Most Inspirational Moment
A couple of moments: firstly the feeling of elation when we got to the summit and had that incredible 360 degrees view. The sun was shining and we could see all the way we had come. Second, was sitting with sore legs early the following morning on the terrace of the guesthouse looking up towards the summit in the far distance way above the treeline, and thinking, "well, this time yesterday morning, I was right up there!" and knowing I had done it and could now relax and enjoy the sun coming up and warming the valley.
Thoughts on Group Leader
Youssef, our main guide, was brilliant. Very patient with lots of positive psychology. Excellent English. Fab sense of humour. Also very knowledgeable about the birds. Felt very safe with him leading the group. Lahsen was our second guide and also excellent. He worked seamlessly with Youssef to make sure we all went up and down safely and in good spirits. Both Youssef and Lahsen knew the mountain extremely well and were very adaptable to our needs, as well as kind and fun to be with.
Advice for Potential Travellers
It depends when you do the trip, but in May, it was definitely worth having warm gloves and a hat for the early morning climb to the summit and layers to remove down to lighter clothes for the descent into the valley. The temperature range was staggering. Marrakech was 40+ and the top of Toubkal was freezing. I'd also really recommend poles if you have them as there is a lot of 'down' on summit day. Drink lots of water. It was quite windy for us, so secure your hat or scarf. And take spare batteries for your head torch. Oh and enjoy the orange juice.
It's quite physically challenging, particularly considering the number of hours walking up and down. Make sure you train beforehand and wear comfy boots. If you can't train as much as you'd like, don't plan anything too strenuous for the following week. ;-)