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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.
Guest writer Ian Tupman describes a walk into the western side of the Poqueira valley, above Capileira Last week I made a short trip back to Salobreña on the Costa Tropical. I had some business appointments during the week but I hoped to spend at least one day walking in the mountains. It rained heavily on the Friday night with more rain on the Saturday but the forecast for the Sunday was good.
Trip report in the Sierra Nevada from 2nd to 7th August 2017 Words and photos courtesy of Jennifer Stott
Day 1 – Day of most ascent (1,730 metres) I set off from LOMA DE LOS CUARTOS. Immediately I was feeling the heat and altitude, which was making my 12Kg bag feel a lot heavier! I headed East (away from my final destination), to extend the suggested route. I walked off the path, and down into 3x valleys, where I stopped to dip my already hot feet in a stream.
Report from our expedition to the Patagonian Icecap in November 2016 The expedition was beset by unsettled weather and enforced route changes due to unseasonal warm weather.
Summary The plan was to access the Patagonian Icecap via Paso Marconi as usual but then head off across the icecap to climb the remote and rarely climbed peak of Cerro Mariano Moreno. Due to the collapse of the Marconi glacier a new access route had to be found NW of Playita up to Laguna de los 14 and onto the lower Glacier Gorra Blanca Sur.
People are driven to reach summits. It’s in their nature. But in the constant drive to get to the top, much of the surrounding beauty can also be missed or ignored. This is good news though for those who prefer to forgo the crowded mountain peaks and trails and disappear into their own world. A world of quiet, peace, tranquillity and superb natural scenery few others will get to see.
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.
Successfully completing an exercise like this helps to build confidence and when you need to navigate in ‘anger’ you know that you CAN trust your compass” A report from Ian Tupman
Retirement brings advantages when it comes to getting into the mountains, one of which is being able to wait for good weather. The forecast the other day was for the possibility of a few isolated showers in the morning and for the cloud to break up during the afternoon.
Report and photos from a visit to a relatively unknown but wild and remote area of the Sierra Nevada Many thanks to guest writer Ian Tupman for this report and photos from a visit to a relatively unknown but wild and remote area of the Sierra Nevada
In September 2013 I paid my first visit to the Refugio Horcajo with the purpose of firstly locating it, and secondly to check its condition for possible future use.
Report of a day walk in the Sierra Nevada peaks encircling the Rio Chico above Lanjarón, including Cerrillo Redondo and Tajos de los Machos Thanks to guest writer, Ian Tupman for this report of his day walk in the Sierra Nevada peaks encircling the Rio Chico above Lanjarón, including Cerrillo Redondo and Tajos de los Machos.
The 5th to the 8th of December this year has been a “puente”, a Spanish holiday celebrating both the new constitution in 1978 and the immaculate conception, several years earlier.
We recently supported 201 Field Hospital on “Sierra Nevada Tres Miles Integral” 201 Field Hospital on Twitter
“On 05 September 2015 a team from 201 Field Hospital embarked on Exercise Northern Brighella. Adventurous Training (AT) is an integral part of Military Training and greatly valued at 201 Field Hospital. The definition of AT is ‘Challenging outdoor training for Service Personnel in specified adventurous activities that incorporates controlled exposure to risk, in order to develop: leadership, teamwork, physical fitness, moral and physical courage; as well as other personal attributes and skills that are vital to the delivery of Operational Capability’ www.
The steep NW face of Alcazaba in Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountains has long been a target for us. The Espolón is the classic route. We decided to go and climb it! Access to the Espolón Access to the face is most easily made from the Collado de Ciervo, near the Laguna de la Cadera and west of Mulhacén summit. A zig zag path leads down into the northern corrie of Mulhacén where sits the delightful Laguna de la Mosca.
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.
A linear walk in the Sierra Nevada alongside the Rio Trevélez to the junction with the Rio Juntillas and then a steep climb up to the delightful Refugio Horcajo set in a stunning location amid high peaks. Although I had walked down the Rio Trevelez from the high peaks of the Sierra Nevada on numerous occasions, I had never visited the Refugio Horcajo, which sits on a little plateau next to a small river at approx 2220m.
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 birdwatching day searching for eagles & elusive Ring Ouzel, that turned into a superb mountain scrambling day in the mountains north of Granada, Andalucia The north side of the Sierra Nevada peaks from Sierra de Huetor It all began when Kiersten Rowland, our resident Spanish Highs expert twitcher, decided she wanted to tick off the Ring Ouzel. This bird seems to have a liking for hawthorn bushes and tough craggy hillsides.
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.
If you only have a couple of days to spend in the Sierra Nevada and you enjoy wild camping, then this may be the trip for you. A good walk in wild and dramatic scenery where few others will be seen! Also includes the park rules and regulations regarding a wild camp.
Many thanks to Ian Tupman for this guest post
Pretty scary eh? Our starting point is the Central Eléctrica (power station) at La Cebadilla which is at 1,600m and is reached by a driveable track from above the village of Capileira.
Combining the Sulayr GR240 trek with the higher regions of the Sierra Nevada can provide for a interesting walking and hiking holiday. Here is a report sent in about one such self guided trek.
The first three days of our trip we took the sulayr route (roughly stages 4 – 6). That was generally relatively easy walking, although the climb from Lanjaron to the Sulayr trail (well marked and clear trail) didn’t really allow for an easy start.
The west to east traverse of the Puntal de la Caldera gives fine high altitude Sierra Nevada Scrambling opportunities Here is a route description of how to do it.
N.B This route description applies to summer only. Please wear a helmet as there is plenty of loose rock! No need for a rope unless you have beginners or want to push the grades.
We caught the first chairlift access from Pradollano, ski centre in the Sierra Nevada.
A two day trek for the adventurous hiker over some of the roughest and highest parts of Spain’s Sierra Nevada, including Mulhacén and Alcazaba. Spanish Highs’ self stated mission to “Inspire The Adventure” means that we are really at our happiest when we are taking clients to new areas and trekking different routes, far away from the masses on the summer trade routes. Whilst others prefer to slog away on the regular routes accompanied by fellow bus passengers we prefer the solitude of the “real” Sierra Nevada.
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.
Yesterday we did a ski tour up the west flank of Cerro de Caballo, Sierra Nevada. A superb ski day! This has been a generally poor ski touring year in the Sierra Nevada but yesterday we did the west flank of Cerro de Caballo, above Nigüelas. A superb ski day!
Winter 2014 has been beset by a lack of snowfall and high winds. The snow level has been higher than normal and the constant scouring of the slopes by the winds has led to huge great tracts of ice, particularly on west facing slopes.
Prefer the wide open, quiet and remote mountains? This is my kind of backcountry ski touring in the Sierra Nevada! Let’s face it, most of us are not daredevil skiers. We don’t really want to be hurtling down some ridiculously steep slope chased by an avalanche! Yes we want to be tested, be prefer the wide open, quiet and remote mountains where the only noise is the sound of skins gliding across the snows as we ascend to our peak.
Camping out in the mountains is not always for those long summer days. Want to try out camping in the snow clad mountains of the Sierra Nevada. With careful planning and foresight great experiences are to be had during the winter months. We recently had a client who wanted to try out camping in the snow clad mountains of the Sierra Nevada.
N.B Remember that certain rules apply to camping in the Sierra Nevada National Park (see foot of article)
After fresh snows the Snowshoeing in the Alpujarras region of Andalucia is a superb experience With the first major snows of the year falling over Christmas it gave Ian Tupman chance to get his snowshoes out of the cupboard and enjoy the delights of a section of the GR240 Sulayr long distance path above Capileira.
Easy access in four wheel drive vehicle to the Hoya del Portillo, above the Alpujarras village of Capileira.
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.
A group of Sierra Nevada Twitter users met for the first time in the Cumbres Verdes, Granada. What better hike was there than to ascend the peak of Trevenque? It seems that the whole world is involved with Social Media Sites these days. A few of us Twitter users who regularly tweet about the Sierra Nevada mountains met for the first time yesterday in the Cumbres Verdes range just south east of the Andalucian city of Granada.
A multi day trek over the high Sierra Nevada from Lanjarón to Trevélez taking in the main peaks and some surprisingly interesting diversions en route The trek started as normal from the south near the Ventura trailhead above the spa town of Lanjarón in the Alpujarras (4WD required). First night was camp was by the superbly situated Refugio de Caballo alongside the laguna of the same name. A spectacular sunrise was followed by a short ascent to the summit of the Cerro de Caballo (3009m), the Sierra Nevada’s most southerly 3000m peak.
I had stood on the Tozal del Cartujo admiring its impressive ridge stretching away to the north-west. A few months later I knew it just had to be done. Back in May 2012 I walked the ridge from Cerro del Caballo to Tozal del Cartujo, crossed over to the Refugio Elorrieta for the night and then returned to the Ventura trailhead the next day via the Río Lanjarón valley. I had stood on the Tozal del Cartujo admiring its impressive ridge stretching away to the north-west.
A report sent in by Dominic Durose who did a solo traverse of “Los Tres Miles” ridge in the Sierra Nevada at the beginning of October After an inauspicious start due to bad weather, leaky refuges and foxes the remainder of the trip was completed in glorious mountain weather.
Summit of Veleta Had a brilliant time completing Los Tres Miles. I got a little behind schedule on the first day due to a late start and the altitude making the uphill pull slow going.
A traverse of Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountains taking in as many as possible of the 3,000+ metre peaks (Tres Miles) that I hadn’t already climbed ‘Inspiring The Adventure’, proclaims Spanish Highs’ blog. And it was reading some of their recent trip reports and looking at photographs on their website that inspired MY latest adventure: a traverse of Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountains taking in as many as possible of the 3,000+ metre peaks (Tres Miles) that I hadn’t already climbed.
A little known, but spectacular track the hugs the northern slopes of Spain’s Sierra Nevada between the main peaks of Veleta and Mulhacén The start of the track is on the northern flanks of Veleta above the Sierra Nevada ski station, at “Los Posiciones del Veleta”. This can be reached by short walk from the Veleta Chairlift (July and August only) or by autobus from Hoya de la Mora (Albergue de Granada).
An itinerary for a group mountain walking holiday in the cool and pleasant air of Spain’s Sierra Nevada We had a request for a Group Walking Holiday itinerary. In Spain? In summer? This took some working out as the only place to enjoy the hiking would be in the cool and pleasant air above 2000m. This in turn meant that the Sierra Nevada in Andalucia would be the only realistic location, with over 20 peaks topping 3000m in height.
Crossing the main Sierra Nevada ridge and picking up as many of the 3000m tops as possible always provides for an entertaining and enjoyable trek This year however, due to the amount of winter snows still remaining, the trek is even more of a challenge.
There are several ways to do it. The normal northerly start point is Jerez de Marsquesado, a small town south of Guadix. In the south Lanjarón is the most convenient base.
William and Jolanda wanted to escape civilisation, people, phones and busy jobs. With plenty of snow still remaining an 8 day trek in the Sierra Nevada seemed as good a way as any. To avoid the busy (relatively speaking) areas around Mulhacén and Veleta we split the 8 days into 2 treks of 4 days each.
The first 4 days would be spent exploring the remote and quiet northerly 3000m mountains.
A moderately graded, varied and interesting summer day’s hiking route in the Sierra Nevada. As it is linear it does need the benefit of a friendly driver to help with the transport. It utilises a high vehicle track and a direct climb to gain height rapidly. Then comes a delightful descent down through pine trees and crossing streams before meeting a forest track above Puente Palo.
The Rio Chico This is a 10.
“You are joking. Skiing in June, southern Spain, 2 hours from Marbella. Never”, they said disbelievingly when I outlined my cunning plan. I like a challenge so set out to prove them wrong. A report from Richard Hartley of Spanish Highs
Well, we have had a superb snow year in the Sierra Nevada and at the beginning of June the snow on some faces still lay deep and consolidated. To be honest I had hung up my skis for the summer, but a chance encounter with a photo from a blog post by Ian Tupman showed the east face of Mulhacen to be laden with the white stuff.
Sleeping on Mulhacen’s snow-covered mountain summit isn’t everyone’s idea of a good night out but its been on my “to do” list for quite a while Throw in a six hour ascent with a heavy pack, the possibility of altitude sickness and your evening meal out of a packet and it seems even less attractive. For me though, a bivouac on the summit of Mulhacén had been on my ‘to do’ list for quite a while.
Describes an overnight camp on the summit of Spain’s highest mountain, Mulhacén, with a spectacular sunset and sunrise An overnight camp on the summit of Spain’s highest mountain, Mulhacén (3482m), in which the most spectacular sunset and sunrise were observed.
A report from Richard Hartley of Spanish Highs, Sierra Nevada
I quite like going “against the grain”. Ascending a mountain when everybody else is coming down (or descending a mountain before anybody else is going up for that matter!
Describes a 3 day trek between Bayárcal and Trevelez on the long distance path, the “Sulayr”, around Spain’s Sierra Nevada National Park Thanks to Ian Tupman (and Meg of course!) for the following report detailing their experiences._
N.B Spanish Highs support sections of this route either guided or self guided.
The marker post that would be our 'wayside companion' for three days Our border collie, Meg, is now fourteen months old.
The Sierra Nevada can be used by trekkers and mountaineers training for high mountain challenges such as Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc or Aconcagua. Sports professionals have long used the Sierra Nevada in Spain for altitude training. However it is also used by trekkers and mountaineers training for high mountain challenges such as Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc or Aconcagua.
As there are some 27 points above the magical 3000m level there is plenty of opportunity to gain acclimatisation in preparation for your trip.
Ryan and Emma did a self guided 5 day trip in the Sierra Nevada, starting at Guejar Sierra, crossing Mulhacén and dropping down to the Alpujarras Although this is southern Spain the Sierra Nevada should never be underestimated. We supported . They sent us in this interesting report of their experiences. As Ryan states …
The experience was big, but the mountain was bigger! Start point at Guejar Sierra “I hadn’t really left after a sixteen hour day-walk around Guejar Sierra’s (GS) extended into darkness of the short autumn days.
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.
Mulhacen is a technically straightforward peak but high altitude (3482m) and bad weather sometimes catch people out 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.
Spanish Highs Mountain Guides make ascents the mountain most weeks throughout the year.
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.
Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountains offer many opportunities for backcountry skiing with or without our four legged friends 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.
The mountain side above Puente Palo looked bare. The thaw had devastated the snowpack. But we know a small valley (barrancillo) that holds snow well so set off to find it hoping for some good skijoring with Khumbu.
Only a thin ribbon of snow in the gully remained but it turned out to be a superb ski tour in a little known area of the Sierra Nevada 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.
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.
Take a remote refuge with superlative mountain views, a few good friends, tasty food, a wee dram (or two) and a reason to celebrate and you have the makings of a birthday to remember 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.
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.
I have done this walk in Las Alpujarras at every time of the year but, in my opinion, it is best undertaken in the autumn On this occasion, I was accompanied by Meg, our border collie pup.
Words and photos from guest writer, Ian Tupman
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.
Richard Jones and John O’Connor visited southern Spain and decided to try out some of the superb scrambles that Andalucia has to offer This is their report.
All photos by Richard Jones and/or John O’Connor
“After our three day ski touring adventure our plan was to have three days scrambling around Granada ………..
Day One Sat 1 Dec We drove from Spanish Highs base in Lanjaron to Villanueva del Rosario about 2 ½ hours.
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
Guide, Jens Foell ascends the highest mountain in mainland Spain in poor weather conditions The weather forecast was looking pretty bad. Rain, rain, and yet more rain for the whole week. But Xavier Wang had come all the way from Singapore to climb Mulhacen, at 3482m the highest peak in mainland Spain. So we set off regardless, knowing we were in for a battle with the elements, and walked up to the Refugio Poqueira along the Acequia Alta.
Walking up La Concha (1243m), which is really an interesting series of lumps on a long rocky ridge far above the sea Just half an hours drive from the busy Costa del Sol and you are in a different world where some great walking and hiking opportunities exist far above the sparkling waters of the mediterranean. Today we were climbing up La Concha (1243m), which is really an interesting series of lumps on a long rocky ridge far above the sea.
Want a good, quick access route to the northern Sierra Nevada mountains? Suggest you try out the Loma de Papeles route to the superbly situated Refugio Peña Partida We recently revisited this old favorite as part of a search to see the rare Lammergeier (Bearded Vulture). It is a simple, pleasant walk along a gentle ridgeline with superlative views towards the northern faces of the Sierra Nevada including the big 3, namely Mulhacén, Veleta and Alcazaba.
Our day trek in the Tabernas desert badlands of Almeria turned into a very hot walk indeed Sometimes you can get caught out by the weather, normally bad weather. But this time the weather was good, too good! Our day trek in the Tabernas desert badlands of Almeria turned into a very hot walk indeed.
Spectacular desert badlands scenery, Tabernas Due to the heat we don’t normally visit the deserts from mid-June to mid-September.
The Paso de los Guias is a spectacular shortcut path cutting through a rockface in the Sierra Nevada and requiring a good steady head for heights Links the Refugio Cariguela south of Veleta to the Paso de los Machos. It provides a quick by pass of the main track, cutting off a substantial zig zag in the old track, saving 15 minutes walking. Starts at a cairn at the first right bend below the Refugio de Cariguela if going west to east.
A quality day trek to the summit of Alcazaba for those with a spirit of adventure and a head for heights As Alcazaba (the “Fortress”) is nearly surrounded by cliffs most trekkers take the simplest route from the South East. For those with a spirit of adventure and a head for heights there are better routes. We revisited a route last week that makes a quality day’s trekking to the summit of this fine peak.
The “Veredón Inferior” path in the Sierra Nevada, amazingly exposed needing a head for heights We recently came across a little know way through some big cliff scenery in the Sierra Nevada. Not technical, just walking, but in an amazingly exposed situation needing a good head for heights. It’s called the “Veredón Inferior”.
It really is quite strange how there are so few references to this track on the internet.
Describes a lovely summer walk from Pradollano ski station to the Refugio Elorrieta, with it’s magnificent views of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Access the walk from Borreguilles, above the Sierra Nevada ski town. In summer months a gondola and chairlift take you to nearly 3000m on the slopes of Veleta. Yesterday though we had another objective. The Refugio Elorrieta sat at nearly 3200m on the southern side of the Tajos de la Virgen ridge.
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.
Report of May 2012 trek in the Sierra Nevada covering all the major peaks including the rarely climbed Juego de Bolos and Puntal de la Caldera Full and interesting report from guest writer, Yvonne Holland, who returned to the Sierra Nevada in May 2012 to do a trek from Trevélez to Lanjarón, covering all the major peaks of the Sierra Nevada between the two villages, including the rarely climbed Juego de Bolos and Puntal de la Caldera.
A report from guest writer Ian Tupman about a first time visit to the Refugio Elorrieta in Spains Sierra Nevada mountains. “This summer, Acción Sierra Nevada intends to undertake significant repairs to the Elorrieta refuge to render parts of it secure and weathertight so that it can be used more by the mountain community here. Having read and heard so much about this place over recent months, I thought it was about time I went to see why it has been singled out for attention.
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.
Ian Tupman, describes an hike to the summit of this wonderful peak in the foothills of Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountains Not having done any serious hill walking in February and March, I wanted to get out and do a good leg and lung-stretcher before returning to the high peaks of the Sierra Nevada. Trevenque had been mentioned to me in the past by Spanish Highs and it sounded just what I was looking for.
Above Guejar Sierra in Granada, Andalucia, lies an incredible vantage point with superb views south to the snow clad north faces of the Sierra Nevada Alcazaba and Mulhacen N faces From Granada, head east on good roads and pass by the town of Pinos Genil and on through the town of Guejar Sierra. On the eastern outskirts of Guejar Sierra take a left turn signposted “Camping Cortijo Balderas”.
Ian Tupman describes a challenging walk from the coast at Salobrena to the lofty summit of Mulhacen, highest summit in Spain. He has also supplied a great slideshow illustrating his walk. Background The Sierra Nevada as seen from the beaches of the Costa Tropical On two occasions I had driven from Salobreña on the coast to Trevélez at 1,500m in the hope of summiting Mulhacén in a one day trip.
The delapidated Refugio de Cebollar makes an interesting days hiking destination above Puente Palo in the Alpujarras region of southern Spain. Park the car at the forestry recreation site at Puente Palo above the towns of Lanjaron, Soportujar and Cañar. Head left up the main forest track. After some 45 minutes take the second main track leading right which crosses a stream after 200m. The trees begin to thin out and we emerge on open hillside on the west side and above the Rio Chico.
It’s always great when your mountain adventures can be accompanied by a four legged friend. I took my husky, Khumbu on a trek into the Sierra Nevada We camped in the upper Lanjaron valley by streams and under a spectacular night sky. This was to be his first overnight trip. My lightweight summer backpack felt strangely heavy, weighed down by the additional items such as dog food, extra water and a various assortment of chains, leads, slings and karabiners, in a vain attempt to control a huskies instincts for freedom.
When we approached Mulhacen summit, the sun broke through the horizon. All the hard effort and discomfort seemed worthwhile. We were at the highest point in mainland Spain A one am start from Lanjaron, an hours drive to the trailhead, followed by 5 hours trudge uphill through the night might not seem the best way to climb a mountain. But when we approached the summit and the sun broke through the horizon, all the hard effort and discomfort seemed well worthwhile.
A two day high level July trek in Spain’s Sierra Nevada, from the ski centre in the north to Lanjaron in the south camping by a high mountain lake overnight Max and the Cerro de Caballo The high (2500m) access point at the Hoya de la Mora makes a convenient starting point for this two day trek. Unfortunately one has to spend the first hour passing through the summer debris of the ski resort pistes, but thereafter this is a wonderful high level trek.
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.
Kiersten Rowland describes a 2 day trek camping by high mountain lakes and enjoying some of the wildest scenery and nature that the Sierra Nevada National Park has to offer Bivouac site at Siete Lagunas Our plan was to be in the mountains for 3 days and walk from the rangers station at Hoya de Portillo above Capileira to Jerez de Marsquesado, a crossing of an area of the Sierra Nevada that Jane and I had not been to before.
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.
The following report has been sent in by guest writer, Muhz Ham, after sampling a June day in the high Sierra Nevada snows In Fred Zinneman’s 1984 film “5 days one Summer”, Sean Connery plays the part of a pre-war climber in the Alps. Driven by a burning desire to conquer peaks (and, it must be said, to pursue his affair with his niece) he pushes onwards and upwards, as it were, regardless of the dangers.
James Jackson took Spanish Highs faithful hound, Max, on a night ascent of Mulhacen, the highest mountain in Spain. Normally this is a glorious trip seeing in the new day. But, rather than seeing the spectacular morning sunrise they had hoped for, they were met with a full on snow blizzard above 3000m. Nothing like we reported in our article “Brilliant sunrise following night ascent of Mulhacen” some time ago.
The snow had retreated uphill. We aimed to start low at 1800m but would we still find good ski touring on the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains? The week before had been warm. Granada basking in 30 degree heat. The snow had retreated uphill. We aimed to start low at 1800m but would we still find good ski touring on the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains?
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.
What is it like to ski down Mulhacen, the highest mountain in Spain? Jens Foell has a marvelous descent in perfect powder snow conditions 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.
Jens Foell lead ski guide You might feel frustrated when you come on a ski touring holiday to the Sierra Nevada and you end up sitting out a couple of days of bad weather.
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.
A report from Kiersten Rowland about her harrowing experiences on the Patagonian Icecap in November 2010 Two taxis arrive to take us to the trailhead at Rio Electrico. From the trailhead we walk a few hours through a forest to our camp at Los Troncos. You have to pay a small fee as you pass over private land, but on the plus side there is a small cabin where its your last chance to get food and drink.
A summary of the Spanish Highs Patagonian Icecap Expedition 2010 which has just returned from Argentina 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 Spectacular desert scenery 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. The area is characterised by dry valleys (ramblas) and steep sided ravines. Contrastingly, some ramblas are lush with green vegetation especially bamboo and make for difficult walking.
Describes a multi day trek over the highest parts of Spain taking in the highest peak, Mulhacen and the remote and quiet fortress of Alcazaba The route up the south ridge of Mulhacen from the Hoya del Portillo may not be the most exciting in the world but at least it gives a high start point. An early start meant the 8 of us avoided the searing heat of the lower Alpujarras and we had the cool of the morning for the ascent.
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.
Clive Fenn embarks on a 14 hour mega day walking around the head of the Lanjaron valley with 2000m ascent and 3000m descent! When we dropped Clive Fenn, off at a high trailhead at 9 in the morning we didn’t expect him back for 2 or 3 days. Certainly didn’t expect him to stagger, totally spent, into our house at 11pm that same night, after a mega tough 14 hour walking day in the Sierras, including about 2000m of ascent and 3000m of descent!
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.
A good weeks ski touring despite some adverse weather. The party skied Mulhacen, the highest peak in mainland 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.
The** Eagle Ski Club** is the UK’s largest and most active ski touring and ski mountaineering club, with over 800 members.
A hard snowshoeing trek to and from the Poqueira hut in Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountains in difficult snow conditions 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.
Gary _The following report of the trip has been sent in by Gary Scully, a member of the group involved, who are raising funds for Help the Heroes.
A marvellous day’s ski touring on the south side of the Sierra Nevada. Good weather, great snow conditions and best of all, no other people! 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.
Some food got stolen by foxes and we had to abandon plans for a winter 3000m peak traverse 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.
All had started well. First night spent at the refugio de Caballo, followed by a traverse of Tajos Altos and the Pico del Cartujo to spend the second night at the Elorietta hut.
Scrambling ridge traverse in the Sierra Nevada of Puntal de la Caldera from west to east 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.
Volker Krenz reports on his experiences on a 4 day high level trek climbing peaks in the Sierra Nevada 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.
Chiz Dakin gives advice about high level trekking Los Tres Miles, Sierra Nevada, Spain 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.
Chiz Dakin is an award-winning professional photographer and guidebook writer, who specialises in landscape, outdoors adventure and travel photography
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.
Robert Sharp describes his experiences on Los Tres Miles Integral trek in the Sierra Nevada, Spain So there we were, loaded up with 5 days of equipment and food. Richard, of Spanish Highs Mountain Guides, dropped us off at the trailhead near the Ventura Hut at 2250m above the town of Lanjaron in the Alpujarra region of Andalucia, Spain.
The skies were blue and clear as we made our way onwards.