September 18, 2002 – Imlil – Refuge du Toubkal




After an early wake up (the first one of a long series!!!), we are ready at 5:30am to buy some fresh bread. On our way back we are catched by the car of Lahcen who brings the gaz bottle, the tent and the mattress.


The departure is set at 6:15am and by the end of the morning we will reach the Toubkal refuge (formerly known as refuge Neltner). The beginning of the path is winding on the hillside, we pick up some walnuts on the ground but we eat them from tme to time to avoid a turista. On the left side we are leaving the Kasbah of the Toubkal, an impressive construction that appeared in a well known Martin Scorsese movie Kundun. The High Atlas stands for Tibet and many Moroccans from all the villages debuted as Monks!!


Imlil valley at dawn


We quickly reach the village of Arumd where a group is preparing for the departure. We cross the dried oued (river) to reach the other side of the valley. A short time after we reach the first spring that will fill my empty bottle of water. The next village will be Sidi Chamarouch (2310m) where the tomb of the marabout stands next to a white rock. At 8:30, the sun appears and we can pack our sweaters in our bags and simply wear T-Shirts.


For the moment, the ascent is easy and the path is in good shape. From Sidi Chamarouch to the next spring the path is a little more difficult but it is ok. The landscape during these first hours is splendid, the crests of the mountains light up one after another, the sun lights up the whole valley.


Refuge straight ahead !!


Finally we reach the refuge just after 10am or 4 hours after our departure from Imlil. There are a lot of tents, we will be a lot to climb the Toubkal summit tomorrow morning. We choose our location for the tents and the assembly can begin.


A group of English Volunteers starts the cleaning of the refuge area from all the garbage left by tourists and local people. They are all wearing blue shirts. Seeing that a lot of travelers like me will help them during the afternoon. It is incredible how many bags full of rubbish we will collect in only one afternoon (cans, toilet paper, glass bottle, plastic bottle, shoe soles…). It can be a lot better if everyone burn what can be burnt and bring back the other items like cans to the next village.


The afternoon goes by very quickly and the ascent to the summit is in every mind. You just have to raise your eyes to see the beginning of the path in the loose scree.



Tonight, the first dinner: pastas, tuna and tomato sauce (recipe imported from Sinaο in July). Mohammed will share this dinner.


We fall asleep very quickly. My alarm clock decide to abandon me so I don’t know how to wake up us at 5am maybe the other travelers will do it.


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D1 : Luxembourg – Paris – Casablanca

D2 : Casablanca – Rabat

D3 : Rabat – Meknes

D4 : Meknes – Volubilis – Meknes

D5 : Meknes - Fes

D6 : Fes

D7 : Merzouga

D8 : Merzouga – Tinehrir

D9 : Tinehrir – Ouarzazate – Marrakesh

D10 : Marrakesh

D11 : Marrakesh – Imlil

D12 : Imlil – Toubkal refuge

D13 : Refuge – 4167m –Tizi Ouanoums

D14 : Tizi Ouanoums – Amsouzert

D15 : Amsouzert – Azib Likemt

D16 : Azib Likemt – Tacheddirt

D17 : Tacheddirt – Imlil – Marrakesh

D18 : Marrakesh – Essaouira

D19 : Essaouira – El Jadida – Tangier

D20 : Tangier

D21 : Tangier – Chefchaouen

D22 : Chefchaouen – Casablanca

D23 : Casablanca – Paris – Luxembourg




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Last update : January 2003

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