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. In fact, just one report in spanish giving a vague idea of what to expect was discovered. It had a warning …….. “don’t fall off or you will be dead”. Well, of course we just had to go and have a look!
Leaving the Hoya de la Mora car park above the Sierra Nevada ski station we traversed into the lower San Juan valley, crossed the river and climbed up the other side making for the ridge of the Tajos de Campanario. Here we watched the wonderful Griffon Vultures playing on the thermals.
This is a ridge we know well as we run ski tours and snowshoeing trips round here in the winters. In fact the ridge gives a fine winter mountaineering route at an easy grade. In the summer it is just glorious walking with the occasional rock step. A hands in pocket stroll with the massive drops down to the Barranco de Guarnón down on the left.
The character changes however after a iron monument on the ridge crest (2hrs). Just beyond a path drops down to the left and crosses the rock face. The exposure starts to build and the yawning drop beckons!
There are some sections just a foot wide and a good head for heights is necessary and care in foot placement. Some of the footsteps are sloping and over steep grass. It is an incredible path and makes one wonder …….. why and who put it there in the first place?
N.B There is no protection. Dont trip up!!!!
After 20 minutes of mind blowing exposure normally reserved for via ferratas one drops down to the floor of the valley. So what can you do then? Well, we had a plan to climb the remote northern peak of Veta Grande but the afternoon sun was burning fiercely (it was 41 deg C in Lanjarón). We headed for the Coral de Veleta instead.
This is an entertaining summer route for those with a suitable head for heights. If the path is wet or partly frozen leave well alone. We managed it with 2 dogs (Tails from the Pack), Emily Burrows from Wild Morocco and Pepe from badaje.com. They wouldn’t describe themselves as “climbers”, or even “scramblers”, but managed perfectly well.
N.B The “Veredón Inferior” described in this article should not be confused with the “Veredón Superior” that leads from the “Posiciones” shoulder of Veleta and leads easily into the upper Coral de Veleta.