Mount Toubkal is the highest mountain in the mountain range of Atlas, located in Morroco. It is also one of the most sought and summited peaks globally. While travelers have had their fair share of hardships on their way to the peak, there are things to consider if you don’t want to endure all those inconveniences. It is a fact that anyone can climb Mount Toubkal, given that they are physically fit and healthy inside out.
However, there are some guidelines that you need to follow to prepare for Toubkal. Overall, the summit is a great way to live your dream as a mountaineer, and it is not even as tough as you might think it is when you are well-prepared. Keep reading this article till the end if you want to know more!
How do I Prepare for Toubkal?
Toubkal stands tall at 4,167 m (13,671 ft) above sea level. Hence, it is quite obvious that summiteers are going to have a tough time as the altitude increases. Anyone with respiratory problems can suffer and might have to reconsider their decision to ascend the peak. The climb up Toubkal is going to take you a total of 2 days.
Whatsoever, if you want to ascend the peak despite your health problems, you must take the longest route and go slow. It may take you longer than two days if you are being careful and ambitious at the same time to go back and forth to the mountain. Similarly, there are a few aspects that you need to keep in mind if you want to be fully prepared for Toubkal, which has been listed below:
1. Be familiar with the weather conditions
Before you even think of climbing the mountain, you need to familiarize yourself with the weather conditions in Toubkal. Morocco is more on the sunny and warm part of the world. But you shouldn’t be dependent on this feature of the country. You wil be climbing a mountain, though it is located in a very warm place.
The lower parts of the mountain are not as cold and chilly. But as you go higher, the temperature decreases, and the nights can be tough to withstand with only a few or thin layers of clothes. Henceforth, be sure to take along clothes that are lightweight yet can provide your body with warmth as you reach the higher altitude. As you descend, you can simply fold those extra layers and put them back in your bag as the heat increases.
2. Get enough training
A person must train to climb Mount Toubkal, especially if he is a beginner or has not climbed any peak for a long while. Training is a gateway to safety, and without training yourself well enough, you cannot succeed in summiting to the top of the peak. You need to prepare your body to climb the peak without any difficulty. When you familiarize your body with the oxygen levels, make sure your body is functioning well while climbing a high altitude, you can simply hike on a mountain around your area.
Doing so is not only going to help you in the long run, but it is also going to train your body to hike through a longer and higher altitude without much difficulty. Moreover, you can hire a guide to help you throughout your training session.
3. Break your shoes and socks before you start
One of the most important steps to take before you start your journey up the mountain is, you can break your shoes and socks before you start hiking. Wearing extremely new shoes or socks will cramp and congest your feet and cause them to swell and suffocate as you go higher. There is a probability of you getting boils on your feet, which are the most important body parts you will be relying on when you are hiking. Hence, train in your shoes, take a walk here and there, or simply just wear hiking shoes that have already been used.
And, always rely on loose socks that have been worn and washed before.
4. Take a guide along the terrain
Toubkal is, after all, a mountain. And mountains are always rocky and have a difficult trail. This should not leave you clueless and troubled, though. If you want to keep yourself away from trouble, especially if you have never climbed high mountains, then you should take a guide along with you.
Make sure that your guide is also experienced and, most preferably, a local who will keep you safe and help you whenever you face any difficulty on the way.
Pro tip: Do not be stingy with how much you tip your guide/s. If they are tipped and treated well, they will provide you with a better service than if you don’t tip or treat them well. The exploitation of guides is not what we preach as mountaineers.
5. Choose the best season
You never know how many difficulties you will likely face when you don’t choose the best possible season to climb Mount Toubkal. Hence, you must climb the mountain either during summer or autumn. Besides this, remember that going there during rough winters and rainy seasons can be tough, and your summit will likely fail.
6. Nights can be brutal; take enough equipment and gear with you
Many hikers and mountaineers overlook the nightly conditions of Morocco and go unprepared. But it is not as comfortable when you are actually around Toubkal during the night. Nights can be cold and rough. Therefore, you have to carry along special and extremely necessary equipment and gear like a sleeping bag, light blankets, warm and lightweight clothes to layer up during the night, extra snacks, a safe and reliable tent, toiletries, extra undergarments, and a swimming trunk, antiseptics and medications(just in case), and crampons.
Besides these really necessary items, you might also want to take along comfortable pajamas to change during the night, a flight bag to carry all the essentials(which is likely to get heavy), rain protection clothes, sun protection creams, extra bottles of water, shades and a cap, socks, etc.
7. Never leave out these things!
Your passport, an emergency number of the insurance, and your ticket to Toubkal. These three things are extremely important, and missing out on any of these papers can leave you to dust in the mountains of Toubkal. Do not rely on porters and guides to handle the bags with these papers. Do it yourself! And, make sure you are careful in the back of your mind so as not to lose it along the way.