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Mgoun

Wilderness Trekking on Morocco's Most Remote 4000er

Of all Morocco’s high mountains, Mgoun (4068m) is the most remote and committing. This far-flung trek takes us far away from the crowded High Atlas to the unspoiled Central Atlas mountain range.

The trek begins in the farmland of the Bougmez Valley and heads into the high mountains via the Ait Imi pass. From here we drop down to the desert-like conditions of the Amogur and Oulilimt valleys which lead to high camp at the foot of Mgoun. It is from this lonely place that we climb Morocco's fourth highest mountain by the long and spectacular western ridge, the route to the summit is a strong contender for the best mountain walk in Africa.

This trek is a real adventure. It offers a combination of desert and high mountain trekking, several long and rigorous days on the trail, remote camping and a glimpse of real African wilderness.

Mgoun


Summer Programme (May - September):

Day 1: Arrive in Marrakech. Airport collection and hotel.

Day 2: Marrakech to Tabant. 5 hrs drive to the Gite at Tabant (2000m).

Day 3: Tabant to the campsite at Tighemet n'Ait Ahmed (2250m). 8hrs walk. We climb to the Aim Imi pass (2900m) and then descend on an easy muleteer's paths to the Amogur valley.

Day 4: Tighemet n'Ait Ahmed to Mgoun basecamp (2860m). Follow the Oulilmt valley to the high camp. Numerous river crossings. 7 hrs walk.

Day 5: Basecamp to Mgoun summit (4068m), to the Tarkeddit refuge. This is a big day out. It's a 5hr slog-fest over steep scree and snow to the summit. From here, follow the long and undulating western ridge down to the refuge...probably the most spectacular mountain walk in Africa. 9 hrs walk from campsite to hut. Try not to fall asleep in your Tajine!

Day 6: Tarkeddit to the settlement of Azib Ikkis (2300m) via the Tarkeddit pass (3380m). 6hrs walk.

Day 7: Azib Ikkis to Agouti (1780m), vehicle transfer to Marrakesh. An easy 4hrs walk down the Arrous valley to the trail head, where the vehicle will be waiting. Hot-foot-it back to Marrakesh in time for last orders.

Day 8: Fly home.


Winter Programme (October - April)

Morocco's 4rd highest mountain is a different beast between October and April, when deep snow often makes the going much tougher and mules are unable to get through to the refuge. During the winter months, we operate a shorter version of the fair weather route...this is not to be underestimated.

  • This trek is suitable only for fit and experienced winter hill walkers.
  • Snow often blocks the approach roads making access impossible, so you'll need a back-up plan.
  • Mules and porters cannot be relied upon to carry equipment from Ikkis Arous to the Tarkeddit refuge, trekkers often have to carry all of their own equipment. This can be a tough, 10 - 12 hour slog with heavy rucksacks.
  • Trekking days are longer and more arduous.
  • Snow shoes, crampons and ice axes will be required.

Day 1: Arrive in Marrakech. Airport collection and hotel.

Day 2: Marrakech to Azib’n Ikkis. 5 - 7 hrs drive (depending on snow conditions).

Day 3: Azib’n Ikkis to the Tarkeddit refuge, 7 - 11 hrs walk. We climb to the Pass of Tarkeddit pass (3380m) and then descend to the Tarkedit Plateau, where we spend the night in the refuge (2910m). If the snow is deep, mules and porters may be unavailable to carry your equipment...you need to be prepared to go it alone if circumstances dictate. Snow shoes are often required.

Day 4: Tarkeddit to M'goun summit, and return to the refuge 10 - 12hrs, depending on snow conditions.

Day 5: Return to Azib’n Ikkis. Gite

Day 6: Return to Marrakech.

Day 7: Spare day for bad weather.

Day 8: Fly home.

mgoun map

 


Notes:

  • The western ridge is seriously windy, you won't regret bringing windproof kit.
  • This is a committing climb. The long, undulating topography of the western ridge means that it takes as much effort to descend the mountain as it does to climb it. There is no easy retreat from the ridge.
  • Make sure you carry sandals and spare socks in your day pack on the approach days, there are numerous river crossings on this route.
  • Crampons are needed for winter, spring and early summer ascents.
  • Walking poles are pretty much essential for the scree.