Recently, I hiked up Mount Toubkal with my family. Toubkal is the highest mountain in North Africa, at 4,167 meters (13,671 feet). It was a two-day hike. The first day from the village of Imlil to the Refuge du Toubkal, and the second day from the refuge to the summit and then all the way back to Imilil.
The hike was challenging, but every turn brought another breathtakingly beautiful view. The landscape was rugged, rocky, and steep.
At the start of our climb, it was desert hot. When we neared the summit, it was icy cold with snow and ice coating the rocks. The whole hike was about 36 kilometers (22 miles), and a climb of about 3,000 meters (10,000 feet).
When we finally reached the summit, I was exhausted. I sat down on a rock to catch my breath and enjoy the view. It felt like I could see forever in every direction. I am not a bird, and I do not have wings… but in that moment, it did not matter. I was higher than the birds and higher than the clouds. Higher than everything, as far as the eye could see.
I didn’t want to go back down, but unfortunately, if you climb up a mountain you must also climb down.
The way back was difficult because of the steep paths and slippery gravel. By the time we reached our hotel in Imlil, I was so sore and tired that I was sure I could not take another step. The hike up Toubkal was challenging and exhausting, but it was worth it.