A collection of mountain related articles written by various guest writers dating back to 2008
The expedition was led Berghaus athlete, Julia Pickering, attempting to make the first ski and snowboard climb and descent of the highest active volcano in Kamchatka, Klyutchevskoy Sopka (4750m).
The fact that is the highest mountain in mainland Spain provides a big attraction. There have been accidents though especially in the changeable seasons of spring and autumn. If in doubt a mountain guide should always be taken, especially when the mountain is in winter condition.
In April 2013, Richard Hartley and Kiersten Rowland of Spanish Highs Mountain Guides are to join a team led by British snowboarder/mountaineer Julia Pickering attempting to become the first people to climb and snowboard down the largest active volcano in the Northern Hemisphere, Kamchatka in far eastern Russia. The team's main sponsor is outdoor clothing and equipment manufacturer, Berghaus.
Nothing beats ski touring up and down a mountain (skijoring) with man's best friend, in my case our husky, named "Khumbu"! Spain's Sierra Nevada mountains offer many opportunities for backcountry skiing with or without our four legged friends.
Snow affected access tracks meant we only had a thin ribbon of snow in the gully to ascend and descend the mountain but it turned out to be a superb ski tour in wild and quiet surroundings in a little known area of the Sierra Nevada. Not sure it has ever been skied before either?
It sounded good on paper. Approach using skis, climb some simple gullies and then ski out again. But a blocked road meant a longer ski in. Combined with the additional weight for mountaineering kit gave a very long hard day in the Sierra Nevada.
Last week we tried it out in the Sierra Nevada mountains of southern Spain. Our friend David Thomas wanted a 50th birthday party with a difference so we headed up to a high trailhead above the town of Güéjar Sierra, just east of Granada.
All our snowshoes were out with another group having, as it turned out, a fantastic snowshoeing day. We didn't think we needed them. The overnight snow changed all that. For our 2 day winter alpine skills mountaineering course we were left with having to cope with the mental effort required to wade through knee and at times thigh deep snow.
The Cirque is to be found on the western side of the Cerro Torre massif, at the eastern edge of the great southern icecap which stretches 300 miles long and 50 miles wide between Argentina and Chile. In fact this is the largest piece of ice outside the polar regions.
I parked the car at the Hoya del Magalite, a group of cortijos just off the GR413, approximately 10km north of Almegíjar . From here we took the track heading west along the north side of the Sierra de Mecina. Looking down and across to the other side of the Río Trevélez, you can just pick out the remains of an old mosque built into the rock, now used as animal shelters.
This is their report.
Three days later we had two guests from Ireland, Richard and John, who’d come for some ski touring. After seeing the pictures of the Raspones they decided to give the ridge a go as well. So we made quite an ambitious plan: ascend Pico Veleta (3394m) from the North on skis, cross over and descend to the Poqueira hut.