WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO CLIMB TOUBKAL?
Jebel Toubkal in Morocco is an amazing mountain 13 681 feet or 4167 metres of stone. Sometimes described as Snowdon on steroids it rises quickly towering over the tiny village of Imlil which nestles at its foot just 90 minutes drive from Marrakech. Jebel Toubkal to give it its proper name, because Jebel means Mountain or Peak, is the highest mountain in North Africa. While there are 21 other towering peaks higher in the central rift valley of Africa it is Toubkal’s prominence* of 3755 metres that take it up to 6th in the list for ascent. It is 36th in the world from a prominence perspective. To give you some idea - that’s about the same as Mount Fuji in Japan.
First climbed by Europeans on 12th June 1923 it was very probably climbed before this time by less publicity minded Moroccans or Berbers.
The 12th June interests me. It would not have been the coolest time and with the possibility of Ramadan around that time logistics could have been interesting with tired and dehydrated Berber porters and guides.
In July and August the temperature in nearby Marrakech rise to around 37 degrees C on average. In 2012 it hit 49 degrees C. In December and January it drops to 6-8 degrees C and below.
As for the rain “April Showers” is the word.The precipitation starts to climb in October as snow in the mountains and reaches a peak in April. By May it dries dramatically right through to September.
So that’s sun and rain but what about the wind. From my many ascents of the Atlas mountains I find September starts to get blustery which has it’s advantages in keeping the air cool. The disadvantage is that you can get a little ‘dusty’.
Of course it’s not all about the weather. The European national holidays need to be taken into consideration. Why? Well the airlines cunningly increase their prices during school holidays and at the weekends. Which is why my scheduled treks avoid school holidays including half terms and use a long weekend break so that you can fly out on a Thursday and back on a Tuesday.
So at Morocco-Guides we have scheduled treks in mid September and March which we think is the optimum time for our clients who have been very happy so far.
Next treks are:
17-22 September 2015
10-15 March 2016
Of course we accommodate bespoke treks too to suit anyone’s availability. Just note when you get into late October to February you are more than likely talking about full winter conditions at high altitude.
Ramadan, the fasting ritual of Islam which constitutes one of the 5 Pillars of Islam, is between 18th June and 16 July in 2015 and 7th June and 5th July in 2016.
One other thing to say - you can trek to the summit of Toubkal as there are routes which do not involve technical climbing.
The decision is yours………to find out more drop me an email or Click here to register an interest
00 44 7866 410616
* Prominence - The prominence of a peak is the minimum height of climb to the summit on any route from a higher peak. If you look at the lowest complete ring or circular contour line and measure the height to the summit from there you have your prominence. This is of course open to debate depending how you classify separate peaks. Mountaineers love a debate!
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