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Describes a superb 2 or 3 day quiet and unknown trekking route up the eastern side of Mulhacen mountain from Trevelez village in the Alpujarras Background and Summary We were a group of 3. Myself (Richard Hartley of Spanish Highs with two often returning clients, Laurie and Dexter. They are both experienced mountaineers but, like myself, are getting on in years. Laurie the eldest is nearing 70 but bad health has meant his recent mountain trips have had to be curtailed somewhat.
Join us on one of our winter skills mountaineering courses in the high, snow sure Sierra Nevada mountains of Spain Learn basic use of ice axe and crampons, simple winter belaying and alpine skills to give you the necessary confidence to go off and enjoy the winters mountains.
We have been running these winter skills mountaineering courses here in Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountains successfully since 2003. In that time we have helped hundreds of hill walkers and scramblers to take their first steps in becoming winter mountaineers and budding alpinists.
Video from Ian Tupman of an ascent of the Espolón de Alcazaba in Spain’s Sierra Nevada A great scrambling route for the experienced mountaineer.
Kiersten Rowland talks about her recent scrambling day with us on the Tozal del Cartujo, Sierra Nevada A report below from Kiersten Rowland of Spanish Highs about her recent scrambling day she had with us on the Tozal del Cartujo in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
This is my version of a day scrambling I had in the Sierra Nevada on the NW ridge of Tozal del Cartujo. Thankfully I was in the competent company of Richard, Felipe and Andrew, who all helped to keep me calm, make me laugh and make me feel confident.
The south ridge of La Sagra is advertised as one of the best scrambling routes in Andalucía In the north-east corner of the Granada province and half an hour to the north of Huescar, the south ridge of La Sagra is advertised as one of the best scrambling routes in Andalucía. Last week Felipe Nieto and I decided to take a look.
La Sagra The approach road from Huescar is in good condition and the final stretch through the pine forest has recently been re-graded for ordinary road cars.
Tajo Almendrón in the Tejeda Natural Park is so named because of its distinctive almond shape. It forms part of a north-south ridge and is much visited, being on a popular walking route behind the town of Nerja. I walked this route in January 2015 and impressive as the Almendrón is, I was more intrigued by its little brother, Almendrillo. From the path I thought I could see a stone cairn on the summit and there appeared to be three possible routes of ascent: the first via the north ridge, the second via the much steeper east ridge and the third via the precarious-looking south ridge.
Describes an ascent of the Espolón de la Caldera, an alpine type climb and scramble in Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountain range in July 2015 The Espolón de la Caldera is in fact the NW ridge of the Puntal de la Caldera, found just to the west of Mulhacén’s, Collado de Ciervo, in Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountains. It gives a rough and sometimes loose scramble with many possibilities for making the ascent easier or tougher to suit.
Ian Tupman makes his first winter ascent of the NW ridge of the Tozal del Cartujo in Spain’s Sierra Nevada A report from Ian Tupman who made his first winter ascent of the NW ridge of the Tozal del Cartujo in Spain’s Sierra Nevada in late April 2015 with Spanish Highs guide, Felipe Nieto.
The NW ridge of Tozal de Cartujo seen from the approach In October 2013 I joined up with Spanish Highs for a ‘dry’ traverse of the Arista del Cartujo (see earlier report).
A gully climb remembering lost friends on Cerro Buitre in the Eastern Sierra Nevada As I stood at the foot of the 300m unnamed gully on Cerro Buitre in the eastern Sierra Nevada I received a phone call detailing the tragic news. A close friend of mine had passed away in sudden and unexpected circumstances. Shocking and terrible news. Wiping away the tears of anger, frustration and sadness, I started up the steep initial snow slopes.
The north side of the Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountain range is steep, lined with crags and couloirs, just perfect for middle grade alpine mountaineering. The complex & dramatic northern Sierra Nevada. In this view we have Mulhacén & Puntal de la Caldera with the peak of Juego de Bolos centre The majority of the classic routes on these faces are of AD standard. Sure there are a few harder climbs and also some for the climber who searches for routes of PD standard.
With recent cold temperatures, ice climbing at “Cascadas de Los Militares” has come into condition. We just had to go and have a look! Report and some photos from a couple of days ago at 2500m in the Sierra Nevada. With the cold temperatures of recent weeks the “Cascadas de Los Militares” has come into condition. We just had to go and have a look!
It’s unusual as water ice climbing is rare here.
Trip report, personal thoughts and recommendations after this years expedition to the Patagonian Icecap A trip report, photos and video links together with some personal thoughts, recommendations and musings after this years expedition to the Patagonian Icecap in November 2014 (by Richard Hartley of Spanish Highs)
The original plan to visit the “nunateks” of Witte and Viedma had to be cancelled due to warm and dangerous snow conditions. Instead we reverted to the normal traverse down the icecap from the Paso Marconi to Paso del Viento.
Spanish Highs guide Jens Foell recently fulfilled a dream, that of climbing the incredible “Half Dome” in Yosemite National Park Our guides here in the Sierra Nevada are always looking to increase experience and expertise. Thanks to Spanish Highs guide Jens Foell for this report about his recent fulfilling of a dream, that of climbing the incredible “Half Dome” in Yosemite National Park
‘A dramatic setting with clean and exposed climbing qualifies Snake Dike as one of the most glorious moderate climbs on the planet.
Report and video of climbing the Canuto Norte de Veleta, one of the classic mountaineering routes (AD) in the Sierra Nevada. Grade - Winter – AD (50º) (AD- in good conditions with footsteps to follow!)
Approach Access for the next few routes all leave the Hoya de la Mora and ascend the broad NNW slopes of Veleta. Pass either side of the statue, “Virgen de las Nieves” and L of the chairlift station “Telesilla de la Virgin”.
We spent an extremely cold November night in a refuge in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Hard to believe that this was in fact southern Spain! In the Sierra Nevada mountains of southern Spain we can expect some bad weather in November. This is normally the month when the major snows fall. We had a three day crossing of the mountain range booked for four clients in the last week of the month.
In April 2013 we joined a Berghaus sponsored expedition attempting to make the first snowboard ascent of Klyutchevskoy Sopka (4750m), Kamchatka 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).
Richard Hartley skies into a surreal volcanic landscape Richard Hartley and Kiersten Rowland of Spanish Highs, Sierra Nevada were invited to join this Berghaus sponsored trip because of their vast mountaineering and expedition experience gained from many years in the UK, Alps and on the Patagonian Icecap.
In April 2013 we join a team led by British snowboarder Julia Pickering to climb and snowboard the largest active volcano in Kamchatka and the Northern Hemisphere 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.
Approach using skis, climb some simple gullies and then ski out again but additional weight gave a very long day in the Sierra Nevada 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.
Heading up some steepening snow slopes We are always on the look out to do something different.
An unexpected overnight dump of snow meant we had to change plans for our two day mountaineering skills trip into Spain’s Sierra Nevada. 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.
Twice I have been privileged to stand in awe, beneath one of the most natural cathedrals our mountain environments can provide. This is the Cirque de las Altares in southern Patagonia 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.
Jens Foell combines ski touring and mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada combating very cold and icy conditions, knife edge ridges and finishing in the dark Jens continues……………..
“This year we had a big drop in temperature here in the Sierra Nevada at the end of November. This led to two very different experiences up in the high mountains only days apart from each other. The first trip was a Spanish Highs Team ascent of the Raspones ridge, a beautiful alpine style summit ridge rising up from 2800m to well above 3000m (see article by Ian Tupman).
Superb winter mountaineering route in Spain’s Sierra Nevada along the long alpine ridge of Los Raspones, graded AD, accessible from Capileira This route is not done often, even by the spanish (we know of only 1 other british party that have done the full ridge traverse in winter), so decided it was high time to go and “take a look”.
The following was sent in by Sierra Nevada “afficionado” and team member, Ian Tupman
Clive Fenn recently gave his son an incredible 18th birthday present by taking him along the Raspones ridge in Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Bivouac area We described the Raspones as the best ridge scramble in Spain and have had much fun here in the past, including some incredible winter mountaineering adventures. It is alpine in nature at or about the 3000m level.
The Raspones ridge and upper Rio Seco Starting at Cebedilla, above Capileira in the Alpujarras, they ascended to the Refugio Poqueira.
Caught by a blizzard our group took shelter in the Refugio de Caballo for 2 extra nights. The lack of mobile phone signal showing the importance of satellite communication alternatives to keep contact. The Plan On Friday the Sierra Nevada looked stunning. Javier and Jim set out from the Ventura trailhead above Lanjarón to ascend to the Refugio de Caballo.
From there they would make for the Refugio Elorrieta for the second night, before dropping down the Rio Lanjarón valley and a return on the Sunday evening.
Describes an wonderful mountain day scrambling and climbing on the west ridge of the Peñón de la Mata in the Sierra de Huetor, N of Granada The start. Options left, right or the centre gully We had seen this ridge on our last visit to the Peñón de la Mata when we did a scramble on the north eastern flanks. The long whaleback shape of the west ridge looked interesting, with a somewhat difficult looking start.
Sometimes a basic snow wall is not sufficient as the wind drops spindrift on the leeward side, burying tents. So what design would make them more efficient? Sometimes a basic snow wall is not sufficient to keep the elements at bay. The wind can drop spindrift on the leeward side thus burying the tents. Is there a solution in the way we can construct snow walls that would make them more efficient?
The jagged ridge of the Raspones provides a high class scramble and mountaineering route to the main ridge line of the Sierra Nevada. It is not done very often, so we decided to check it out. The Raspones emerges from the upper reaches of the Poqueira gorge, just west of the Rio Seco. It is a long shark fin of a ridge. A serrated ridge with many turrets, twists and turns.
There’s good mountaineering in late spring but early alpine start is essential. 6am above 3000m the snow is hard and icy, becoming soft and slushy after 11am Sometimes you need to do a bit of lateral thinking for your mountain adventures. We might be only two hours from the sun drenched beaches of the Costa del Sol, but there is still some good mountaineering sport to be found. An early alpine start is the chief requirement.
What to think about when planning your self guided winter mountaineering trip to the Sierra Nevada in Spain. A multitude of factors have to be considered. We recently assisted a group led by David Spreadborough in enjoying a somewhat mixed weather week in these mountains. How did they go on? The following article was originally posted by David on his interesting site at http://spreadys.wordpress.com/. Thanks to him for allowing us to reproduce below.
A recent report on a rare mountaineering traverse of the Raspones de Rio Seco in Spains Sierra Nevada By Gary Brown and his friends of the “Geezers of Croydon” MC. No idea if any Brit/Irish has done this before. Maybe a first British/Irish winter ascent?
The Geezers on the ridge crest “We reached the crest of the ridge around the 2767m mark, just before the start of the rocky peaks, within 90 minutes of leaving the Poqueira Hut.
In the Sierra Nevada you really can have 4 seasons packed into a week of winter mountaineering 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.
A day full of surprises as we enjoyed the mountaineering and winter potential of the Sierra Nevada 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.
Reaching the summit ridge We had headed up under a hot sun from Puente Palo, bound for the ruined hut at Cebollar.
The Sierra Nevada makes a wonderful winter holiday destination. When snow is in abundance there are many more ways for you to enjoy this winter wonderland 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.
We spent a cold night in the ruins of the relatively unknown Cebollar Refugio 2500m in the heart of the Sierra Nevada The Cebollar hut with Cerrillo Redondo behind 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.
Its June but we managed to catch the best snow conditions and had a great days climbing around the Cerro de Caballo Yes, I know it’s June, but there is still plenty of snow fun to be had in the Sierra Nevada. An early start meant we managed to catch the best snow conditions and had a great days climbing around the Cerro de Caballo above Lanjaron in the Alpujarras.
You dont expect huge snowfields in June but this 2 day trek met just such conditions before dropping down to the heat of Lanjaron! 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.
An alpine start followed by glorious sunrise as we summited Mulhacen, the highest mountain in mainland Spain 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.
It started out as a routine 2 day ascent of Mulhacen.
Rescued are to be charged cost of recovery if found to have acted in an unreasonable or negligent way 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.
According to the government………” they advise you to check the weather, the guidebooks and maps.
Report from Jane Fields on her experiences on the Patagonian Icefield Expedition in 2010 Patagonia Icefield Expeditions
Day 1 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.
An interesting side excursion into quiet and relatively unknown area of the Sierra Nevada Things conspired against us from the start. A red wine or two more than we should have the night before, a late start and adverse weather. We parked the car above Capileira and made our way up the Poqueira Gorge on the normal route to the Refugio Poqueira. We had no real agenda other than to have a good time in the mountains.
A collection of some of the finest and favourite mountaineering quotes of all time The best climber in the world is the one who's having the most fun Alex Lowe
To qualify for mountain rescue work, you have to pass our test. The doctor holds a flashlight to your ear. If he can see light coming out the other one, you qualify Willy Pfisterer
The mountains will always be there, the trick is to make sure you are too Hervey Voge