Atlas Mountains Morocco - M'Goun Massif and Marrakech - Deposit

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This fabulous trek in the high atlas mountains of Morocco takes us to the summit of Jebel M’Goun in the M’Goun massif. Although slightly lower than Morocco’s highest point Toubkal, M’Goun is more scenic and less frequented. This makes for a journey that feels more off the beaten track.

Muleteers will carry tents and overnight gear for the trek so you only need a day sack. They set up a camp in preparation for our arrival each night during the trekking while we are guided through amazing terrain. We end the trip in a Berber village where there may be the chance to see dinosaur footprints. We will also spend a couple of nights in Marrakesh and experience the souks (Bazaars) and famous night market and have an optional morning guided tour on foot around some of the key sights of the city.

There is also another trip running at the same time if you have friends or partners looking for something more leisurely.

Please note payment here is for deposit only. Total price is £699 (including deposit).

What does it include?

The price includes 9 nights with 3 nights B&B in Marrakesh, 2 nights full board in a Gite and 4 nights camping with full board; transport to trek and mule transport support on trek; airport transfers for specified flights; services of guide throughout. Excluded - flights from the UK and some meals.

For those wanting a less strenuous adventure an alternative trip is running in parallel on the same dates. This includes opportunities to find out more about life in a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains, and spend some time in Marrakesh as well as in the vibrant coastal town of Essaouira. There is a chance to join in some cookery to (cookery class is extra). See here for more information

Is there an early bird rate?

Yes there is - for deposits paid before 31st Jan - contact fran@ayecan.org.uk for more information www.ayecan.org.uk

What is the proposed itinerary for the High Atlas Trek? (specific route subject to local conditions at the time)

Day 1 - Arrive in Marrakech and transfer to your hotel . Evening to relax or explore the Jamna El Fnaa square in the medina. B&B

Day 2: Travel to Ait Bougamez , passing Azilal and along the winding road through the mountains to the heart of the High Atlas. We spend the night in the valley in an auberge in gite (1760m). FB

Day 3 Crossing the plateau of Tamzrit , we start the trek, and reach the Tafnfant plateau for lunch, with wonderful views of the "happy" valley of Ait Bougoumez. A small trek to the campsite for the night. (2000m altitude camp , 5/6hrs walking) FB

Day 4: Passing the village of Roughelt (1960m) we take the big "caravanier" route up to the camping place at the foot of the Col du Roughelt.(2600m, 6 hours of walking) FB

Day 5: Ascending the Col de Roughelt (2860m) we have an amazing panoramic view of the valley of Tassaout. A small descent into Idougmamen leads us into the ascent of the Col de Targdit (3200m), through the karstic rock landscape and to the entrance of the Wandras Gorge. After lunch we move onto the plateau of Tarkeddit, spending the night at the foot of Mgoun (2900m 6 hours of walking) FB

Day 6 : A very early morning start to make the ascension of Ighil M'Goun (4068m). Arriving at the summit, we may have the energy to discover numerous fossils, and enjoy an exceptional view of the whole of the Central High Atlas.To finish a great day, we descend the eastern flank of Mgoun and onwards to the camp in the Assif N Oulilmt valley or back to Tarkeddit. FB

Day 7: For the last day of the trek, we climb up to the Col of Ait Imi, (2905m) getting a different but equally good view of Ait Bougamez. We have lunch at the source of Ait Imi and carry on to the gite where we stay for the night. (5 hrs trek) FB

Day 8: Take the road back to Marrakech, possibly with time to see dinosaur footprints then via the Cascades D’Ouzoud (or carry straight onwards to Marrakech) and a last chance to see the city. Night in hotel- breakfast and lunch

Day 9: Guided tour of Marrakech in the morning and afternoon free to explore further- Night in Hotel B&B

Day 10: Transfer to airport for departure

How fit do I need to be?

Although the trek to the summit of M’Goun does not present any real technical difficulties, a good level of basic fitness is required for the hike. You are expected to have undertaken hill walking in Scotland, the Lake District or Snowdonia including the higher tops and be familiar with a mountain environment. If you can comfortably walk up a mountain in Britain that is around 2500 to 3000 feet high then you will be fine for this trek.

Long days, rough surfaces, adverse weather conditions and ascents at high altitude can make this trek a difficult challenge to those who are unaccustomed to hiking. It’s best to prepare by doing some hill walking and basic cardiovascular exercise in advance. Arriving hill-fit will greatly enhance your enjoyment of the trip, leaving you free to enjoy the scenery rather than to worry about your lack of fitness!

Most of the ascent and descent is gradual on good tracks and paths. The average walking a day is about 16 kilometres (10 miles). We gradually go higher and acclimatise to the altitude making the ascent easier. The ascent of M’Goun is around 21kilometres (about 13 miles).

Ascent of M’Goun will depend on weather conditions and cannot be guaranteed. Whilst the ascent of M’Goun is non-technical, there are a couple of sections on M’Goun ridge with a little exposure so if vertigo is an issue this may not be for you. It is possible to go up to the rim of the M’Goun with little exposure and enjoy the height and the views and avoid the final section or to remain on the plateau below and have a gentle day of walking on the level instead. We have extra guides for the summit day so someone would guide you back if this is the prefered option.

This trip goes to high altitudes where there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). The itinerary is designed to enable you to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that, although unlikely, it is still possible to be affected. The highest camp is at 2910m and whilst you may feel some initial effects of this you are unlikely to have any serious AMS issues. To put it in perspective, many people ski at high altitudes in Europe (Chamonix, Val Thorens etc.) where the highest lifts are at over 3000m. It is very important to drink plenty of water and maintain a good hydration level.

What are options for getting to and from Morocco?

British Airways fly from Gatwick to Marrakech on a daily basis and the times work out for connecting from Scotland.

EasyJet have the better return flights for onward journeys to Scotland.

There are flights a couple of times a week from Manchester with EasyJet.

There were direct flights from Scotland and they may return but meantime out of London looks best.

What do I need to bring?

A full list of what to bring will be sent out nearer the time. Essentially for the High Atlas Trek pack for all the seasons of walking as in Scotland! For the city, sea and foothills trip, look out your summer holiday clothes with a fleece for cooler the evenings in the foothills

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Contact fran@ayecan.org.uk with questions

What's the refund policy?

Once a deposit is paid this can only be refunded if the place is filled by someone else. Final payment is due 8 weeks in advance of the trip. Unfortunately cancellations charges need to be levied if you cancel. These are on a sliding scale according to how far in advance you cancel.

Cancellation charge when you cancel

More than 42 days - Amount retained: Deposit only

More than 28 days - Amount retained: 30% of holiday cost

More than 14 days - Amount retained:50% of holiday cost

14 Days or Less than 14 days - Amount retained:100% of holiday cost

Is my registration fee transferrable?

Yes, as long as you let me know and the person is fit enough for what they have signed up for !

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