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Skiing in Morrocco

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Has anyone here ever skied in Morrocco? I'm thinking about going out in late-January/early-Feb. I'm not expecting great skiing, but thinking about ski touring to find some better stuff. I guess my main issue is - will I need to take all my own kit and does anyone know a good guide?


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Thu 15-11-18 9:56; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Very as in VERY temperemental.

Some years there's better snow in Wales.

That being said, great country, exotic, could be epic.

Take all your own gear.

https://www.powder.com/stories/a-skiers-discovery-in-moroccos-atlas-mountains/

https://www.powder.com/stories/classics/moroccos-high-atlas-mountains/
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@iainm, We were in Morocco one Feb and I managed to ski in Oukaimeden. It was more for novelty than for enjoyment. The snow isn't at all reliable, but we were lucky. The lifts weren't open, but they laid on donkeys to take you to the top of the slope.
Definitely take your own kit if you want to do touring. The only thing that I found available to rent were straight skis from the 80's.
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@iainm, yes had a week ski touring there in early March (from memory) about 05 or 06-ish. We had a great week with reasonable snow cover & weather - spent a few nights at the Tachedirt hut and a few nights at the Toubkal hut - Imlil is the ‘roadhead’ for both of these.
However... we met a French team in Marrakesh who were on their way out as we were on our way in and they had basically spent the week sat in huts watching rain falling... so you need a bit of luck...
Not sure I would go there just to ski the lifts at Oukaimeden though would be good novelty factor!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks for those links. Def seems that Toubkal is the place to head to. I'm going to contact them to see what sort of kit they have
http://www.refugetoubkal.com/uk
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Yes, IM out there once a year delivering winter skills courses, and also guided ski touring mini expeds in the Atlas. Can be extremely variable conditions though, I have never had a trip, in late Feb/Early March that didn't have conditions conducive for ski mountaineering though.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Jan and Feb are peak-cold for North Africa, so there should always be something to ride if you have cash and contacts.

Warm days, cold nights.

Take own kit.

Some of the best scenery in the world.

Drive carefully. Locals are reckless.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@iainm, the Toubkal refuge is very basic. When we went it was either self-catering or (as we did) you bring up your own 'cook' from Imlil. It was cold and damp. Think we took our own sleeping bags but not 100% sure...

But it was also very good!
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oh, and take plenty of medicines for dodgy guts...!
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Thanks for all this. I have contacted https://toubkalguide.com/ and they have already got back to me with a proposed itinerary for 3 days' ski touring out of Toubkal. I've only just noticed that this is 3200m - I've only ever slept that high once...in Nepal!

@markhandford - do you know if you can rent touring kit there?

@offpisteskiing - was sick as a dog last time I went to Morrocco so will do my best!
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@iainm,

I would highly recommend you contact these folks, Des Clarke is one of the directors - He wrote the Cicerone Guide book for mountaineering in the Atlas mountains and I have worked with him in the Atlas, You wont go wrong.
http://www.the-mountain-people.com

It's North Africa, take your own kit Smile

Also be aware: a lot of companies, who like to get clients through the door quickly, use the 3 day package for ascents of 4000m peaks - This is far to short for acclimatisation and getting AMS is serious, go for a minimum of 4 days, then you have a far far higher chance of feeling well enough at altitude above 3000m to enjoy the uphill.
Physiologically 300-500m of ascent each day is just about what most people can handle as a constant height gain once above 2800m or so. Anything more is heading in to medical problem area. So from the refuge there is some easy angle skinning on to a South ridge for a day at altitude, and then sleeping low at the refuge, then you can skin up to Jebel Toubkal after a day and have a nice ski descent.

The Mouflon/Toubkal refuge is a larger building than the Alpine club hut, but there is only 1 large fireplace, you can just about get 12 people round it in order to stay warm at night and also to get your boot liners dried
You will need a very good winter sleeping bag - You can hire those from places like Peglars in London.

There is also some very remote touring over on Ighil Mgoun massive, just over 4000m, skin up on to a very long gentle rolling plateau, this is over a few days, it is more of a journey and is self supported in the main, so tents and pulks once past the donkey line (snow line) its satphone territory.

But contact the mountain people; they will see you safely Wink
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Thanks Mark, I really appreciate this and will contact Des. Which refuge are you referring to as a mid-way before Toubkal?
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
All the refuges are in a cluster.
Mouflon Refuge
http://www.refugetoubkal.com/uk/

Or the Club Alpine du France
http://www.refugedutoubkal.com/en/index.php
(the photo of the refuge on this website is an image down the valley towards Sidi Chamharouch and the refuge in the pic is actually the Mouflon Refuge!)
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thanks Mark. I've emailed The Mountain People, but no reply yet.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
All booked and lined up, so wish me luck!

Ground arrangements booked through https://toubkalguide.com. Guy called Jamal was very efficient, got back to me (by email) within hours for every question. Tried a few of the suggestions above and other companies, but they either couldn't do it (don't do ski touring) or didn't get back to me.

Touring kit is being hired in the UK via Braemar Mountain Sports, who seem to be the only people in the UK who do it, but will do skis, boots, poles, crampons and ski bag for £200 for the week, plus £25 to cover courier fees in both directions. I think this is preferable to hoping that the kit in Morrocco will be okay.

Heading out in late-Jan/early-Feb, so will let you know what happens. Should be an adventure regardless. Thanks for all the help/advice here.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Excellent. Enjoy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Just posted on another thread, but got back just over a week ago from a very successful trip. Toubkal Guide were excellent - all their logistics went perfectly. Taxi turned up on time to Marrakech to take us to Imlil (1740m) where their lodge is excellent. They loaded up the mule and we walked up to the Mouflon refuge next day. It was indeed very cold in the refuge (we could see our breath in our room the whole time!) - I only had a regular sleeping bag, but with three blankets provided (we had a twin room, not dorm) it was warm enough (did wear a hat or buff most nights though). Food was very good - more vegetables and fruit than we expected was a particular surprise. Touring was good. I'm hugely experienced, but this was some of the steepest slopes I've ever taken on and the 'ski touring crampons' were invaluable. Equipment from Braemar Mountain Sports was excellent - new and light, although the pin system does take some getting used to. Guide was good (not as good a skier as us), but nice guy. Altitude wasn't a problem for me. My brother found it harder, but he's generally not as fit as me. All touring was between 3200m and 4000m and there was plenty of snow to tour on. The only negative was skiing down - not much snowfall, all hard-pack, but some patches that were slightly softer after time in the sun. However, I loved the whole trip and experience and has given me a real taste for more ski touring adventures.

Video here

http://youtube.com/v/qxd7p9xUvUM

Lots of photos on FB:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/skipedia/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1995448470505085
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
thanks for that, I'm heading off to Toubkal in 2 weeks time, no skis just walking, so nice to see snow conditions - doesn't look like huge amounts?
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Excellent
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Toubkal is great. You'll need crampons. Please don't come back and tell me they've had loads of fresh pow though!!
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