Climb Mulhacen, the highest peak in western europe outside the Alps. We offer year round ascents in winter and summer condition. Also available are ascents on skis or snowshoes when conditions permit.Grade: Challenging
N.B As we do not agree with mechanised transport within the National Park we do not use the tourist bus service that runs in the summer months to the Mirador de Trevelez saving 2 hours ascent. We prefer the quieter and more remote ways of enjoying this wonderful mountain!
Mulhacen rises to 3482m making it the highest peak in the Iberian Peninsula and continental Spain. It is part of the Sierra Nevada range in the Cordillera Penibetica. Mulhacen is also the highest peak in Europe outside the Alps and the Caucasus Mountains, and the third most topographically prominent peak in Western Europe, after Mont Blanc and Mount Etna. Its name comes from the Spanish transciption of Muley Abul Hassan, the penultimate Muslim King of Granada in the 15th century.
We only use the best qualified and experienced professional guides. All have lived and worked in the Sierra Nevada since 2002. They speak english, spanish and french. We restrict numbers in winter to a maximum of 4 clients to a guide. Mulhacen has been climbed by our team more than 238 times (up to end 2012), more often than not in full winter conditions.
Did you know that you can now climb Mulhacen and Mt Toubkal (highest in North Africa) in the same week or that Mulhacen can be climbed as part of a tough 3 peaks challenge "Los Tres Picos"?
"Well-organized, accommodating, friendly, and experienced guide service. My friend and I did the two-day Mulhacen winter trip. Were lucky to have cooperative weather and a successful ascent with great views but even if we hadn't I still would have felt that the trip was well worth it. Our guide was familiar with several routes and involved us in deciding which option would be best for us. There was enough time allotted in the schedule to allow for flexibility with our pace when one of us was coping with a stomach bug (whose origin was unrelated to this trip). Despite extreme familiarity with the mountain, our guide never seemed bored (in fact his summit photo looks much more triumphant than my own). Instead, his extensive experience was channeled into teaching us about the location and his apparent enjoyment of the trip added to our own. Based on this experience, I would definitely feel comfortable planning another trip with Spanish Highs and I would recommend them to anyone seeking some memorably enjoyable and safe mountain time."
More details about these ascents are set out below
1 day Itinerary
Normally from May to November inclusive but snow conditions may dictate when the trek turns into a more serious mountaineering challenge.
To and from the Hoya de Portillo. About 8-9 hours of walking is involved (1300m ascent), ascending by the long south ridge and descending via the west flank.
In our opinion this does not reflect the best the mountain has to offer. The two day ascent gives you chance to enjoy the mountain and see more dramatic views.
2 day Itinerary
The Refugio Poqueira is a superb guarded hut sleeping 84 situated on the east back of the Rio Mulhacen on a shelf at 2500m above the Poquiera gorge. It is more of a hostel providing food and drink and beds and blankets in dormitory accommodation. More details about the refugio
From the Alpujarras to the south the ascent of Mulhacen, highest peak in mainland Spain can be done in a long day in the summer. But how can you make the round trip more interesting by traversing the mountain and not covering the same ground twice?
Through the town of Lanjaron to Orgiva. Turn left before Orgiva towards Capileira and Trevelez. After 20 mins you will enter a big gorge with 3 white villages high above the end of the valley. These villages are Pampaneira, Bubion and Capileira. Head round and up the gorge following the main road, passing through Pampaneira. Just 5 mins more and just before a petrol station turn left to Capileira.
Keep following the road through Capileira and on up the hillside. In 5 mins you will pass horse riding stables. Immediately after take the right when the road forks. Follow this rough track for 15 mins. Park at the Forestry Station barrier and car park (1hr from Lanjaron).
There is a well signposted track going up left of the forestry station. Head straight uphill through the forest on a marked and good track. This zig-zags uphill. When you leave the top end of the forest the path nearly meets a forest break (with a signpost beyond signalling the way to the Poqueira Hut) before zig zagging back right and upwards to reach the old road. Follow this.2hrs after starting you will arrive at the Mirador de Trevelez (a nice place for a breakfast stop will be found 30m to the right by some rocks overlooking the town of Trevelez). Continuing on the old road for 400m, a faint track leaves the road heading rightwards. This is the main south ridge access track. Follow to the south summit and hence to the main summit of Mulhacen (2.5 to 3hrs from Mirador de Trevelez).
From the summit drop 50m south to a point where 2 adjacent cairns mark the start of the west flank path. Follow the track west. This steepens until the full extent of the west flank is seen below. Great views to the Caldera and Veleta areas. This is an unrelenting descent of 500m in a series of steep zig-zags. But it is quick! You should be down at the old road in 40 minutes.
Turn left (south) on the old road which passes over the "Paso de los Franceses" and eventually nears the Alto de Chorillo and the ascent route. Some 400m before the Alto de Chorrillo bear right down over pathless terrain to meet the road that goes from the Poqueira hut to the Alto de Chorrillo. Then, at the first left hand bend in the track take the traverse path south. Follow this along the mountainside. It passes through a forested area before arriving at the forest break above the Hoya del Portillo.
Follow the firebreak down. It is a bit rough, but no rougher than the Mulhacen slopes tackled previously. After 10 minutes you will see a small cairn on the left (looking down) that signifies a small path that enters the forest. Take this path. It is very faint in places but if you generally head a a descending traverse you are bound to reach the forest road or visitor car parks at the Hoya del Portillo.
And that's it! A 24km walk up and down Mulhacen without ever having crossed the same tracks twice. It will take you between 7 and 9 hours with nearly 1200m of ascent. We have a Map and Google Earth Tour on our original blog article which will show you the route to be taken. There are links to altitude profiles and more mapping data.
When- normally from beginning of December until end April inclusive.
We are the first and only company to offer the unique experience of a night ascent of the peak, arriving at the summit as dawn breaks. A truly wonderful experience that can be enjoyed during the summer months, weather permitting. See http://www.sierra-nevada-news.com/2010/04/brilliant-sunrise-following-a-night-ascent-of-mulhacen/ for more details.
Mulhacen weather forecast - Great resource showing very detailed forecasts. Very useful.
View more photo galleries..........
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• Skiing down Mulhacen
Photos from our guide, Jens Foell and clients Andy Ward and Joe on a recent exhilarating ski descent from the summit ...
• Winter Skills Courses Sierra Nevada
Winter skills and mountaineering courses based in southern Spain’s Sierra Nevada