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Atlas Mountains in January

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Hampshire Uk
posts: 19
reviews: 15
Atlas Mountains in January

We (my husband and I ) are planning to have a day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech, We are planning to drive to Imlil and do 3-4 hours tracking and back. The plan is to hire a car, drive our selves there, hire a guide from the Bureau des Guides; we are not planing to do any mountaineering though, just simple trekking. The questions are:

Does any one know how easy or difficult the roads are to Imlil in January, Do we need a 4x4 or would a simple small car do? Are there risks of snow ? Do we need winter tyres? What type of clothing do we need for this journey? How cold does it get few meters up?

Any information will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

10 replies to this topic
London, United...
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 4,878
reviews: 35
1. Re: Atlas Mountains in January

So long as the weather is OK any basic 2-wheel-drive vehicle will be just fine. The 'lapse rate' (temperature drop with altitude) is between 0.5ºC and 1ºC per 100m, Marrakech is 450m and Imlil is 1700m, so you could expect Imlil to be between 6ºC and 13ºC cooler than Marrakech. In other words, yes, wrap up and take hat and gloves.

Here's a video taken in January a few years back on what at the time was the piste (it's now a tarmac road) between Imlil and Tizi n'Tamatert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAPIjbEAVX0

Hampshire Uk
posts: 19
reviews: 15
2. Re: Atlas Mountains in January

Thank you Tim that is very encouraging, any advise about taking the guide from the Bureau des Guides? Is this the safest place to get a guide for our trekking?

Cheers

D

Hampshire Uk
posts: 19
reviews: 15
3. Re: Atlas Mountains in January

Hello Tim

I contacted the Bureau des Guides in Imlil, they where very helpful, I am having a qualified guide for the day for 400 Dhm and a car picking us from the hotel to Imlil and back after the trek for 600 Dhm. I am looking forward to the adventure and thank you for the encouragement . I will let you know how things plan out on my return . At the moment it is too good to be true.

D

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 4,878
reviews: 35
4. Re: Atlas Mountains in January

400dh is an OK price. You're all set. Have a great time and most importantly please let us know how you get on.

A video from last year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z48E7mNPsDg

Hampshire Uk
posts: 19
reviews: 15
5. Re: Atlas Mountains in January

Thanks for the the advise and videos,

I shall lkeep in touch,

cheers

D

Hampshire Uk
posts: 19
reviews: 15
6. Re: Atlas Mountains in January

Hello Tim

I have to thank you for the help you gave me before I visited Marrakech. It all went like a dream, we had perfect time. The Bureau des Guides were exceptional, we had a 4wd with a driver who turned up on time took us to the Bureau at Imlil we met our guide his name is Abdual , who took us on a circular walk across Barber villages ,we met the villagers who were going about their daily business baking bread, hurdling their animals the trek was about 12 km and the highest point was about 2.3 km and just below the snow line, we encountered icy paths and small amount of snow. A guide is a must on these treks as many of the paths are unsafe and the soil is crumbly , easy to skid down, Abdual expertise was important for our safety , and we are very grateful to his help and kindness. I defiantly recommend the Bureau desGuides. But I recommend the travelers to call them the day before the pickup date to confirm the arrangement., they do have few members there and communication can be unclear. Good footwear and warm clothes for January. We are going back in the summer to trek to the summit of Toubkal over 3 days, camping on the way up with the Bureau des Guides again.

The only negative aspect of all our trip was the approach of locals in the medina and in the jama el fena square to help us find our way, but all what we needed to say was "La Shukran " mearning No thank you, and move on quickly as if you know your way even if you don't .

Other wise we never felt unsafe or threatened . If you need direction ask a shop keeper or a trust worthy looking person, there are plenty of them and they would be very happy to help.

I hope this will help others who want to make a similar visit to Marakech and the Atlas Mountains .

Thanks again Tim

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 4,878
reviews: 35
7. Re: Atlas Mountains in January

Glad it all went well, thanks for coming back and relating your experiences.

The Hague...
posts: 1
8. Re: Atlas Mountains in January

Hello Tim,

Next week we plan to have a 6 days trek in the Atlas. A guide offered us a guided trek in the High Atlas (from Imlil) for the price of 500dh per day per person including mule, porter, guide, food, nights in mountain hut(refuges and gites), climbing 4000m peaks. Is that an OK price? Compared to the alps I think it's a reasonable price.

Cheers,

Erwin

Cardiff, United...
posts: 2
reviews: 4
9. Re: Atlas Mountains in January

Hi Erwin,

Did you take the trip. I am thinking about going to Morocco in January and I really want to take a hike in the mountains. I would love to hear about your experiences. Do you think this is safe for a woman on her own?

Thanks

Clare

Luton
posts: 569
reviews: 7
10. Re: Atlas Mountains in January

Hi Clare,

You should be perfectly safe in the mountains on your own, especially if you take an official mountain guide. In my experience, people living in the Atlas mountains are very kind and honest; having trekked many times in Morocco, I have yet to even hear of any occurrence of a criminal act, however petty. I'm sure you will have a fabulous time.

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