Review and Tips
With 4167m Jebel Toubkal is the highest mountain in the High Atlas and the whole of northern Africa.
It is a great place to try how you can cope with winter condition in alpine areas and at the same time the mountain is in comparison easy.
I'll explain here an 2 day hike I did last year starting in the village of Imlil north of Jebel Toubkal. (Careful there! Imlil is a very common name)
Imlil is some 80km (ca 50 mi) south of Marrakesh you it will typically take about 90 minutes with a local minibus. Imlil is very touristy place which means that you find lots of nice restaurants and places to hire equipment and guides. Although I'd reckon that I guide is not necessary to climb Toubkal.
You should plan one day in Imlil before and after the hike. This would also mean that you can leave most of your luggage in a hostel!
The first day is 5 -7 hours hike from Imlil at ca 1800m to the "refuge du toubkal" at 3200m. There are actually two huge houses which can accomodate 180 people. But one is quite a posh place and it is definitly an expensive place for morocco. As far as I remember roughly 30€ per adult does get you a bed in the cheaper house. But no guarantie there! They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I did this hike in March which meant that I had plenty of time and you want to take your time since the first day is the easy one. Freezing level was around 3000m at this time so I did not use crampons and ice axe that day. The path is very easy find, distinct and of good quality and you'll see quite a few small shops offering refreshments although in Winter a lot of them are closed or only open for the weekend!
Brace yourself for the second day this is gone exhausting but it can be altered easily. I got up at 5 AM had breakfast and when of just after 6 AM ... sunrise was at 6.30 AM. You'll see lots of people out and about so it should not be a problem to find the track used by early starters or from the days before. Only if there was significant fresh snow you'll need a map and compass or a guide. I did those last 1000 m within ca 3,5 hours and arrived at the summit around 10 AM. I had to use crampons and ice axe all the way since we had about
1m of old and new snow. The 2day hike means that you'll had down to IMlil in one go which took me till 6 PM but this can be tricky in poor conditions or during winter month with very short days. If in doubt plan a second night in the refuge! If you want to head to Imlil straightaway it means that you have to be carful with your time. You're decending 2500m! Don't take your time till you have arrived at the refuge and then check again if it is going to work out.
Somehow I've got the impression that I have forgotten sth but I cannot see what ;)