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