below freezing out of the sun and at night. Any warmth provided by the sun soon goes after the sun disappears behind the mountains in the late afternoon.

Heavy snowfall, rain and storms can be expected in the mountains during winter, but they are normally reasonably short-lived. Although it would be unusual to experience more than two days in a row of bad weather, you should be prepared for all conditions. If there is a stable high pressure over the mountains in winter, which is common, we will enjoy clear, cold crisp days, and nights with temperatures dropping well below freezing.

We recommend that you check the mountain weather forecast in the days leading up to your trek via the website below.

https://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Toubkal/forecasts/4167

HEALTH
All our guides are first aid trained and carry fully equipped medical kits for serious medical emergencies.There are no compulsory vaccinations for Morocco but we recommend you consult your GP before departure. A good level of fitness is required for this trip.  

EXPERIENCE
Trekking experience and level of difficulty
This is a strenuous winter trek to an area of outstanding scenic and cultural interest. The trip is designed for confident trekkers who are new to winter walking as well as those who have some experience of trekking on snow. Some sections on Toubkal can be steep and rough. It is expected that large parts of the mountainside will be covered in snow, therefore ice axe and crampons will be necessary. Although these sections are not technically difficult they are high and can be exposed. Where there is a high level of exposure the guide will cut steps in the snow and/or provide use of a rope. It is mandatory that you obey the wishes of the guide in these circumstances. Snow cover will of course vary, but the use of ice axes and crampons is essential when crossing steep snowy terrain. The guides will give a full briefing and run a training session before the ascents of Toubkal of which there will be time to practice these new skills on day 3 of your itinerary.

The regions we visit on the trip are very remote and you should be prepared to spend time in areas where facilities and services are limited. Some roads are unpaved and although well-maintained they can be bumpy and dusty. Walking hours stated are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group and weather conditions.

Altitude
Trekking to the summit of North Africa’s highest mountain (maximum 4167m, average 2600mm) involves walking and sleeping at altitude, therefore altitude sickness is a possibility. Our base camp on the mountain is at 3,210m and therefore mild symptoms may be experienced, such as headaches, nausea and lack of appetite. The best way to adjust to altitude is to walk slowly and rest as often as possible – in addition, make sure you drink plenty of water during your trek! Your Leader and local guide will be able to advise you if you are starting to feel the effects of altitude.

Due to the unpredictability of the climate in the High Atlas Mountains, you will need to be prepared for walking in all conditions, as the weather can change extremely rapidly, making clothing and footwear choices important.

ACCOMMODATION
Imlil Guesthouse (2 nights twin/triple share rooms), mountain refuge (2 nights dorm rooms) and riad in Marrakech (1 night twin share)

We’ve sourced our accommodation very carefully and picked the best possible hotels in line with the Adventurous Ewe style of travel and using locally owned guesthouses, but please note that service and accommodation in Morocco may be different to western standards. The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite (even if you paid for single room supplement!).

Imlil and Marrakech
In Imlil you will be staying in a locally owned Guesthouse with ensuite bathrooms. In Marrakech you will be staying in a traditional Riad on a twin share basis with ensuite bathrooms.

Mountain refuge
You will be staying in shared dorm rooms with shared bathroom facilities. The Neltner Mountain Refuge has very limited heating options as this would be a major financial and environmental strain. It’s also a case of energy supply and timing provisions, which is limited. Please be prepared for cold nights and cold showers.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL

Adventurous Ewe is committed to delivering trips in a responsible and ethical manner and with sustainable development at its core. We respect and aim to operate our adventures and events to benefit local people, their economy and the environment!
Some of the ethical event management features embedded in our Winter Toubkal Trek are:

  • Using local crew who are qualified Guides, support crew and drivers who are all extremely knowledgeable and experienced
  • Minimising plastic waste wherever possible
  • Recycling waste wherever possible
  • Operating with a ‘leave no trace’ ethos
  • As part of this event, Adventurous Ewe will make a donation to the environmental charity Cool Earth via our business partnership. To find out more please visit: https://www.adventurousewe.co.uk/cool-earth-partnership/
  • You too are welcome to make a donation to the valuable work of Cool Earth. Just £2.50 will save 10 trees and lock up 10 tonnes of CO2. Together, we can all make a difference in helping preserve this precious and wonderful planet. #ewecandoit https://www.coolearth.org/campaigns/28292/adventurous-ewe/

HOW TO BOOK
The easiest way to book your trip is online via the Adventurous Ewe website at simply click Dates and Availability. At the very end of the booking process it will give you the option to either pay the non-refundable registration fee of £85.00 per person or the full balance. 

If you opt to pay the registration fee only at the time of booking, the remaining balance is required to be paid no less than 4 weeks prior to departure (27th November 2019).

For further information or if you have any queries, please feel free to get in touch with us at info@adventurousewe.co.uk or call 01492 588 069. 

Difficulty Rating
This challenge has a rating of High
Cost
£ 750

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