Ascent of Jebel Toubkal on 2013-06-15

Climber: Martin Richardson

Date:Saturday, June 15, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Jebel Toubkal
    Elevation:13671 ft / 4166 m

Ascent Trip Report

For pictures and context, see my blog 'Went up a hill and came down' at:
North Africa’s highest graffiti>

Extract of text from my blog:
I made an early start. The path is very well used by hill walkers, trekkers, locals and mules. Once you find the start of the real uphill stuff at N31.11511 W7.91991 (1959m), after crossing the valley floor you would be hard pushed to get lost. ... Nevertheless there are some demanding stretches that get harder as the altitude increases and the air pressure drops. I am glad I was not doing it in the midday heat. ...
As I managed to get to the Toubkal Refuge N31.06295 W7.93790 (3207m) in less than four hours it was still morning when I arrived there. I debated with myself briefly about carrying on to the top and then thought better of it. Although my acclimatisation was better I still felt a little groggy. I thought I would have a siesta sleep and then review the situation later...
I was up at first light and after a quick breakfast was ready for the off. I wasn't the first party to leave but – to my surprise, especially as I was easily the oldest person there and I was in no rush - I soon overtook everyone else. I learnt later that several people who set off after me, who like me had not hired local guides, were using me as their route finder (if only they knew me, they would have not been so trusting) and I assume that although they could have possibly overtaken me they chose not to. As a tourist route it is fairly obvious, well worn and with frequent graffiti/tags. Some of the micro navigation – i.e. do you go right or left of that big rock was a bit of a puzzle at times but quite soon you could find the most worn route.
The hardest route finding is where the snow lingers. Couple of clues to others turn left N31.06192 W7.93433 (3334m) and then right at N31.06274 W7.93273 (3390m), up to a false col at N31.06056 W7.92807 (3604m). At this point you realise there is still a long way to go but don't worry you soon get a view of the false summit. My advice, take the track that keeps to the right before getting to the ridge and turning left. Save the track down the middle for a quick descent on not very good scree.
I had the pleasure of the summit to myself for several minutes and as it was still earlier than 9.00am the sun was at a low angle. Unfortunately the haze meant that the distant views were limited. But, hey, I was there and with only little awareness of the low air pressure.
The return to Imlil was long and arduous but didn't take as long as I had been told it would, despite falling over twice – once because a fully laden mule barged into me.
Summary Total Data
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Martin Richardson
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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