Ski touring in the bowls of San Juan, Sierra Nevada

The forecast wasnt good which is why we had large smiles when we arrived at the Hoya de la Mora to find perfect weather and snow conditions. Sure, the winds were high, but the sun and gleaming white snows more than compensated.

On the Loma de San Juan ridge

On the Loma de San Juan ridge

We skinned up past the Virgen de las Nieves and up keeping as far away from the ski pistes as we could. At the 2750m level we dropped into the upper San Juan bowl via a side entry which avoided some laden overhanging cornices.

The valley floor was full of over half a metre of new snow, dumped from the previous night. There was no wind here and our skis glided silently across the virgin snows. As we climbed up the steepening snows to the ridge beyond the winds increased and blew spindrift across our paths.

The wind became bittery cold at this point and we wasted no time in ascending to the ridge, which we then traversed south towards Veleta. Some sections of hard water ice had to be by-passed en route.

Winds blowing spindrift

Winds blowing spindrift. Coral de Veleta

At the small col below Los Posiciones we were treated to the sight of the Coral de Veleta beneath our feet. To the right a huge plume of driving snow billowed out from the cornices bordering the Coral. No doubt about how cornices are formed!

To the east the peaks of Alcazaba and Mulhacen looked Himalayan in stature.

Then it was onwards and upwards to join the ski pistes at Los Posiciones. We opted for a descent alongside the ski pistes and within 10 minutes were back to the car. A simple but fantastic ski tour doable most good days in winter.

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The Sierra Nevada makes a great ski holiday destination for all inclusive holidays 2011

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kiersten Rowland, Ian Williams and Khumbu, Chiz Dakin. Chiz Dakin said: Fantastic conditions yesterday #skitouring in the bowls of San Juan, Sierra Nevada, Spain – my images to follow […]