With an impressive height of 4,167 meters, Mt Toubkal, located in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains range, is the highest peak in North Africa. Famed Jabel Toubkal, Mt Tobukal is easily recognized from its conical summit covered in snow, which looks like a peculiar metal pyramid.
Mt ToubKal was first conquered in 1923 by the European Vincent Berger, Marquis De Segonzac, and Hubert Dolbeau. The peak is still gaining immense popularity due to its 360° view of Morocco and the Sahara Desert to the north among the climbers. In addition to the views, the mountain is easily accessible and probably the best reason why the peak attracts thousands of trekkers annually.
The peak resides at a great location where several other snowy 3,000 and 4,000-metre peak of the High Atlas ranges surrounds Mt Toubkal. Similarly, the mountain dominates the High Atlas peaks with its massive granite buttresses and steep rocky faces.
If you are an experienced hiker wanting to conquer the peak alone, you definitely could do so, as there are many villages and small settlements en route to the peak in case you get lost. Many hikers will join you on your climbing journey. But can you really climb Mount Toubkal Without a Guide? stick with us to know the answer to this question.
Can I Climb Mountain Without A Guide?
The simple answer to this question is NO. But Why?
Before 2019, climbing Mount Toubkal without hiring a guide was possible for climbers, but the rules have changed. Before, climbers could trek around the Toubkal National Park and up to the summit by hiring a local guide.
However, this changed after the tragic incident outside Imlil, where two young European women were brutally murdered in December 2018. Therefore the solo hike rule changed in 2019, which made a guide mandatory for climbers who want to summit Mount Toubkal. Likewise, your guide should be with you from Imlil to the base camp and then to the peak.
In addition, many checkpoints have now been established en route where Guide identification and passports are checked. To reach the summit, you must pass the Aroum checkpoint, which lies a few kilometers from Imlil, with your guide. Every checkpost in the area is now manned by a Gendarmerie Royal member and Local Authorities’ local representative.
Whether it’s your first time or many times around Mount Toubkal, you must be escorted by a Local Moroccan Guide, which is the right thing to do for many reasons. Local guides can be your indispensable friend as they know most people around the routes and at the refuge camp (base camp), so if you need any help during your trek, they will get it to you more quickly. Moreover, there are many routes to reach the top, and the trail from the base camp to the summit can confuse you. Therefore it’s better to hike with a guide if you want to reach them without having too many difficulties en route.
Where can you find a Guide?
Climb Mount Toubkal Without a Guide is impossible here, so where can you find a guide? There are generally several ways to book guide services upto the Mount Toubkal.
You can start your guide service hunt from Google first. For this simple type, the Mount Toubkal Trek guide, you will get many options from local and foreign travel agencies. There are generally three options for your to choose from for hiring a guide- to hire from a company, hire in the village of Imlil after reaching Morocco or hire a guide in Marrakech.
If you go with the hire from the company option, you will be paying more than expected. In fact, the company guide comes with a price, where you will benefit from hiring an experienced guide who knows mountain rescue, know to administer CPR, etc. In addition, the company price also includes the services like transfers to and from Marrakech, English-speaking mountain guides, private cooks, porter services, mules services, etc.
On the other hand, if you hire a guide after reaching Imlil village, then excerpt to pay around 400 and 700 MAD for a guided service up to Toubkal and back. However, this price excludes facilities like food, accommodations, crampons, etc. You will have to manage all these on your own.
There is an alternative option where you can hire a guide who sells excursions in the states in Marrakech. Alternatively, you can go for local operators in Marrakech who are plenty in numbers touting for selling climbs and treks there.
How Fit Do You Need To Be To Climb Mount Toubkal Without/ With Guide
Mt Toubkal climbs, with or without a guide, are for those kneen hikes and climb with a moderate fitness level. The trek is fun and challenging, whether with or without a guide, where the gratifying views greet you as you reach the peak. As you complete your summit to Mt Toubkal, you will see many remote villages the Berber people call home, waterfalls, rivers, cargo plane crash sites, etc.
If you choose to go with a trekking company, they will manage all your guide, porter, food, and accommodations. Alternatively, if you hire a guide from Marrakech or Imlil, your guides and porters will bring their food and mules along with the muleteers (to carry your belongings).
Despite the guide and mules’ support, you must be fit enough to hike from the Imlil to The summit. There are two approaches to the Toubkal Peak, the south (popular and easy route) and the north routes. But if you have an excellent mountaineering experience with a good fitness level, you can also go for the Northen route.
Your Toubkal summit starts from the capital city of Marrakesh. From here, you pass through the spice markets and a great labyrinth before finally taking a last route to the summit. During your hike, you will spend the nights camping around the villages, learning about the Berber communities, enjoying hearty home-cooked meals, etc.
The reason why this climb is suitable for trekkers with a moderate level of fitness is you can trek around the mountain, reach the summit and be out in just four days. But you would want to hire the help of the guides to complete the climb in 4 days with caution and acclimation.
Tips for Summiting Mount Toubkal Without a Guide
The Mt Toubkal Summit challenge is suitable for those who want to achieve something stunning that can be completed in less than eight days. But with every summit, there come many challenges that cannot be avoided at all. Therefore we have put some tips you need to know about climbing with or without a guide below.
Be aware of Altitude Sickness.
Altitude Sickness can affect any trekkers at any time. The symptoms range from a mild headache to fluid build-up in the lungs or brain. Therefore acclimatize as it increases breathing and helps during hiking in surrounding with lower oxygen levels.
Know about the best time to Climbing.
Mt. Toubkal can be climbed all year round. Still, it’s best to know the best months when climbs will be less difficult and technical. The best time to complete Mount Toubkla with or without a guide would be spring and Autumn when the weather is generally clear due to a lack of snowfall.
Carry correct Equipment
Nothing is more destructive than carrying the wrong set of Equipment while hiking and climbing. So carry the correct Equipment where the daypacks are comfortable, not bigger than 3 liters, etc.
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Climbing the Toubkal Peak (4,167 meters) will be challenging as it’s not a cup of tea for everyone. You can be a great hiker with a great fitness level and still not summit the peak due to many challenges. So it is better to have a guide along with you, and it’s mandatory too.