Resisting the hard sell in Imlil
As soon as you arrive in Imlil you’ll be approached by locals offering you everything from a room to the night to mules and porters for a trek to Toubkal. In addition, they may tell you things such as that crampons are essential or that you can’t hike to Toubkal independently.
I would advise anyone planning to hike here to do some background reading beforehand and to think carefully about what they want to hire. We knew that we needed only crampons and that we wanted to hike up independently carrying our own bags. Thus it was easy to ignore all offers for mules, porters, maps, guides, etc and we knew we only wanted crampons and not any extra equipment. Practically every person we met was carrying an ice-axe but there was only one area near the top of Toubkal where it might have been useful but it certainly wasn’t essential.
Maps of the Toubkal Region
It’s difficult to find good maps of the Toubkal region anywhere, and the best ones available are in Imlil. For a price though. We were quoted 150 Dirhams for a copy of the 1:100,000 map in our hotel. This was the same cost as room and breakfast for the night. So instead we took a digital picture of the map when the owner wasn’t around. In fact, we didn’t really need a map as there were many people doing the climb at the same time as us and it was fairly easy to find the path. Even if you are here at a quieter time of year, it’s possible to get by wit Hough maps. Most guidebooks have a description of the route from Imlil to the Toubkal refuge and then on to Toubkal itself.
No banks or cashpoints in Imlil or Asni
We were planning to spend 3 days in the Atlas mountains and we assumed we’d find a bank in Asni or Imlil. Hence we only brought what Dirhams we had with us to Imlil and we got a bit of a shock when we discovered there was nowhere to take money from and that we had about 700 Dirhams between the two of us for 3 days. Luckily we had 30 pounds in Sterling and the guy at the CAF information point in Imlil changed them for us. This only brought us to 1150 Dirhams and it was still a struggle to manage on this for 3 days. I’d advise anyone coming to Imlil to take money out in Marrakech. And always take a bit extra too, as costs can be surprisingly high for certain things in Imlil and the mountains and you never know how long you might have to stay, especially if you’re planning to climb Toubkal.
The Roads which So Truly Suck
I saw two trucks and a car (independent of each other) flipped over, smashed in the side of the mountain, at the bottom of a gorge.
No street lights, twisty roads, combined with no respect for the rules of the road by Grand Taxis and the lethal Tour Buses.
Advice - get where you need to before dark or give it a miss until morning.
- Road Trip