The North African country of Morocco may seem like a surprising choice for mountain activities, but it is gaining steam as the premiere place for mountaineering and ice climbing in the region. With the High Atlas in particular, the number of ice cascades that form each season is eclectic, accessible, and unique. In the climbing valley, routes from fairly close to the huts and lodging. Glacial erosion has led to a number of cirques, with delightful frozen waterfalls for both aesthetic and athletic enjoyment.
The sunny weather can add to the experience, providing comfortable conditions without compromising the terrain. Imlil is 90 minutes from Marrakesh, and can easily and happily handle the tourist rush of any season. You will be able to find places to eat and sleep without too much trouble. There are also the refuges further into the mountains.
Winters in the mountain regions of the High Atlas and Middle Atlas are long, cold, and snowy. The summers can be warm and even hot. Winter temps commonly dip below freezing.
Moroccan dirham (MAD)
Flying into the busy airport at Casablanca is best, with direct flights to New York, Istanbul, and even Moscow. Marrakesh is also an option for European cities like Frankfurt, Paris, and London. Marrakesh is fairly close to ice climbing destinations, so private car and taxis can be reasonable options.
December through March offers the best time for an ice climbing trip, though conditions can make an early season trip in October or November favorable as well.
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