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.
Rescued trekkers and climbers are to be charged the cost of recovery if they are found to have acted in what is deemed to be an unreasonable or negligent way, say the spanish government. This is to be implemented from the beginning of October 2009.
The attractive peak of the Puntal de la Caldera (3223m) with the Laguna de la Caldera nestling at it's feet makes a spectacular setting. Many times in winter during Alpine Winter Skills Training courses we have sat atop it's narrow summit after ascended via it's east ridge from the Collado del Ciervo. A fine route, much better and more interesting, in my opinion, than the higher, bulky form of Mulhacen (3482m) to it's immediate east.
The following trip report was sent in by Volker Krenz after a 4 day trek in the Sierra Nevada covering "Los Tres Miles". This is a wonderful high altitude trek covering the major 3000m peaks in the range. We supported him in his self guided trek by dropping him off at high trailheads above Lanjaron.
The following detailed report is by Chiz Dakin of Peak Images. She joined us on one of our 5 day Los Tres Miles, 3000m peak traverses, in the Sierra Nevada. It provided interesting reading and a good summary of this adventurous trek for those interested in following in her footsteps.
"Walking in the footsteps of Clint Eastwood"
Report from Jane Fields on her experiences on the Patagonian Icefield Expedition in 2010 Rolling across the Patagonian Steppe on un-surfaced roads on a crowded bus was how this journey began. Nothing for miles but open grassland and hills on the horizon. My daydreams were interrupted by a stop at an Inn in the middle of nowhere where we were treated to coffee and delicious home-made cakes.