Welcome to the Atlas Mountains
Embark on a 5-day trekking challenge to the top of the highest Mountain in the Atlas Mountains, Jbel (Mount) Toubkal. To join this Moroccan challenge, participants will fundraise money for SeeAbility. Beginning and ending in Marrakesh, we’ll transfer deep into the Atlas Mountains where our three day trek commences. Our goal is to summit the prestigious peak of Jbel Toubkal, which stands at a glorious 4167 metres above sea level. Along the way, we’ll venture through the foothills of the Western High Atlas where life has changed very little for the Berber people who call this beautiful region home.
We’ll conclude our challenge in Marrakech where you can refine your bartering skills in the maze of souqs or perhaps you’ll head to a traditional hammam for some well-deserved rest and recuperation.
This tough but incredibly rewarding challenge is designed for beginners, so anyone can participate but you must be in fairly good shape to summit the mountain and be comfortable hiking all day through moderately difficult terrain. Our route will involve steep climbs in high altitude, mostly on upper foothill mule tracks that are sometimes rocky and seldom flat.
The Good Cause: SeeAbility
This extraordinary charity encourages people with disabilities to challenge what they expect from life, from themselves and from wider society – just like TravelEyes. In 2019, SeeAbility will celebrate its 220th anniversary – making it one of oldest charities in the UK. We’re delighted to help celebrate this incredible achievement by partnering with them on a very special charity trek. We’ve chosen the week of World Sight Day for our walk because SeeAbility provides extraordinary support and champions better eye care for people with learning disabilities and autism, many of whom have sight loss. All the proceeds will go towards supporting this fabulous cause.
Mount Toubkal SeeAbility Trek
Dates & Prices: 12th – 16th October 2019.
Registration Fee: £200
Total Sponsorship for SeeAbility: £1400
(Registration fee goes towards the final sponsorship amount)
Summit North Africa’s tallest mountain, Mount Toubkal.
Explore unforgettable mountain scenery.
Discover the local Berber culture of Morocco.
Meander through souqs and historic quarters of Marrakech.
Flights and transfers from the UK (London, times TBA).
All breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
3 full days trekking in the Atlas Mountains.
2 nights accommodation in Marrakech.
2 nights accommodation in the Toubkal Refuge.
Services of local guides.
Services of a Traveleyes tour manager.
Saturday 12th October 2019
Today we’ll meet at the airport in the UK for our welcome briefing before checking in for our flight to Marrakech together. Upon arrival, transfer to our hotel for an early night in preparation for the beginning of our trek tomorrow.
Dinner included (depending on the time we arrive), overnight in Marrakech.
Sunday 13th October 2019
Depart from Marrakech around 8 am in the morning for an exhilarating 2-hour drive south over the dramatic gorges and high passes of the Upper Valleys and the Berber town of Imlil (1740m). Known as Morocco’s ‘Little Chamonix’, Imlil is set in the upper-level foothills of the Western High Atlas Mountains on the main trailhead with mule paths branching out in all directions. Here we shall leave our vehicle to take a welcome glass of mint tea in our gîte d’étape prior to setting out for a 4km walk south to the Berber villages of Aroumd (1843m) Taourirt, Targa, and Imoula. Our hike up and down the stark slopes provide magnificent views of the Western High Atlas peaks with the mighty Toubkal Massif immediately before us.
We shall stop at Aroumd to visit this rather unique village which is built house upon house on a large spur overlooking ancient terraced fields and orchards. Our trek then continues for a further 8km to the equally-quaint village of Sidi Chamharouch, a Berber village set beside a waterfall and small stream, again, with rammed-earth homes seemingly built somewhat chaotically one on top of another. This village is a place of pilgrimage for devout Muslims and it is where there is a marabout shrine – forbidden to non-Muslims and said to be a relic of a pre-Islamic religious cult. We take a break for a picnic, within full view of mighty Jbel Toubkal, the highest peak in the Maghreb, prior to setting off up to the Toubkal Refuge for our dinner and overnight accommodation.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Toubkal Refuge.
Monday 14th October 2019
Today we’ll rise very early for breakfast before setting out at around 6am for our 3-hour steep climb up Mount Toubkal. The panorama from the summit is simply stunning and the climb is truly worth the effort. The first recorded climb of this peak (in 1923) was made by the French mountaineers V. Berger, M. Doubleau and the intrepid Marquis de Segonzae.
Whenever you are ready, we shall descend via the Ikkhibi Sud – or South Circuit – for a straightforward 2 to 3-hour descent back to the Refuge and our picnic. This afternoon, we shall take a gentle hike south-eastwards up for a couple of hours to the head of the Assif Aït Mizane Valley and Tizi n’Ounoums (3664m) which, from this high point, gives us a tremendous view of the trail we’ve covered and of the distant cobalt green outline of Lake Ifni. When ready, we return to the area of the Toubkal Refuge for our dinner.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Toubkal Refuge.
Tuesday 15th October 2019
We shall now set off back towards the north along steeply descending, zigzagging trails of the higher slopes of the Valley of the Assif n’Isouhouanem n’Ouagounss towards the Berber village of Sidi Chamharouch. On leaving the village, we shall find a tree, sacred to the local Berbers, where they hang strips of coloured cloth and pile up stones. As we continue our descent high above the valley of the Assif Aït Mizane, down zigzagging trails around grey granite and basalt rocks to Aroumd. Here we shall stop for our picnic 3-hour continuing along the floor of the valley before walking up a well-defined mule to the Berber village of Imlil (1740m). Here, we’ll enjoy a glass of mint tea – or two – at our Gîte d’étape prior to rejoining our vehicle at 4.30pm to take us back to Marrakech.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Marrakech.
Wednesday 16th October 2019
Today we’ll celebrate the successful completion of our charity challenge trek up Mount Toubkal with a treat in Marrakech. Following this, we’ll transfer to the airport for our return flight home.
You may choose from the following options:
Marrakech City Tour – Visit the dramatic Almohad Koutoubia Minaret and the Bahia Palace or Dal El Basha before entering the labyrinth of narrow alleyways making up the colourful and aromatic Souks of Marrakech. We’ll conclude in Djemaa el Fna Square where we’ll explore stalls of goods ranging from fresh fruit to babouche alongside snake charmers, fortune tellers, scribes and nakkachat (women with syringes full of henna).
Traditional Hammam Visit – Soothe your muscles with a visit to a traditional hammam where you can enjoy an exfoliation treatment. There will be a range of other treatments available for you to choose from at your own cost.
Breakfast included. (lunch included depending on flight time).
Outbound deparure will be from London Gatwick Airport on Saturday 12th October 2019 at 5.40pm, arriving at Marrakech Airport at 9.20pm.
Inbound departure will be from Marrakech Airport on Wednesday 16th October at 7.40pm, arriving at London Gatwick Airport at 11.10pm.
Food will be typical Moroccan cuisine such as mint tea, fresh salads, cheese, tagines and couscous.
A list of items you may wish to bring with you include good mountain walking boots, a day bag, jacket, hat, sun protection, rambler poles, snacks, anti-bacterial hand gel, hygiene wipes.
We’ll walk for around 6 hours each day on mostly upper foothill mule tracks that are sometimes rocky and seldom flat. The trek is not technically climbing but has been designed to be challenging so a good level of fitness is essential. You’ll reach a maximum altitude of 4176 metres above sea level. The weather will be warm whilst the sun is up and should be bright. As soon as the sun sets, the temperature drops rapidly so warm layers will be needed. The temperature will be noticeably colder as we summit.
Accommodation in the Toubkal Refuge is 3200 metres above sea level. The accommodation and facilities are very basic but there is electricity and limited hot water. There is no road access to the accommodation, so you will need to carry with you what you’ll need for the ascent. The Refuge provides mattresses and offers blankets and sheets, but we advise you bring a warm sleeping bag with you. The toilet and shower facilities in the Refuge are shared and it is advisable to bring your own toilet tissue.
Accommodation in Marrakech will be at the comfortable Hotel Racine or similar.
The single supplement is £50, this will only provide a single room in Marrakech and you will still need to share a room and facilities in the Toubkal Refuge.
The registration fee to join the trip is £200 and this is paid to Traveleyes to confirm your spot on the challenge. You can then begin fundraising with all money raised being sent straight to SeeAbility. To book onto this challenge, please register an account on the Traveleyes website and either email or phone the office to let us know you would like to come. We will then create a booking for you where you can then pay the registration fee over the phone or online.
Further information regarding the accommodation and what to pack will be provided closer to the time of the challenge.
Charity Challenge Information:
“Fundraise for charitable causes whilst embarking on challenges across the world!”
Charity Challenges are where a group of travellers dedicate their own time and effort to raising money for charitable causes. By undertaking a demanding yet unforgettable challenge, you will inspire those around you to dig deep into their pockets to donate money to your challenge and the important charitable cause.
Our charity challenges are designed for sighted and visually impaired people who are raising money for a good cause. Sighted participants will act as sighted guides for their fellow visually impaired travellers. No more than 50% of the fundraised target goes towards the cost of the trip, with all funds raised above this going towards the charitable cause!
“Push your own boundaries to help others”
Fundraising is hard and it takes time to raise large amounts of money for charity. The challenge itself will be designed to push you to your limits. Charities will not only benefit from the important funds that are raised, but from the publicity that the challenge will create. You’ll be supported throughout the fundraising process, helping you make the most of the experience.
“This isn’t just another holiday, it will be physically exerting and facilities may be basic at times.”
We guarantee you’ll form lasting friendships and memories along the way, all whilst making important contributions to charitable causes! Following the challenge and as a reward for all the hard fundraising, each challenge will include a treat at the end
Contact Traveleyes for further information about the SeeAbility Charity Challenge
Contact the Traveleyes team