West South West Ridge (Ouanoums)


One of our favourite ways up Toubkal. In summer conditions it is a great climb with no great difficulties, a classic alpine ridge route – Grade III+ with an avoidable IV (HS with avoidable VS 4b.) In winter it is another story with parts of the route often quite heavily verglacé. Every year the conditions are different, depending on amounts of precipitation, sunshine etc. For conditions on the ridge it is best to check with the guardian of the Neltner hut.

 

To gain the ridge, from the hut head south up the hill. After a kilometre or so the Ouanoums Col (Tizi-n-Ouanoums) will become obvious. In summer conditions there will be an obvious trail from the col, as many parties climb up from the Lac du Ifni. In winter there may not be a clear trail, so be prepared to wade through the snow to gain the col.

 

From the col the ridge route starts at the south facing cliff. The route goes up four major steps, the third one only gained by an abseil from the top of the second climb. The rest of the ridge is easy scrambling. Once the last climb has been made, walk up to the Toubkal south peak, down to Col du Toubkal, and follow the normal south col / cwm route up to the main peak