Toubkal Trekking working with The Bucket List Company
At Toubkal Trekking we provide DMC services to many foreign Travel Companies. One of our biggest clients is The Bucket List Company from the UK. We have been working with The Bucket List Company and their founder Keith Crockford for nearly 8 years.
We welcomed The Bucket List Company group around Sunday lunchtime with happy introductions and acquaintances after not having one of their groups in nearly 2 years. After transferring with them to the riad we joined them for lunch in a local cafe where they got to try a variety of local dishes and delicacies.
The following day the bucket listers were lead around the marrakech medina (old town) by a local guide who took them to many of the sites and shared his knowledge of the history of both Marrakech and Morocco over the morning and early afternoon. We then left them to explore on their own for the rest of the day and to prepare themselves to start their trek the following morning.
An 8am meet on Tuesday gave us plenty of time to transfer to our start point where the group met our two guides who would be trekking with them, Hassan and Omar. After loading their duffel bags onto the mules, the team start the slow but steady climb in the heat up to a mountain pass at 2200m. They were rewarded here with views down into the valley they will be trekking in for the rest of today and tomorrow, a great photo opportunity. After a 20minute break, resting in the cool breeze the team made their descent down into the valley on the far side of the pass, making their way along a narrow rocky path. The muleteers had got themselves ahead and started making lunch amongst the lush green trees alongside a small running river.
After enjoying a Moroccan tagine, salad and large bowl of pasta, the group started to make the slow climb up through the valley, passing through a number of small mountain villages on their way to Tachdirt, the highest village in the Atlas mountains at 2300m. After dinner in the guesthouse, the group enjoyed what must be the best night sky in the world! With some of the group sleeping the night on the balcony of the guesthouse under the stars.
Day 2 of the trek saw the bucket list group continuing their way up the valley and crossing another mountain pass into the Imlil valley. They had another lunch prepared on the trail shortly after starting their descent. After lunch they continued their descent into Imlil, passing through the village to their guesthouse for the night on the far side of town. After settling into their rooms they had the afternoon to explore the shops and cafes of the town as it is a shorter day trekking.
The third day of the trek saw the group making the long climb, passing a holy shrine, into the cooler temperatures found higher up and the refuge. The basecamp for their attempt to summit Toubkal. As soon as the sun sets at the refuge, the temperature falls dramatically, meaning the group spent their evening inside. Being fed to fuel their attempt tomorrow morning and getting an early night ready for an early start.
The group’s alarms went off at 0345 to wake them for a 4am breakfast and had bags on their backs and head torches on their heads, outside the refuge to leave by 5am. As is usual at the altitude above the refuge, progress was slow but steady. Conditions for the ascent couldn’t have been better with mild conditions and a light wind keeping them cool as they climbed. By the time they reached the halfway point the sun had begun to rise, which brought with it the inviting warmth and psychological boost to keep going. Above this point, the group split into two, Omar with the front group and Hassan with the slower. Omar’s group was on the summit by 0900 and was joined half an hour later by the remainder of the group. The 15 who had started this journey together 3 days ago joined together for the obligatory summit picture in front of The Bucket List Company flag before starting their descent back down to the thicker air at the refuge, some 1000m below the summit.
By 1230, all of the team were back at the refuge, sat enjoying their lunch and the warmth of the sun outside. The joyful mood of the group after successfully summiting was obvious. After an hour and a half for lunch and some time to pack their belongings, the team started to make the long descent back down to Imlil for their final night in the mountains.
The following morning they were transferred back to Marrakech for a final day of celebrations and list minute gift buying in the souks before heading home on their flight on the Sunday morning.