In the past few months Acción Sierra Nevada has emerged as a credible independent platform for improving and conserving the Sierra Nevada mountain environment. The latest venture saw 26 people taking part in completing phase 2 of the restoration work on the Refugio de Caballo with the installation of a new door.
It’s funny how things develop. In the summer Pepe Badaje, Jesús Labajo Yuste of Campo Base, myself, together with muleteers, Toni and Jonni (not forgetting Pepito the mule!), spent 3 days carrying materials up to 3000m to clean, repair and renovate the badly decrepit Refugio de Caballo. Little did we realise the seed we were creating would grow into a credible initiative that has since gained support from many mountain loving sources, including the Parque Nacional de Sierra Nevada.
At that time we cleaned, painted and put in a new window and repaired the door. Unfortunately our combined resources were not enough to firmly fix the original door and within a week, winds and heavy handed humans had broke it away from it’s hinges. A more professional approach was required. Acción Sierra Nevada itself had developed, mainly due to the efforts of Jesús. We has a Facebook page and also a website. The local spanish community had also started backing the initiative in a big way.
Companies too have backed the initiative donating funds or materials in support. See the list of the participating companies and organisations and a list of collective commitments. Funds are still required to continue the good start we have had. The next refugio for next spring will be the Refugio Elorietta which has already been cleaned of old ironwork. This was done through the Parque Nacional who employed mules for a week. Reforestation and path repair projects may be for the future?
On 30th October I was lucky enough to join another 25 people in helping to take a new door, materials, generator, fuel, table, chairs and materials up to the Refugio del Caballo. We met in Niguelas at 7am and by 11:30 had reached the refugio. Tiring work carrying at nearly 3000m. Then the professionals took over and within 3 hours we had the strongest, best looking door in the Sierras! The return down the hill took longer than expected due to zero visibility and it was dark by the time our transport was collected. A long but memorable and rewarding day working with fellow mountain loving individuals. Thanks to all for the help and cameraderie!
I urge all those who love these mountains to support Acción Sierra Nevada in whatever way you can. This story shows that together, we can actually make a difference!
Below is a slide show of photos I took from the day.