The recent statement from the spanish government that they intend to charge for rescue services, if it is found that the rescued were “negligent” (whatever that means?), brings into question the increased need for insurance cover. See http://www.spanishhighs.co.uk/reports/2009/10/paying-rescue-sierra-nevada-negligence/ for further details.
If coming out to visit the Sierra Nevada as part of our mountaineering, trekking, skiing or walking activity holidays, relevant insurances should be obtained. There are many providers. Loads of choice. Which is the best?
We have found one of the best to be through membership of the Austrian Alpine Club. Rates for varying membership categories differ, but the most you will pay is about EUR 42 for a years membership, including insurance cover (2009 Rates). Good value!
What is covered through the Austrian Alpine Club?
AWS Annual Alpine Association Worldwide Rescue and Repatriation Insurance. Basically world wide cover, excepting peaks of over 6000m and the Polar or Greenland regions.
Rescue Costs up to EUR 22,000 per person. Rescue costs are understood as those costs of local rescue organisations incurred when the insured person has suffered an accident, or must be rescued, whether injured or uninjured, from mountain or aquatic distress (the same also applies in the case of fatalities).
Rescue costs are deemed the demonstrable costs incurred in searching for and transporting the injured person to the nearest road open to traffic or to the hospital nearest the site of the accident. Helicopter costs will only be paid if the helicopter deployment is sanctioned by the authorized administration of a regional rescue centre.
The full leaflet regarding insurance covered (including the small print) is to be found here at http://www.aacuk.org.uk/Files/AWS_English.pdf. This needs to be read in full before making a decision on the cover.
To the best of our knowledge the following have reciprocal rights for reduced Poqueira Refugio overnight and meal fees:
Federacion Andaluza de Montanismo
Austrian Alpine Club
Club Alpin Francais
Italian Alpine Club
Club Alpin Swiss
The affiliations normally run from January to December each year and are very good value. Rather surprisingly, the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) does not have these reciprocal rights with Andalucian huts.
By showing your affiliated card the price of a nights stay at the Poqueira hut drops from about EUR 15 to EUR 8 and a similar drop is experienced in meal costs.
If only climbing or trekking in Andalucia I would recommend the Federacion Andaluza de Montanismo. As we climb throughout the world we use the Austrian Alpine Club.