A collection of mountain related articles written by various guest writers dating back to 2008
We have been testing these Deuter Aircontact Pro rucksacks recently in the Sierra Nevada for our forthcoming expeditions to Bolivia's Cordillera Real and the Patagonian Icefields. But how did they perform?
Outside the tapas bars of Lanjaron temperatures reached 30 degrees. 2500m above we donned our duvet jackets as an icy wind tore across the white snow filled plateau. Such are the contrasts this year in southern Spain's Sierra Nevada, a legacy of the worst winter weather in living memory.
Villages on the GR7 long distance path through the Alpujarras are conveniently placed about 2 hours apart. These provide welcome rest halts or overnight stops as one passes through the area. Our personal favourite is back from Capileira via Bubion, Pampaneira, Soportujar and Cañar to Lanjaron. Takes a leisurely 6-7 hours, passes through spectacular scenery and white villages and is mostly downhill!
Since we started visiting this fascinating walking and trekking location near Granada in 1998, we have seen a rise in the popularity of peaks such as the magnificent Trevenque (2079m). However, there is so much more than the normal routes of ascent to offer for those with an exploratory and adventurous nature.
Sometimes chance plays a part in opening up a new mountain experience. A fully booked Poqueira hut gave our party the chance of an alpine start followed by a glorious sunrise as they summited Mulhacen, at 3482m, the highest mountain in the Sierra Nevada, Spain.
We have just had a week long visit by members of the Eagle Ski Club to Spain's Sierra Nevada. A good weeks ski touring was had, despite some adverse weather affecting some of the itinerary. During the week the party skied Mulhacen, the highest peak in mainland Spain.
Recollections of two days hard trekking to and from the Poqueira hut in Spain's Sierra Nevada mountains. Difficult snow conditions and at times blizzard conditions made it an epic and, at times, very testing journey.
Mulhacen is a magnificent ski touring peak. What ski descents are available for backcountry skiing enthusiasts? As can be seen from our trail map below, there are options for all grades of skier. Easier ways for the beginner or for marginal snow conditions, and tougher runs for the more experienced on good days.
We set off from the recreation centre at Puente Palo in the Alpujarras. I was disappointed to find that the high temperatures of the previous week had affected the snow pack and we had to walk up through the forest track carrying the skis and boots. Not quite what I had in mind. After 45 minutes however, the snow on the track began to thicken and it wasn't long before we donned our boots, skins and skis. We skinned up though the remaining forest before emerging into a beautiful white landscape.
An ambitious winter traverse of the Sierra Nevada, the Los Tres Miles, 3000m peaks challenge, ran into difficulties last week when a series of fox related incidents left the group with little food and ripped tents.
A recent clear out and repair of our tent stocks has made me re-evaluate which tents we use for which location and mountain activity. Basically we recommend high quality tents from well known makes such as Terra Nova, Bibler (now part of Black Diamond) and Hilleberg. Yes, I know there are many other fine tent makers out there, but I can only comment on what has worked for us over the past 10 years as mountain guides.
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 https://www.spanishhighs.co.uk/articles/post/paying-rescue-sierra-nevada-negligence/ for further details.