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climbing Mount Toubkal - fitness question

Toronto, Canada
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climbing Mount Toubkal - fitness question

I want to go a on a 2 day hike up Mount Toubkal.

I'm 30/f, overweight (not obese), and I have strong endurance. I've done 5-6 hour hikes before winter.. but i've never climbed a mountain big like Toubkal.

Do you have to be super crazy fit in order to climb Mount Toubkal??

Castril De La Pena...
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1. Re: climbing Mount Toubkal - fitness question

Current summit forecast is -4C with wind chill. Do you have the right gear?

Two days is too quick for acclimatisation. Best procedure is night 1 in Imlil at 1700m, night 2 at refuges at 3000m, day 3 climb final 1200m then descend all way.

Edited: 11 October 2013, 01:55
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2. Re: climbing Mount Toubkal - fitness question

I'm doing the two day hike, we're getting collected on Monday at 8am... hope it goes well!

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: climbing Mount Toubkal - fitness question

I have everything except for hiking poles and cramp-ons..is it possible to rent them there?

I will be there in the first week of December...beginning of winter. Will there be snow up there?

Castril De La Pena...
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4. Re: climbing Mount Toubkal - fitness question

You can hire poles, campons and ice axes in Imlil, www.imlil.org

Snow is unlikely before Christmas, but then weather is never very predictable. The main problem could be high winds and the associated wind chill.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: climbing Mount Toubkal - fitness question

thanks TimCullis. I can and will conquer this cold weather. I am from Canada! ; )

Now I just hope I'm fit enough to climb this mountain

Luton
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6. Re: climbing Mount Toubkal - fitness question

No, you don't need to be superfit to reach the summit of Toubkal but it is sensible to be well prepared. Tim's advice is spot on. Please note his advice about taking three days for your trek. It's not that the ascent can't be achieved on the second day out of Marrakech; in fact plenty of people do head straight for Refuge du Toubkal on Day 1 and ascend the summit of Toubkal on Day 2. It's just that those who end up suffering from altitude-related problems are invariably those who do not pause to spend their first night at Imlil or Aremd to allow for acclimatisation.

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7. Re: climbing Mount Toubkal - fitness question

i am not crazily fit but i can climb for 5-6 hours going up is a bit tough do i need to train extensively as i am going in dec? Any tips to train for it and what to do for altitude sickness?

Luton
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8. Re: climbing Mount Toubkal - fitness question

Hi Colline.

You don't need to be crazily fit to climb Toubkal, just in reasonable shape. Your main difficulty in December is likely to be snow. The summit may well not be achievable at that time of year without crampons and an ice axe. If you do not have experience of using them, you would be best to undertake a little bit of training in case you need to use them on your trip.

Please don't forget that most accidents on mountains happen during the descent. This is when we tend to relax, yet it is also when we are most tired and when errors creep in.

Even if conditions prevent you from achieving the summit, you can still have a fantastic trek at a lower altitude. With snow about, the Atlas Mountains are even more beautiful, especially against the backdrop of a clear blue sky.

Castril De La Pena...
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9. Re: climbing Mount Toubkal - fitness question

The ascent of Toubkal over the scree slopes of the southern col is best described as two steps forward, one slide back. I've done Toubkal once. Doubt if I will ever do it again. It's a physically challenging non technical climb, without much enjoyment or payback.

Take a look at this photo taken from the refuge at 3000m and looking up: morocco-knowledgebase.net/tim/…20refuge.jpg

There's another 1200m to go, what you can see is the first third of that. To give you an appreciation of scale, look at the guy standing on the rocks at the left. Now look to the right and slightly up where you can see the tiny figures of climbers on their way up.

Luton
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10. Re: climbing Mount Toubkal - fitness question

I have a lot of sympathy with Tim's post. Many people wishing to trek in Morocco for the first time choose to climb Toubkal: I regularly advise them that this is not the most beautiful of mountain regions and often make alternative suggestions (I often mention Mgoun, the Western High Atlas, Sirwa and Sahro; Tim often mentions the Anti-Atlas around Tafraoute) or at least suggest other treks in the Toubkal region. I alluded to these lower level routes in my earlier post.

Nonetheless, I feel Tim has been a little harsh on the Toubkal ascent. For a fuller picture of the trek to the summit, you might care to have a look at my photos on my Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/…

Having said that, the better scenery is to be found around the back of Toubkal (south side) if you can find the time to complete the full circuit. Have a look here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/…

.... and if there is snow while you are there, at least all that ugly scree will be hidden from view!

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