/ Toubkal sans guide!
Looking to climb Toubkal as part of 'lads long weekend' preferably without having to go down the commercial/guided route. I've done a bit of digging on the internet recently but there seems to be conflicting information concerning whether you can or can't climb Toubkal without the aid of a guide/commercial outfit.
Does anyone on here have any recent experience of doing this peak without a guide? If so, are there any major pit-falls/things to be aware of if going solo.
All members going on the trip are experienced climbers/walkers.
I climbed it without a guide at the end of a 4 or 5 day trek about 12 years ago. It was during the summer so it was a pretty simple walking peak. Not that I'd recommend it, but there were people walking up in sandals. We bivvied next to the hut.
I did Jebel Toubkal a few years ago, in May, without a guide. We stayed a night in Imlil, a night in the french refuge, then up to the top and back to Imlil for the night. No-one objected or even commented on the fact we had no guide.
At the time the snowline was about the level of the refuge. We took walking axes and crampons. Most of the guided groups only had crampons. Quality looked very variable, and at the top we met a french chap who seemed to have lost his guide and broken his crampons (we made a temporary repair for him).
As we had axes, we took our crampons off and glissaded down to the hut. In retrospect this was a mistake, as although it was great for us, we saw a few other folks trying to copy us. With no axe, that's pretty dangerous. I wouldn't do it again.
I climbed the December before last and whilst I went with guides there were plenty of people without. Some unfortunately had no idea where they were going so our guides had to help much to their annoyance.
Took a dander up this with my Dad a few Christmases ago.
We didn't have a guide and used the Cicerone High Atlas book. IMO you will be fine with this provided you are a good route finder and confident in the snow/ice.
We stayed a night in Imlil. Then walked up and stayed a night in the french refuge. The next day it was up to the top and back to Imlil.
My 2cents.... We are both reasonably fit and confident on the snow etc so didn't set off as early as the other parties - it was a little brighter (though still dark) and easier then to find the way. Also, earplugs for the hut!!
After the murder of those two young women there are now multiple police checkpoints in place on the way to the refuge and at the refuge's themselves. You will not be allowed past these checkpoints without a local guide, it's relatively cheap and inexpensive to hire these Guides and well worth the money. There is also a curfew in place at the refuges for 9 p.m. you will not be allowed to leave the refuge after 9 p.m. and they are very funny about you arriving after 9 p.m.
The last information I have was from February last year when I took a group there, things me have loosened off since then but I'm not sure, I can't actually see it ever loosening off as it's guaranteeing local employment.
Did it in November 2019. You have to have a guide by law now, but the guides are just locals and are not expensive, and I certainly wouldnt call them a commercial outfit! Just find a guide from the local guides office in imlil when you get there and you can follow them up the hill. It won't really detract from the experience- it's not like its hard to find the way without a guide.
My impression is the OP is looking for advice in relation to do you need a guide following the murders in the area a year or so ago, rather than experiences/capabilities needed for the route itself.
I agree the advice is confusing so expect you're looking for advice from anyone who's done it in the last year?
FWIW we did it about 7 years ago without guide in late December, did in 1 day from refuge, got lost, went up wrong mountain for a bit, got hit by an avalanche, summited the right mountain and made it back to Imlil by nighttime.
> After the murder of those two young women ...
Hmm. Yes, my experiences posted above were before that happened. Sounds like they might not be that relevant anymore.
This Alpine Conditions page gives a summary of what is being climbed at the moment, what is 'in' nick and what the prospects are...
Base Jumper Tom Erik Heimen and trail runner Kilian Jornet "race" up & down the iconic Romsdalshorn (1550m) in Norway.