Jebel Toubkal, MAROKKO ||
I love the mountains and I used to do hiking, usually in South Tirol in Italy, where I spend all my vacations with my parents when I was little. But now it was time for bigger adventures. My husband Chris and I are on our dream journey around the world. Right now we are in the middle of Marocco and facing the highest mountain in North Africa, the Jebel Toubkal at 4167 meter above sea level.
Cause I used to climb 2000-meter-mountains quite easily, I am pretty convinced I will accomplish this two-day-trip up to a 4167-meter-summit as well. “Can´t be too difficult”, I guess, but I will be wrong. It´s going to be the hardest challenge in my life.
We are starting our trip in Imlil, a little village on 1700 meter and pleasant 20°C. The path leads through scenic gorges and is pretty stony. The entire way up there wont be shade and the sun is burning mercilessly.
It feels like thousands of people overtake us and fly easily above the path while we fighting the steep trail.
But then we realise these sporty seeming people were followed by a gaggle of donkeys lifting all their luggage including heavy suitcases. Although donkeys are really strong animals it is a torture for them. We feel right lifting everything we might need on our own and continue our way more motivated and confident.
After a exhausting six-hour hike, we finally arrived at the refuge Toubkal which is already located at 3207 meter above sea level. Here we are going to spent the night and share a dormitory with 23 other freaks for about 25€ per person. Included is dinner and breakfast, which is totally fine. The refuge is simple but clean and neat. Although I feel satisfied to reach even this point, I know the main challenge will follow soon.
One say it takes you between two and four hours to reach the top, depending on your fitness level. So we expecting the middle of 3 hours for us and plan to reach the summit at sunrise, about 6 am.
That means the alarm wake us up in the middle of the night at 2 am and we get prepared for the big climb. We eat five dates to gain some power, but the real breakfast will follow after return to the refuge. The outside temperature is below zero and a strong wind is blowing when we start at 3 am.
But the sky is clear. Billions of stars and the moon are spending a mystery light on the way up. Nevertheless the trail is steep, hidden and the higher we come covered with ice and snow. We need to put on our climbing irons to get slowly further. It is really exhausting.
While the air gets thinner and thinner, it gets harder to breathe properly. We move slowly, have to concentrate on our last power, but step by step we come closer and closer. Chris is doing better than me, although he is carrying the backpack. Guess he is much fitter than me.
With my last energy and motivation I finally reach Jebel Toubkals summit with Chris. We see the cross, where all the other hikers already celebrating their goal of 4167 meters. We are the last ones.
So how long it has now taken to the summit? Well, to be honest, we needed six fu..ing hours… I know its quite embarrassing … BUT that is not only caused by my fitness level. We also took lots of photos and videos on the way and one time we went even wrong. So unfortunately we lost 1,5 hours and lots of energy.
But all this does not longer matter at this point when we touching the summit cross proudly and facing the amazing view around Jebel Toubkal satisfied. The view reaches even the Sahara. “Funny”, I think, “3 days ago I was transpire in the desert at 40°C and now I am freezing at -10°C” on the summit of Jebel Toubkal.” Times are changing fast these days.
Although I regreted my decision to climb Jebel Toubkal on my way up, I feel motivated and proud on my way back to dare this amazing adventure.
And at least I think I need to apologize for all the mistakes I made here. English is not my native language, I just want to try it out though 🙂
Hope you guys get the point anyways …
If not, watch the german video below about our Toubkal Trekking 😉