A collection of mountain related articles written by various guest writers dating back to 2008
Beth and Stephen from Leeds came to the Sierra Nevada with a clear idea of what they wanted to do: winter climbing and mountaineering. However, just after they arrived we met for a drink in Lanjaron: the sun was shining and it was 26C. Up in the mountains that meant the snow was melting fast, whilst the more sheltered North faces were still inaccessible to the high avalanche risk. So our first day climbing was spent in T-shirts rather than belay jackets as we went rock climbing instead.
Against a backdrop of adverse mountain snow conditions we had headed upwards. But what turned out was a day full of surprises as we enjoyed the mountaineering and winter potential of the Sierra Nevada.
Report and photos from our guide, Jens Foell and clients, who found out recently after a frustrating few days weather led eventually to a marvelous descent in perfect powder snow conditions.
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.
We have been reporting an increasing number of fox related attacks on campsites in the Sierra Nevada for some years. The incidence usually decreases in the middle of winter when the pesky critters drop below the snowline in search of food. This year however they are remaining on the high ground and becoming braver in their approaches. We have just had a report from Martin Kuster who had his mountaineering trip ruined, not only by the poor weather, but also by a series of attacks.
The Sierra Nevada makes a wonderful winter holiday destination. Most people though are only aware of the downhill skiing opportunities, based at Pradollano on the northern slopes of the range above Granada. However, during the winter months from December to May when snow is in abundance there are many more ways for you to enjoy this winter wonderland.
Last week we were privileged to enjoy the company of a family from the USA, as we guided them on a days snowshoeing.
We spent a cold night in the ruins of the relatively unknown Cebollar Refugio 2500m in the heart of the Sierra Nevada. High in the Rio Chico valley above Orgiva in the Alpujarras lies the ruins of the Refugio Cebollar. Access is normally via either the forest area at Puente Palo (1700m) or via the high track to La Pluca above the western side of Capileira.
The town of El Chalten comes as a pleasant surprise. It is tucked away between some rock walls north west of the magnificent Lago Viedma in the Santa Cruz province of Argentina. It has a clean and frontier feel to it and the people are genuinely warm, friendly and helpful.
Unfortunately the Mexican did not survive and died from hypothermia. Yesterday, the helicopter could not reach the ice cave where the two guides await. If the weather does not improve, they will have to be evacuated on foot.
We must have upset the weather gods. Unlike previous trips, this time Patagonia threw everything it had as us weather wise. Like other Argentine groups we sat for 3 or more days at La Playita campsite waiting for our chance to climb onto the icecap. During that time we were nearly blown away in gale force winds, got snowed in and once when flooded, had to build drainage diches in the middle of the night to allow excess water to escape.
Remarkable, barren badlands of Tabernas, Almeria provide rich walking and hiking opportunities in unique European environment. Our latest foray into the wild and dramatic desert land near Tabernas came a few weeks ago. We have developed a great full day's desert walking tour taking in some of the very best bits.