Katy and I said goodbye to Rachid and Mohammad in Imlil and they headed back to their village about 10km away. Imlil had gotten about 6-8 inches of snow in the past two days and it was the first “real snow” of the year everyone was quick to point out. Last year was a wet winter with a lot of snow, but this one has been really dry and it was actually the first time that the pass has been closed.
Imlil is a end of the road mountain town at 5,700 feet that sits at the base of Toubkal, a 13,665 foot peak which is the highest in North Africa (not really sure what that means but told it multiple times).
Katy and I were both in our running shoes and were able to change into boots for the walk in the slush up hill for 10 minutes to our guest house, Dar Adrar. They gave brought down a mule to carry our bags along with some food for dinner and we headed up. It was rather chilly at this point, probably 32F, and I put on my spare jacket. Katy got chilled while doing the walk in the sludge to the house, it didn’t help that her boots were not really waterproof.
Dar Adrar turned out to have 6 other groups staying there and it might have been full. There was a common room with a fireplace, which was roaring, and everyone congregated in there so it had a very cosy feel. The reason that it was so full was that with all of the recent snow no one was able to summit Toubkal the past two days and people that were planning on staying at the refuge 2/3 of the way up did not stay there. Two Americans that we played a game of settlers with later that night said that high on the mountain the snow was waist deep and they turned back because of wind.
We spend the evening playing settlers and hanging out in the guest house and then went to our room which was heated by a wood stove and lots of blankets. The downside was that in the morning it was plenty chilly in the room.
We then donned our rental boots ($2.50) and headed walking up the valley. We didn’t really have a set path but since it had snowed so much we at least knew our options since they were already trampled down. We ending up going up the start of the Toubkal trail and after a bit turned around.
We then headed to Marrakech and decided to spend $5 extra dollars and have a nice ride arranged instead of trying to do it on the fly.