Morrocco, Imlil - A Climb Up Jebel Toubkal
Imlil is a relatively small mountain village located in the western part of the Atlas Mountains, roughly in the central part of Morocco. In fact, it is not so interesting in itself, but still welcomes thousands of visitors every year. You ask why? This is the place where alpine tourism enthusiasts go to the highest mountain in North Africa, Jebel Toubkal.
The road to Imlil leads through a nice valley, which was created by the natural flow of the Tissilt River. However, the closer we are to the village, the worse the road we can expect. At times, it is quite problematic with a larger car to drive through dusty and unpaved roads along a relatively steep cliff. The whole village is built on a hill in a unified Moroccan style and leads through it one main road.
There are several restaurants in the village that serve traditional couscous as well as tajin, mostly with chicken, lamb or minced meat. A local version of harira soup is also recommended. There are also many shops with climbing and hiking equipment, so there is no problem to retrofit before climbing. Most of the goods on offer, however, look quite old and in many cases already used, which gives a somewhat untrustworthy impression. However, the local merchants are very nice and will gladly secure the requested goods even with the neighboring salesman if they are not in their assortment.
The climb to Jebel Toubkal itself is a relatively difficult trek, suitable for more experienced pedestrians, but climbing equipment is not needed. If you leave Imlil, the first day you will have a roughly 5 to 8 hours long journey to the cozy at 3206 m above sea level, where you can sleep. On the way up you will meet souvenir and orange juice vendors, which is quite typical of treks in Morocco. However, the higher you get, the fewer such vendors you meet, because few people want to rush to the highest mountain far and wide every morning.
The next day early morning is high time to climb the mountain itself. The path leads past the creek above the cozy and then through a stone field from which you can shortly get to the plateau leading to the summit itself, which rises to an impressive height of 4165 meters above sea level. You can observe the city of Marrakesh The trip can be taken in two days, but it is generally recommended to spend at least a day longer in the mountains to acclimatize.
GPS: 31°08'09.9"N 7°55'11.5"W
Text and photos: Barbara Nováková
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