Morocco Mountain Medicine Expedition 2019

Expedition outline & key info

This annual expedition to exotic Morocco is packed with medical tuition and practical skills training (rope work, navigation) and culminates with an ascent of Jbel Toubkal (4167m), the highest mountain in North Africa followed by a night in Marrakech. You’ll experience inspiring teaching and how an expedition should be expertly administered and led. Delegates from all over the world and from diverse medical backgrounds attend. 3 venues in-country from the plush Kasbah du Toubkal to a mountain refuge. Excellent preparation to become a confident trekking or mountain medic. 30 CPD hours. 2019 dates coming soon.

Delegate feedback

Fantastic week – engaging, inspiring, interesting
Great trip, instructors very approachable and fun, felt I learned loads – 10/10
Wonderful course – excellently planned & executed
Surpassed my expectations – thank you – worth every penny
Excellent course – perfectly pitched for all
Every bit of time used effectively
…a wonderfully supportive (teaching) team
Delivered by enthusiastic, knowledgeable experts
Awesome course- great mix of learning & being active
I had a fantastic trip; it made me totally rethink my career! Will be recommending it to everyone!
Brilliant course – all very relevant, useful, fantastic content

Reviews, blogs & images

Read this comprehensive student review of the 2013 expedition – Adventure Medic website. Read also this write up about the course in The Kasbah du Toubkal’s online magazine page 6. Check out these great instructor photo albums of the 2016 trip – ALBUM 1 & ALBUM 2. Read Dr Ricardo Garbriel’s blog Into The Clouds about his 2017 WMT Morocco experience. About WMT in Morocco online magazine published by The Kasbah du Toubkal (page 6).

Target audience

Doctors of all grades, nurses, medical students and OHPs are invited to attend. No prior climbing or expedition experience is required but you must be fit and capable of trekking for five days. Whether you are flirting with the idea of accompanying a team up a mountain (Kilimanjaro perhaps?), bolstering your CV or simply want a fun, inspiring educational week in the Moroccan mountains, this great value annual expedition is for you.

2019 Teaching Team TBC

Our 2018 teaching was mountain man and WMT’s Commercial Director Barry Roberts, safety consultant Nigel Williams IML/MIC (formerly training manager at Glenmore Lodge), EM Consultant/GP and well travelled mountain medic Dr Duncan Gray and expedition and event medic Dr Charlotte Verney.

Expedition Structure & Content

All teaching is delivered before returning to Marrakech. The content will be covered in/around the Kasbah or on the mountain trek as appropriate and includes:
Tutorials & discussion groups, cases
Team challenges
Acclimatisation treks
Practical tuition
Insight lectures

Lecture & Practical Content

Planning and Pre-expedition considerations
• Expedition medical planning inc indemnity/screening

Mountain Medicine
• Altitude illness
• Hypothermia & cold injury

Managing Injuries in the Field
• Eye care & injury management
• Trauma on expeditions
• Practical fracture management, improvised stretchers, collars, patient packaging

Mountain & Fields Skills
• Travelling light: kit selection, packing & waterproofing
• Use of radios in an emergency
• Navigation essentials: reading the terrain, use of map & compass
• Ropes/anchors & security on steep ground techniques
• Using GPS & SOS devices
• Group catering
• Safe river crossings

Discussion group topics
• Expedition ethics
• Human factors & heuristics
• Medical Kits
• Crisis Management Planning
• What’s in the bag? Emergency “belt kits”

• Research on expedition
• Water purification
• Helicopter safety and patient transportation

Other topics & special insight lectures
• Joining an expedition – “So you wanna be an expedition medic?”
• Dr Dan Morris – Playing the game
• Barry Roberts – Everest My Way
• Final delegate cabaret and/or quiz at the mountain refuge

Medic course manual – what’s covered?

We issue the same comprehensive Medic course manual on ALL Medic courses so there is a lot of “bonus” material in addition to what is specifically covered on any particular course syllabus. For example, there are extensive notes on diverse topics such as tropical medicine, expedition dentistry, diving medicine, swift water rescue and other topics that are not explicitly covered in Morocco.

Outline Itinerary

• Arrive Marrakech airport 20.15 latest. Transfer to Kasbah du Toubkal in Imlil.
• Welcome & dinner
• Relax on the roof tops – time to use the hamman (sauna)
• Lectures, acclimatisation trek and practical teaching sessions en route
• Longer acclimatisation trek and practical teaching sessions
• Trek to mountain refuge
• Ascend Toubkal – return to refuge
• Descend to Kasbah (collect left luggage)
• Lunch in Imlil. Transfer to Marrakech hotel.
• Feedback, final dinner together – formal farewells
• Breakfast. Private sightseeing as time permits
• Transfer to airport as required – depart Morocco – or stay and play!

Ascent description of Mt. Jbel Toubkal, Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Day 1
Start at venue Kasbah du Toubkal 1820m – 9km on a good path to refuge at 3207m – total ascent 1387m. Mostly a gentle incline with a steep section in the middle. Estimated total time 6-8 hours.

Day 2
Refuge to summit 4167m over an estimated distance (one way) of 2.5km. Total ascent 960m. Estimated total return time to refuge 7-8 hours. Much steeper and rockier on a less well defined path involving easy scrambling (hands on rocks) but no roped climbing.

Day 3
Descend from refuge to Kasbah – 4 hours

The Cicerone Guide to Trekking in the Atlas Mountains grades this trek as “strenuous”.

Accommodation & venues

Delegates are always delighted and surprised at the high standard of accommodation and venues that we use.
Kasbah du Toubkal
We spend 3 nights here in the lovely Berber suites (posh dorms!) centred around the main dining room. The staff are lovely and the food is splendid. Read Reasonable Plans history of the Kasbah du Toubkal

Mouflon le Refuge Toubkal
We spend 2 nights here. There are always log fires burning in the dining rooms. Blankets are provided. The food is plentiful, simple but tasty. Free flowing mint tea when we need it.

Marrakech hotel
Our final night is spent here in en suite twin, triple or quad rooms. It’s as central as you can get to the main souk. We dine in the lovely rooftop restaurant.

Children’s charity project

We invite delegates to join our simple charity project by bringing an item or two of good, used children’s winter clothing to Morocco which our local partners will distribute. The 2018 expedition delegates brought approximately 30kgs of donations which were very much appreciated.

What’s included – not included

– lecture programme, materials, field manual & tuition
– escorted Jbel Toubkal mountain climb
– group transfers (from Marrakech Menera airport at designated times to Imlil then back to the city)
– full board accommodation (shared and mountain refuge) including all soft drinks at the Kasbah only
– Marrakech hotel & final group dinner/breakfast ending Friday morning

Anything NOT expressly mentioned is excluded such as flights, personal insurance, personal equipment, tips, some drinks and alcohol. An in-country fee supplement of 100 euros is payable on arrival.

Travel Advice

Search SKYSCANNER for low-cost carriers that fly directly to Marrakech from UK and European airports. There are flights to Marrakech from Luton, Manchester, Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick with Easyjet, Ryanair or British Airways.

CPD & MSc accreditation

We estimate that this programme is valid for between 20-30 CPD hours. This course counts towards the University of Plymouth’s MSc in Global and Remote Healthcare. See this page for details.