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Topic - Toubkal Winter Conditions

Si Cox - on 09 Dec 2013
There's been a bit of activity in the Toubkal area of the High Atlas recently, so seems timely to throw up a conditions thread for those planning to head out and those who have any updates on conditions.

The headline at the moment is that snow conditions are lean for this time of the year.

Snow so far has been limited to a couple of brief storms, interspersed with substantial thaws, so the cover is thin at the moment. Toubkal, Ras and Afella are pretty much all in the same boat: http://www.the-mountain-people.com/blog/high-atlas-conditions-update-8-december-2013/

Further to the west of Toubkal, a party undertook an high level traverse on Erdouz, which is normally a good mountaineering objective, but found it to be pretty bare: http://firstlightexpeditions.org/erdouz-traverse/

Ice, on the other hand, is forming as reliably as ever, with the consistently cold conditions. The icefalls in the gorge just above the Toubkal refuges are fully formed, and make for some good sport in the afternoons or rest days: http://rob-johnson.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/summit-success-in-morocco.html

You can see some of the icefalls in the first link above, which are just above Sidi Chamharouch on the way to the refuges. These can become very fat later in the season, but the water sources are plain to see without the snow. Last year a BMC-funded expedition had a crack at them, but they've probably been climbed in the past: http://www.thebmc.co.uk/media/files/international/2013%20expeditions/Moroccan%20High%20Atlas%20Exped...

In terms of the forecast, snow is said to be on the way, but that's been said more than once already this season...
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