The best hikes in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains Toubkal Circuit M’Goun Traverse Jbel Saghro Sahara Desert.
#1 MOROCCO BEST HIKING ATLAS MOUNTAINS TRAILS – LONG HIKES EXPERT – REGISTERED GUIDE TOUR OPERATOR.
- Hiking the National Park of Toubkal range and discover the Berber Villages
- Climb Tizi Ntachedirt Pass towards Ourika Valley
- Hiking and enjoying the silence of the nature
- Panoramic views from the highest passes
- Camping experience
- Fully Mule supported Adventure
- The best hikes in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains Toubkal Programs & Long Hikes
DAY 1: MARRAKECH – HIKING FROM OUKAIMDEN – WALK TO OUSSERTEK
After breakfast in Marrakech, we take the road toward the High Atlas Mountains, ski resort of Oukaimden, which is the starting point of wonderful several walking trails of the Atlas Mountains. We will meet our guides and mules to carry our camping equipment in. After our new friendly mountain expert crew is introduced to you, guide, muleteer, cook… and all equipments loaded onto the well looked after mules, we start our 3 hour walk to our camp in the middle of the High Atlas Mountains near Gliz village in Oukaymden valley.
DAY 2: HIKING FROM OUSSERTEK VALLEY – IMNANE VALLEY TO TACHDIRT
After Breakfast in the camp, set off trekking to Tizi n Tighaten pass 2500m from where you will enjoy nice views over imnane valley. Walk downhill to Tachedirt village 2300m where you will spend the night at a locdge. around 4h walk and our path will be through fields of cherry, walnut and apple trees. We will take a short pause and enjoy the gorgeous Imnane valley behind which Berber Villages are beautifully scattered, before we continue for an additional hour hike to Wanskra. We will then carry on with our hike upriver for half an hour or so until we reach Tacheddirt, where we will spend the night. Overnight in a Guest house of Camp.
DAY 3: HIKING FROM TACHDDIRT – TIZI N TACHDDIRT – TIMICHI VILLAGE
We wake up early and bright for our day 2. After breakfast we prepare for a 6 hour hike south-east headed for Timichi Village. As we climb steeply to Tizi n’Tacheddirt, our eyes will simultaneously ponder on the astounding views along the way. We continue a 2 hour hike downhill a rocky pass until reaching Laabbassen village, where we will enjoy some time and leave the wind blow its fresh air into our soul, and enjoy the quietness and the silence of nature. Next, we will go northeast, down the valley, straight to Timichi village where we will spend the night.
DAY 4 HIKING FROM TIMICHI – SITI FADMA VILLAGE – OURIKA – MARRAKECH
Our final destination for day 3 is Serttifadma. We will launch our 4-5h eastward hike after breakfast. On our way to our end point, we will pass through a line of Berber villages that are neighboring the banks of Ourika Valley. The first village to cross will be Tiourdiou, then Anfli and finally Tadrart. After we have lunch, we will head to Setifadma passing Agadir n’Ait Boulmane. After spending some time in Setti fadma, we head back to Marrakech. end of your Best Atlas Mountains Hiking Family Trek & Camping Adventure. end of your memorable Best Atlas Mountains Hiking Family Trek & Camping Adventure Natural immersion.
- What’s included
– A local Licensed Mountain guide
– accommodation in private Camp and Guest houseS
– Food during the Trek
– Mule for luggage
- what’s Not Included
Entrance fees to monuments
Preparation for The best hikes in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains Toubkal – Trekking in Morocco – Mount Toubkal High Atlas Mountains.
This section covers what gear you need to bring, physical training, Morocco entry requirements (passport & visa), immunizations and vaccinations, and travel insurance.
Please read this carefully and make sure you have gathered everything before you depart on your trip.
What Gear Do I Need to Bring?
You are responsible for bringing personal gear and equipment while camping equipment (tents, food, cooking items, etc.) is provided by Morocco Hiking Specialist. Below is a gear list of required, recommended and optional items to bring on your Toubkal climb.
1 – Waterproof Jacket, breathable with hood
1 – Insulated Jacket, synthetic or down
1 – Soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell
2 – Long Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
1 – Short Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
1 – Waterproof Pants, airy (side-zipper recommended)
2 – Hiking Pants (convertible to shorts recommended)
1 – Fleece Pants
1 – Shorts (optional)
1 – Long Underwear (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
3 – Underwear, briefs (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
2 – Sport Bra (women)
1 – Gloves, warm (waterproof recommended)
1 – Glove Liners, thin, synthetic, worn under gloves for added warmth (optional)
1 – Hiking Boots, warm, waterproof, broken-in, with spare laces
1 – Gym Shoes, to wear at camp (optional)
3 – Socks, thick, wool or synthetic
3 – Socks Liners, tight, thin, synthetic, worn under socks to prevent blisters (optional)
1 – Gaiters, waterproof (optional)
Accessories – The best hikes in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains Toubkal Circuit M’Goun Traverse Jbel Saghro Sahara Desert.
1 – Sunglasses or Goggles
1 – Backpack Cover, waterproof (optional)
1 – Poncho, during rainy season (optional)
1 – Water Bottle
1 – Water Bladder (Camelbak type, 2-3 liters)
1 – Towel, lightweight, quick-dry (optional)
1 – Pee Bottle, to avoid leaving tent at night (recommended)
Stuff Sacks or Plastic Bags, various sizes, to keep gear dry and separate
1 – Sleeping Bag, warm, four seasons
1 – Sleeping Bag Liner, for added warmth (optional)
1 – Trekking Poles (recommended)
1 – Head lamp, with extra batteries
1 – waterproof big bag
Insect Repellent, containing DEET
First Aid Kit
Wet Wipes (recommended)
Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional)
Pencil and Notebook, miniature, for trip log (optional)
Camera, with extra batteries (optional)
Visa (if required to Travel to Morocco)
How do i train & How difficult is Hiking Morocco Atlas Mountains Trekking – Toubkal Treks?
Getting your body in great shape through physical training certainly helps prepare you for altitude. However, the ability to adjust quickly to the changing oxygen content is largely genetic. As the Trekking Toubkal – Hiking in the Atlas Mountains, Trek Morocco success rates show, some people can climb Toubkal in as little as 2 days (not recommended), while some still fail with 6 days. It is impossible to tell how well a prospective climber may fare in an oxygen deprived atmosphere until he or she is actually in it.
High altitude training systems enable climbers to pre-acclimatize at home, drastically improving the success rate, safety and enjoyment of the Trekking Toubkal – Hiking in the Atlas Mountains, Trek Morocco.
Altitude training systems simulate high altitudes to induce beneficial biological adaptations in the body. Besides going to (and staying in) high altitude places, using a high altitude training system is only way to pre-acclimatize to high altitude before your trip (see Pre-Acclimatization).
Trekking Toubkal – Hiking in the Atlas Mountains, Trek Morocco is a physical undertaking, so you should prepare yourself accordingly with a Atlas Mountains and Toubkal training program. Being in good shape is important in many respects. Obviously, strong, conditioned legs make it easier to walk uphill and downhill for sustained periods of time. General aerobic fitness allows the body to function efficiently with less oxygen. And a fit body is more likely to withstand the stress of consecutive days of hiking and camping. Finally, a positive mental attitude can work wonders for you when fatigue and doubts arise.
How hard is it to Trekking Toubkal – Hiking in the Atlas Mountains, Trek Morocco? That’s a difficult question to answer because some people don’t train much and fare very well, while others engage in a disciplined training program and succumb to the altitude in a few days. We’ve heard marathon runners tell us that climbing Toubkal is the hardest thing they’ve ever done. The best advice we can give is to train adequately, as described below, and get yourself in the best possible hiking shape. The mountain is a big unknown, and you won’t know with certainty how you will react until you are there. In a survey we administered, on a scale of 1 (easy) to 10 (difficult), respondents rated their climb with an average difficulty of 7 (see Can an Unfit Person Climb Mount Toubkal?).
The best exercise that you can do to prepare for Mount Toubkal is hiking.
There are training regimens on other operator’s sites which entail strict, extensive, cross-training programs, featuring hiking, running, biking, swimming, weight training, etc. Do not be alarmed by this. Those programs are excessive and unnecessary to sufficiently prepare for climbing Toubkal. The best and perhaps only exercise you need to do is to hike – period. After all, that is what you will be doing on the mountain. Ideally, you should try to hike as much as possible on hills or mountains to simulate ascension on Mount Toubkal and Atlas Mountains. Doing day hikes is superb training. For those who do not have access to trails, but have membership to a gym, you can train very productively on a stair master machine. If you have no access to trails or a gym, then try to walk as much as you can, with extended walks on the weekends.
The best hikes in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains Toubkal vary in difficulty and length, but all require a basic level of fitness.
In general you will be trekking anywhere between 10-15km a day, for up to six days on the longer routes.
On the Classic 2D/3N TOUBKAL trail you will average 12km (7 miles) a day, and will need the endurance to trek over 4,000m passes where the altitude makes the going tough, and Toubkal rocky slopes take a battering on your legs.
In this training for Toubkal Climb and Atlas Mountains walking article we outline the four things you can do to be perfectly prepared for your trek.
- Aerobic training
- Leg and Upper body training
- Practice hiking
- Mental preparation
Training for The best hikes in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains Toubkal – Aerobic Training
Aerobic training, or cardiovascular training, refers to activities that use oxygen to adequately meet the demands of exercise through aerobic metabolism, and should be the focus of your training programme for Toubkal and Atlas Mountains walking tours.
The types of aerobic exercises include light-to-moderate intensity activities like long-distance running, swimming, cycling and brisk long-distance walking. These activities help build your cardiovascular system, which is key for treks to Toubkal mainly and Atlas Mountains particularly, as a strong cardiovascular system is much better at processing oxygen.
Aerobic activities differ from anaerobic training that focuses on high-intensity exercises like heavy weightlifting and sprinting. High-intensity training uses anaerobic metabolism (without oxygen) to supplement the energy demands on the aerobic system, and only puts strain on the cardiovascular system.
In terms of an aerobic training programme we recommend keeping it simple. If you are relatively unfit we suggest starting a training regime 1-2 months before your trek where you focus on one or two cardiovascular exercises like running or swimming. The intensity of your work out should be light-to-moderate, but the duration should be relatively prolonged.
For example, if you choose to focus on jogging, then you should aim to run 3-4 times a week, covering 5km-10km at a time. Intensity should be consistent so that you feel like you have had a proper workout, but you should not be completely out of breath. If you find you are out of breath you are pushing yourself too hard, reduce distance and intensity until you get to a comfortable pace and slowly build up your endurance.
For really fit individuals we recommend you just maintain your training regime. One month before your trek you can increase duration of your exercise but not intensity.
Please note, there is a flip side to having a strong cardiovascular system, as the fitter you are the harder you can push yourself on your Toubkal and Atlas mountains treks. This is a mistake as exertion at high altitude is a key driver of altitude sickness. Make sure you go slowly on your trek, particularly on the ascents up and over passes. Breathe deep into your lungs and do not over exert yourself. You want your strong cardiovascular system to support you at high altitude; you do not want to strain the system.
Training for The best hikes in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains Toubkal Circuit M’Goun Traverse Jbel Saghro Sahara Desert. – Leg and Upper Body Training
Along with aerobic exercises it is important to do strength training for your legs and upper body. In terms of legs we suggest you focus on four exercises:
- Lightweight squats
- Lying leg curls
- Step aerobics – this is particularly helpful for the Toubkal 3 Summits that consists of Grumping, Rock Climbing !
With regards to your upper body, you should focus on strengthening your core (stomach and back muscles) and your shoulders. You are not trying to get ripped muscle, but instead build strength. This is important, as you will be carrying a pack throughout the trek, so you will need the upper body strength.
Here are a few light to mid weight exercises to focus on:
- Kettle-bell rows and swings
- Shoulder presses
- Back and shoulder flies
Training for The best hikes in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains Toubkal – Practice Hiking
Hiking is a unique activity that is difficult to train for properly if you don’t do any practice hikes. A long walk along a beach or a river path is very different to high altitude trekking that traverses big passes and rocky terrain that constantly undulates.
We recommend doing at least two long-distance (10km) mountain hikes in your home country before you undertake your Toubkal trek. On these hikes you will want to find terrain that is rocky and undulates. You will also want to carry a light pack.
If you are planning to do an unsupported trek we recommend you do a number of backcountry camping excursions, carrying all your gear, including tent, sleeping bag and food.
This will give you a good sense of what to expect in Moroccan Mountains as well as help in breaking in your hiking boots.
The latter point is very important. Do not arrive in Toubkal and Atlas Mountains with brand new boots. You will undoubtedly get sore feet, blisters and potentially lost nails. Your feet are what gets you to Toubkal so make sure your boots are good quality and well broken in. See our Ultimate Toubkal Packing List for advice on what to look for in a pair of hiking boots.
Top tip: If you have long toe-nails make sure you cut them as far back as you can. This will help prevent bruising, painful toes and lost toe-nails.
Training for Toubkal Summit and Atlas Mountain Treks – Mental Preparation
Training for Toubkal and Atlas Mountains walking holidays is as much about your physical endurance as it is about your mental stamina.
There will be points where the trek is particularly tough, usually on the trails up to high passes. Despite tired legs and sore bodies you will need to be able to dig deep to push yourself up and over passes.
Make sure you have a good attitude before coming to Atlas Mountains. Prepare yourself mentally for a proper challenge. If you have never pushed your body hard before, try do an organised fun run (i.e. half marathon) or competitive triathlon in your home country before you arrive. This will give you a sense of pushing your body really hard in an activity that has a definite end.
Treks to Toubkal and Atlas Mountains are not extremely tough, and in fact most people of various ages and fitness levels can complete them, but if you are someone who is concerned about your ability to complete the trek then working on your mental stamina, whilst improving your physical endurance, will make all the difference.
Focus on these four Toubkal Climbs training activities and you will no doubt have an incredible time trekking to one of the world’s most impressive and mysterious Geological and Ntural sites.
Tags: Training for Toubkal Climb, How to prepare for Toubkal hike, How to train for Toubkal Trail, Training for ATLAS MOUNTAINS Trail, Training for Toubkal, The best hikes in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains Toubkal, Hiking Best Trails in Morocco
Getting your body in great shape through physical training certainly helps prepare you for altitude. However, the ability to adjust quickly to the changing oxygen content is largely genetic. As the Toubkal climbing success rates show, some people can climb Toubkal in as little as 2 days (not recommended), while some still fail with 6 days. It is impossible to tell how well a prospective climber may fare in an oxygen deprived atmosphere until he or she is actually in it.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR ALTITUDE? & The best hikes in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains Toubkal Circuit M’Goun Traverse Jbel Saghro Sahara Desert.
Getting your body in great shape through physical training certainly helps prepare you for altitude. However, the ability to adjust quickly to the changing oxygen content is largely genetic. As the Toubkal climbing success rates show, some people can climb Toubkal in as little as 2 days (not recommended), while some still fail with 8 days. It is impossible to tell how well a prospective climber may fare in an oxygen deprived atmosphere until he or she is actually in it.
High altitude training systems enable climbers to pre-acclimatize at home, drastically improving the success rate, safety and enjoyment of the climb.
Altitude training systems simulate high altitudes to induce beneficial biological adaptations in the body. Besides going to (and staying in) high altitude places, using a high altitude training system is only way to pre-acclimatize to high altitude before your trip.
f you go to high altitude quickly, your body has to adapt to the thinner air and the lack of oxygen. Two important things happen almost immediately:
you breathe faster and more deeply to maximise the amount of oxygen that can get into the blood from the lungs, and your heart pumps more blood to increase the supply of oxygen to your brain and muscles
You can demonstrate how important breathing harder is by using our high altitude oxygen calculator. Some people include breathlessness during exercise as a component of altitude sickness, but this is misleading. Breathing harder is a normal response to the shortage of oxygen, but it does have other effects on the body: click to learn more about breathing at altitude.
The sensation of breathlessness usually indicates that the lungs are having difficulty in supplying the body’s demand for oxygen. Therefore, if a climber is walking too fast for his lungs to keep up, he feels breathless and slows down. However, breathlessness at rest indicates that the lungs are having difficulty in supplying even the small amount of oxygen that the body needs when it is resting. This is an ominous sign at high altitude and may indicate the development of high altitude pulmonary oedema (HAPE). Any climber who is breathless at rest at high altitude should descend to a safer altitude as soon as possible. If you have had HAPE, please register with the online HAPE database.
What is altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness has three forms. Mild altitude sickness is called acute mountain sickness (AMS) and is quite similar to a hangover – it causes headache, nausea, and fatigue. This is very common: some people are only slightly affected, others feel awful. However, if you have AMS, you should take this as a warning sign that you are at risk of the serious forms of altitude sickness: HAPE and HACE*. Both HAPE and HACE can be fatal within hours.
What causes altitude sickness?
Two things are certain to make altitude sickness very likely – ascending faster than 500m per day, and exercising vigourously. Physically fit individuals are not protected – even Olympic athletes get altitude sickness. Altitude sickness happens because there is less oxygen in the air that you breathe at high altitudes.
Altitude sickness prevention
Go up slowly, take it easy, and give your body time to get used to the altitude. The body has an amazing ability to acclimatise to altitude, but it needs time. For instance, it takes about a week to adapt to an altitude of 4000m.
- If you feel unwell, you have altitude sickness until proven otherwise
- Do not ascend further if you have symptoms of altitude sickness
- If you are getting worse then descend immediately
Can I take drugs to prevent altitude sickness?
As with everything, many ‘quack’ treatments and untested herbal remedies are claimed to prevent mountain sickness. These treatments can make AMS worse or have other dangerous side effects – many herbs are poisonous. Only one drug is currently known to prevent AMS and to be safe for this purpose: acetazolamide (diamox). It causes some minor side effects, such as tingling fingers and a funny taste in the mouth.
*HAPE stands for high altitude pulmonary oedema, and HACE for high altitude cerebral oedema. These medical terms simply mean ‘fluid on the lungs/brain’.
Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is a common illness that affects a significant proportion of people that ascend to high altitude. The symptoms are headache and fatigue, sleep disturbance, problems with the digestive system and dizziness.
For the majority of sufferers AMS remains no more than an inconvenience. However, for a significant minority AMS can develop into one of two potentially fatal conditions: High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) or High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). These conditions both require immediate attention.
Sufferers of HAPE develop breathlessness at rest and may develop blue lips and a raised body temperature. HACE often presents initially with severe headache, vomiting and lethargy. These potentially fatal conditions can be prevented if a pragmatic golden rules approach is taken.
Mount Toubkal is an extremely popular climb amongst inexperienced climbers. As a result of expensive Toubkal fees and the abundance of alternative tourist attractions nearby, the rushed round trip to the 4170m summit is often attempted in as little as 2 days. It is therefore perhaps not surprising that many of the climbers attempting the summit suffer altitude sickness. It is highly recommended to train and go at least on 3 days trek.
Acclimatisation treks are the only thing that has been proven to protect against AMS on Toubkal. Climbers looking for the best chance of avoiding altitude sickness can acclimatise on the conveniently located Mountain near Imili (4000m). This approach also gives you the best chance of success on the summit attempt of Mount Toubkal. Climbers 2are often reassured by locals that the slower ascent rates offered by several of the ascent routes provides protection from AMS development. However, there is no evidence that any of these routes are slow enough to confer protection. In addition, the ascent of Mount Toubkal is so rapid that climbers should not assume that acetazolamide (Diamox) can protect them from developing Acute Mountain Sickness.
Travel insurance is required to participate on Morocco Walking Holidays and Toubkal Climbs.
Trip deposits are non-refundable and balance payments are only partially refundable.
Therefore, it is prudent for you to protect your investment against trip cancellation, Mountain accidents, interruption, delays. Standard travel insurance provides coverage for:
- Trip cancellation
- Trip interruption
- Missed connection
- Travel delay
- Baggage delay and personal items lost
- Hurricane and weather
- Employment layoff
- Pre-existing medical conditions
- Emergency medical
- Medical evacuation and repatriation
- Financial default
At a minimum, the insurance should protect you against trip cancellation and trip interruption, should you need to cancel your trip due to circumstances such as training injuries or sickness or emergencies. Ideally, insurance should cover high altitude trekking (not to be confused with “mountaineering” or “mountain climbing” which most insurance will not cover) and all medical and repatriation costs.
For our international customers, we recommend that you obtain travel insurance through World Nomads.
Climbers are strongly advised to obtain travel insurance immediately after booking their trip. Travel insurance covers trip cancellation due to pre-existing conditions only when insurance is purchased within 15 days of booking. Clients must be able to provide proof of insurance to staff upon request. Clients who fail to obtain travel insurance will not be allowed to climb.
How Much is Trekking in Morcco – Toubkal Treks?
Morocco Travel Specialist Hiking Morocco Atlas Mountains Trekking offers high quality Trekking Toubkal – Hiking in the Atlas Mountains, Trek Morocco at a reasonable cost. At our price levels, we can satisfy all climb fees, pay real wages to staff, supply adequate food and proper equipment, while still providing great service to our clients. We are adventurers at heart, and therefore we strive to make climbing Toubkal affordable. We don’t believe that doing something extraordinary should break the bank.
The Truth About Toubkal Prices and Costs
Many people look for a cheap Toubkal climb and Morocco walking holidays. But if you have done some searching, then you have already found out that this is not a possible option. And you probably have also discovered that there is a wide range of costs charged for climbing Mount Toubkal by different Trekking operators. There are many tour companies on Mount Toubkal. The choices may be challenging. The bad news is that there are not many reputable operators, and who you choose to climb with is crucial to your success and overall experience. However, if you disregarded the questionable companies, you’d be left with only a couple or so quality Toubkal and Atlas Mountains Trekking operators.
First and for sure, do not make your decision based on costs alone. Price should be only one component of your overall decision. High altitude trekking is not the place to shop for a cheap “deal”, nor is it the place to overpay without needing to. What you are looking for is high quality service at a reasonable price.
We often are asked how we can be priced thousand of Dirhams less than the luxury Toubkal Trekking operators.
There are minimum charges every Toubkal operator meets, such as Guides, Cooks, Muleteers wages, food, equipment, transportation and other logistical costs. Toubkal National Park entrance and camping/hut fees by far make up big expenses, costing over EURO 130 per climber per day. The other significant expenses are staff wages, food, and transportation costs. Local wages amount to around EURO 40-EURO 80 per climber per day (depending on group size). Food costs come out to about EURO 10-20 per climber per day (includes food for staff). Transportation costs are about EURO 100 per trip depending on the route. There are also costs associated with Mules food on the mountain, on camping equipment and administrative costs for arranging your climb. By adding up all the daily costs listed here, you can estimate what it may cost to fund a Toubkal climb on your own.
The best hikes in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains Toubkal LUXURY OPERATOR:
Do not assume that a high cost operator is providing a superior climb for the money.
Do not assume high priced operators are better simply because they charge more. These operators pitch extraordinarily high success rates, greater safety standards and added luxury… and then they take advantage of you by charging fees. Do not be easy. It is funny that some operators will charge EUROS 700, 500 , even more than EUROS 700 per person for large parties on standard itineraries. It does not cost that much to climb Toubkal! There is absolutely zero justification for these kinds of prices and the premium you pay does not translate into a better experience. It goes directly to the luxury operator’s pockets.
The high priced operators are typically international companies that do not focus on Toubkal and Trekking. Some of them use foreign guides. But ask yourself, who knows the mountain better? A company that runs only a handful of climbs per year or a specialist that operates more than 150 climbs per year? Do you want to climb with a foreign guide who was flown in for a couple climbs per year, or a local guide who has encountered and handled various situations, with hundreds of clients, during his many years of service? Who can better tell you about the trail, the wildlife, the fauna, and culture? The luxuries provided by these operators can be silly. A food table and chairs on a mountain expedition? A portable shower – at these low temperatures? Bottled water on the entire trek – instead of collecting water from nearby streams?
Nonetheless, there are those who are more comfortable paying inflated prices to climb Toubkal. We provide the same safety measures, or better, but you don’t have to pay thousands more to have them! Save your money and go on a Sahara safari.
Avoid the cheap, low budget operators; they are professionally dangerous.
Local Toubkal companies are primarily made up of low budget operators. Because these are often un-established, desperate, poorly run companies, they use low prices as their only way to attract clients. Their practice of undercutting each other has resulted in dangerous situations on the mountain. By reducing prices too far, there is simply no way for these operators to provide satisfactory services without reducing necessary expenses. It’s a certainty that they cannot meet the requirements for a decent climb.
Low budget operators often do everything poorly. Here are the main reasons why low budget operators are a bad idea:
Muleteers Mistreatment. When you climb with a budget operator, you are directly contributing to the exploitation of the poorest people on the mountain – the Cooks, Muleteers. There are NO low budget companies that respect the wage recommendations set by the Toubkal National park. Cheap companies are able to offer low priced climbs because they do not pay their mountain crews an honest wage. Quality operators do not compromise the wage of their staff in order to sell a climb. The best Toubkal companies pay the highest wages and are members of Tourism Organization.
Inferior Guides. The most important factor in the safety and success of a Toubkal climb and Atlas walks is the knowledge and skill of your guide. However, low budget operators often hire freelance guides with little experience, no medical training and poor English language ability. The competence of a guide is not always obvious until a crisis emerges, but by then it is too late. Quality guides do not work for the low budget operators. Quality guides do not wait around for clients to walk in, hoping for some work. Quality guides are hired full time by the top operators and are busy leading groups on scheduled climbs, week after week.
Old Equipment. Low budget operators use barely functional equipment. Most commonly, this is apparent in the condition of the tents. They buy off brand tents that are not waterproof, not durable and not for four season use. They use sleeping bags and pads that are worn out and no longer capable of providing adequate warmth. They have ancient vehicles that break down or get stuck, their mules are not well fed and overloaded… Quality Toubkal operators use camping equipment from reputable manufacturers. They regularly replace their tents, sleeping bags, and other camping equipment, and have well maintained vehicles.
Irresponsible Trekking. Because the guides and porters of low priced operators are untrained, they do not practice responsible trekking that conserves the environment. Often, the mountain crews of low budget operators are seen throwing rubbish. Quality operators educate their staff on the importance of conservation. Quality operators practice Clean Mountains ethics so everyone can enjoy the mountain for years to come.
Tips & Donations
Take care of your Moroccan Guide and Muleteers and Camelmen if trekking the Sahara!
It is customary to tip your staff upon completion of your trip. The decision on how much to tip should not be determined based upon whether or not you reached the summit, but by how well the guides, cooks and muleteers served you while you were on the mountain. Below are some approximate figures on how much to tip your staff on a full 3 day climb, provided that their service was satisfactory. These figures are the total tips given by the group, not per client.
- 3 Day Route (per 12 person group) EUROS
- 1 Lead Guide, 150 – 200
- 1 Cook, 60 – 100
- 1 Muleteer, $50 – $60
Donation of Clothing & Equipment
Please consider donating your clothing and equipment to the climb team in addition to tipping them. Remember that the staff climbs Toubkal and walk the atlas mountains all the year and can go through their clothes and gear rather quickly. Your donation is of great assistance to these individuals, many of who are unwilling to spend their money on material goods they consider a luxury rather than a necessity. They will appreciate your generosity tremendously. Avoid giving items to your guide for distribution to porters. Donations should be given directly to individuals they are intended for, perhaps those with the greatest need or who were of particularly good service.
The tipping ceremony occurs the last night on the mountain, after the summit day. The group will receive three envelopes. One envelope each for tips for the guides and cooks and Muleteers.
envelope will have a form attached detailing the number of staff in each role. The clients should then fill in the amount of tip money to give each person. One representative from your party, a spokesperson, should collect the tip money from the group and place the total tip money into the corresponding envelopes.
The guide will assemble the entire staff. It is customary for the spokesperson to say a word of thanks to the staff. The guide will translate. Then the spokesperson shall hand one envelope to the lead guide and the other envelope to muleteers’ representative.
Each crewmember signs a tip distribution report which we review after every climb to ensure each staff member received their fair share of the tip money. We operate under Morals guidelines for tip disbursement and provide oversight of the entire process to enforce fair and proper payment.
Tips can be made in US dollars or Euros, Moroccan Dirhams better. It is very important that US bills be new. Do not tip with old (older than 2002) US bills; they are not accepted in the country. It is very helpful to bring an assortment of dollar denominations for tipping.
The suggested tips for the Sahara Desert safari Tours are Euro15-30/day for the guide (who is also the driver).
Small tips (Euro1-2) may be given to hotel staff or Restaurants for their service.
Atlas Trekking Morocco – hiking in atlas mountains Morocco Prices 2016
Hiking Morocco Atlas Mountains Trekking – the #1 guide service on Mount Toubkal and Atlas Mountains walking holidays. We have the best guides on the mountain, with high standards of safety and reliability. We specialize in small group climbs and private climbs at a reasonable cost. Not a cheap Toubkal climb, but a great value for everything you need to have a safe, successful experience. We are Toubkal’s top operator. Worldwide adventurers climb with us every year! Won’t you join us on the Toubkal summit?
Morocco Trekking – Toubkal Group Tours – The best hikes in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains Toubkal
Our group climbs feature only the best routes on Mount Toubkal: 3 day Climb Circuit, 6 day Atlas Trail, 7 day Toubkal Circuit and 7 day Atlas Valleys. These group climbs are scheduled during months that have the best weather and include acclimatization days for increased success rates.