Ski tours in the high Atlas, Morocco

High altitudes, steep couloirs, and couscous us in the area around Jbel Toubkal. The sun is strong, the Sahara is close, and the snow is African.

Africa is hardly the continent you associate with skis and snow, but the High Atlas mountain range in Morocco offers surprisingly good skiing with varying degrees of difficulty. The area around Jbel Toubkal, which is North Africa’s highest mountain at 4,167 m, is very well-suited to ski touring. A CAF-refuge (Club Alpin Français) is strategically located in a deep valley near the base of Jbel Toubkal. From here, you can reach a number of 4,000-metre peaks with relative ease, which during the winter months are snow covered.

During the trip, you will come in contact with the local population of the Atlas Mountains, the Berber people, and become acquainted with their culture.

During the trip, you will come in contact with the local population of the Atlas Mountains, the Berber people, and become acquainted with their culture. If you enjoy sweet tea, you will appreciate a cup of “Berber whiskey” after a day on the mountain. During the trip, you will also have a powerful encounter with the mythical city of Marrakech.

We’ve been arranging ski trips to this region since 1999 and know both the people and mountains well.

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Departures

StartsEndsStarting pointPriceGuidePlaces available

Trip facts

Trip length8 days
Group sizeMax 6 persons
Grading2C

Included in the trip

  • Airport transfer
  • All local transports
  • Swedish UIAGM certified mountain guide
  • Mules with driver
  • Cook
  • Accommodation and meals during the ski touring
  • Hotel, two nights double accommodation in Marrakech

The trip is sold excluding airfare, but we can help you with bookings if you wish.

Questions and booking

Do you have questions regarding this trip? Do you want to send us a notification of interest or make a booking?
Contact us on +46 31-707 00 80 or or send an email to info@pathfindertravels.se.

Daily itinerary

Day 1. Marrakech, Morocco – Imlil

At the airport of Marrkech, you meet up with Pathfinder Travels’ leader/mountain guide. We continue our journey to the mountain village Imlil, where we get settled into the hostel of our friend Slimane. During the trip, information about the upcoming days’ events and activities will be handed out.

Day 2. Imlil – Refuge Toubkal

After an early wake-up and breakfast, we pack our luggage onto the mules and hike up to Refuge Toubkal (3,106 m) at the base of Jbel Toubkal. We eat lunch and then get informed about the local mountain environment, the routes for the next few days, safety considerations, etc. This is followed by a practical run through of our avalanche equipment. We will overnight the next few nights in the refuge, where we also eat breakfast and dinner. We take lunch with us onto the mountain.

Day 3 – 6. Ski touring

In the morning, we put on skis and climbing skins (ski touring) or crampons (alpine touring) for a ski tour of Ouanoukrim (4,089 m), and Jbel Toubkel and other nearby peaks of about 3,700 to 4,100 m. The area offers both steep couloir skiing and open fields, and we choose our descents as per the group’s wishes and nature’s conditions.

Day 7. Imlil – Marrakech

An early descent to Imlil, some repacking and then we continue our journey towards Marrakech. We visit the bathhouses, called hammam, and some light city orienteering in medinan, the old innertown. We eat a wonderful dinner that evening.

Day 8. Departure

We take the transfer to the airport and can glance back at the High Atlas Mountains with joy. If you have choosen to continue the trip on you own you part here from the rest of the group.

Good to know

We use hired minibuses while in Morocco. In Marrakech, we stay at a medium class hotel, and in mountain refuges during the ski tours.

To get the best from the trip, you should be somewhat accustomed to the outdoors and in good condition. Ski touring means that you ascend the mountain with the help of climbing skins or crampons (also called alpine touring). Of course, snowboarders with snowshoes or similar are welcome to join along. When you ski down, it’s good to have some energy left to enjoy the descent. If you’re in better condition, you will be less tired, which goes without saying. In general, we walk approximately 1,000 vertical metres per day at altitudes between 3,000 and 4,000 metres.

We will walk at an easy tempo and adapt the pace to the group. Skiing off-piste means that you ski on nature’s conditions. The base can vary from loose snow to an inadequate crust and everything in between. We don’t chance safety. The choice of both ascent and descent will be determined by the snow and wind conditions. With a high risk for avalanche or extremely windy conditions, it can happen that we are forced to completely alter our plans.

All ski and snowboarding equipment will be brought from home. Regarding safety equipment, all members of the group should have an avalanche shovel, avalanche probe and avalanche beacon. Besides your ski equipment, you should have crampons, and good clothing and a winter sleeping bag are a must. We can help you arrange this equipment if you don’t have it yourself. We will test the equipment and ensure that everything works properly. Exercises in searching techniques with avalanche beacons/probes will also be conducted. The basic rule is of course to avoid an avalanche as much as possible.

Prior to your trip, you will receive further written information about packing and facts about the area we will be visiting. If you have questions, you can always contact us at info@pathfindertravels.se

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Kammarkollegiet

We are subject to the provisions of the Swedish Travel Guarantees Act (1972:204) and have lodged a travel guarantee with Swedish Kammarkollegiet.