We will set sail early in the morning of Monday 1st of July using two chartered yachts caring all cycling equipment necessary for the expedition, accompanied by four qualified skippers we will sail across the English channel arriving in Cherbourg; or weather and tides permitting, we will stop off at the channel islands before continuing to st malo. From here we shall begin our 3000km self-supported cycle tour through western France, over the Pyrenees Mountains, through central Spain, along the north west cost of morocco, before heading into the high atlas mountains, finishing our ride at the small mountain town of Imili. Following the rejection for a permit to kayak the straits of Gibraltar we are exploring other options that include sailing. Leaving our bikes in Imili and collecting trekking equipment we will make the 5 hour trek up the Mizane vally to the toubkal refuge. From here we will ascend Jebel toubkal 4167m (north africa’s highest peak) via the north cwm. After descending  toubkal, we will visit the SOS children’s village in Ait Ourir before saying farewell and flying home.

  • Selection Wk-end 3rd-5th December
  • 26th - 27th Feburary 2011 Peak District

    16th - 17th April 2011 Venue TBC

    27th - 29th May 2011 North wales

    6th -  9th July 2011 South Wales
  • Expedition Dates: 30th July – 15th September

30.07.11 Meet camp site
Fareham hotels Downend Road
Fareham, Hampshire PO16 8TS

Get directions
31.07.11 Sort out kit, administration, sail training, pick-up boats, prep bikes.
1.08.11 depart. Sail across the channel to Cherbourg or channel islands
2.08.11 Sail to saint Malo
3.08.11 Unload bikes, restock supplies.
4.8.11 Start cycling from Saint Malo to Argentre du Plessis (104km aprox.)
5.8.11 Argentre du Plessis to Challones sur Loire (90km approx.)
6.8.11 Challons sur Loire to Fontnay le Comte (114km approx.)
7.8.11 Fontnay le Comte to Foret Domaniale de la coubre la tremblade (110km approx.)
8.8.11 Foret Domaniale de la coubre la tremblade to Royan for ferry across Bay Biscay, then cycle to Lege Cap Ferret (127KM approx. incl. Ferry journey)
9.8.11 REST DAY, cycle from Lege Cap Ferret to Le Teste de Buch (40km approx.)
10.8.11 Le Teste de Buch to Tartas (107km approx.)
11.8.11 Tartas to Luzaide (End of France section) (91km approx.)
Total KM= 804 ( 500 Miles) for France section

cycle day8
cycle day9
cycle day10
rest day
cycle day11
cycle day12
cycle day13
cycle day14
cycle day15
rest day
cycle day16
cycle day17
cycle day18
cycle day19
rest day
Contingency day
Ferry from Algeciras to Ceuta
rest day
cycle day20
cycle day21
800km Ceuta to imili to marakesh
cycle day22
cycle day23
cycle day24
cycle day25
cycle day26
cycle day27
cycle day28
Arrive imilli, night in hostle.
walk to refuge de mouflon
contingency day
summit day
travel toubkal to marakesh
marakesh / Ait Ourir SOS childrens villages visit
Flight home

France route

 Morroco route

About Toubkal

 Highest and most climbed peak in North Africa
Situated in the High Atlas Mountains
First British man to summit was B. Beetham in 1926
Summer ascents: steep scree slopes with occasional scrambles
Winter ascents: snow and ice requiring ice axes and crampons

 Imlil (1,740m)
 Imlil is a small village situated in the High Atlas Mountains
We will be camping at Hotel Soleil for 40DHS/ person/ night with a shower (£3)‏
They have agreed to store our bikes during the trek in a secure and locked room for 150DHS/ night for all bikes (£11.70)‏
IMPORTANT INFO: There are no cash machines so we must be prepared with cash

Imlil to ToubkalToubkal South Col
START: Imlil (1,741m) 'Kasbah du Toubkal'
Follow the zigzag mule track along the Mizane Valley towards Aremd
Sidi Chamarouch: pilgramage place for local inhabitants since the source of water is reputed to have healing powers. (2hrs from Imlil)‏
Final 550m climb to the refuge is
    approx 2hrs
FINISH: Toubkal Refuge (3,206m)‏
TOTAL TIME: 5 hours


Independently owned, opened in 2007
Capacity of 180

Owned by Club Alpin Francais (CAF), opened in 1989
Capacity of 80
Camping available:
Small tent for 1 night/ person is 20DHS (£1.50)‏
Large tent for 1 night/person is 30DHS (£2.30)‏
Shower, toilet & running water is available

Routes on Toubkal
North Cwm North Col
South Cwm South Col
North East Ridge
South West Ridge
South East Ridge
Toubkal West North East Ridge

North Col
TIME: 6-7hrs (by returning via the south cwm)‏
START: Toubkal Refuges
From the refuges, cross the river and head N down the valley, with the river on the left (W) side.
The N cwm is guarded by a ridge line coming down on the S side. A 30 min steady pace will bring you to the lip of the cwm, where the angle eases off considerably.
Keep to the floor of the cwm, rising gently until the ground starts to steepen again.
Tend left and under the headwall before veering right towards the remains of the aircraft.
Aim NE from the aircraft and EITHER head straight for the N col OR go to Tibherine (3,887m) which gives some great views N.
From here follow the crest of the ridge around to the N COL.

South Col
TIME: 5-6 hrs
START: Toubkal Refuges
Behind the refuges, cross the river immediately and ascend the early slopes before gaining the main trail traversing up left to the top of the first cliff band.
Head more E and directly into the cwm past some big boulders and a flattening before a short rise.
A further bowl (3750m) is gained directly below a headwall.
EITHER climb this headwall by coming in from the bottom left or keeping right OR leave the bowl by going N through steeper ground to eventually gain the WNW ridge near where it exits onto the summit plateau (enjoyable scrambling).
Aim NE towards the summit (30-25mins away).
After passing a deep notch, EITHER maintain the crest of the ridge line for some safe scrambling OR traverse left below the crest (careful of steep drop off's to the left).
After completing the traverse, climb right to gain the start of the summit plateau and head towards 'The Pyramid'.

What we will be looking at this summer (hopefully)
 Toubkal West (4,030m)
It can be climbed either as part of a Toubkal ascent or, more unusually, as a summit in its own right.
START: Toubkal summit
Ascending from the summit, climb direct from the bowl at 3,750m below the final headwall to Tizi Toubkal (3,950m) by following a shallow gully to the sumit direct.
Descend via the Tizi Toubkal and continue down the South cwm.
FINISH: Toubkal Refuges

Proposed Route
If conditions will allow, we will
ascend by the North Cwm and
descend by the South Cwm to add
variety to the climb.

There will be an opportunity to climb Toubkal West on the way down if we have the energy! This involved a two hour detour and a short section of easy but exposed scrambling near the top.

Contingency Plan
If we are unable to ascend via the North cmw route (due to poor conditions or for any other reason that the group decides) then we will ascend and descend via the South cwm route.

This is the easiest and most popular route among backpackers with limited or no trekking experience. Therefore, definitely manageable for our group!

Advice for the trek
Toubkal is over 4,000m- you will be feel the altitude if you climb too quickly, therefore pacing is important.
Breathing will probably start to become more difficult as you near the summit- it is more difficult to breath in the thin air at this altitude.
Spending a night at the refuge allows the body to acclimatise
Although acclimatisation is the key to climbing high mountains, the fitter you are the easier you will find the climb.
It is really important to maintain hydrated throughout the ascent and descent to reduce the effects of altitude sickness.
Adequate rest is required before and after the trek.

Rucksack (to be hired)‏
Walking boots (to be posted)‏
Walking socks
Waterproof jacket & trousers
Lightweight, quick drying gear
Hat & gloves
Map of route
First aid kit
Sun protection
Water purification tablets

Itinerary for the Trek
09/09/11: Arrive in Imlil
10/09/11: Trek to refuges (leave early morning to give time for acclimatisation & rest)‏
11/09/11: Acclimatisation day if required
12/09/11: Summit day (leave at first light in order to get clearest possible panorama from the summit)‏
13/09/11: Descend to Imlil