If you are looking for a good, quick access route to the northern Sierra Nevada mountains then we 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 [...]
Inspirations for your next Sierra Nevada mountain adventure!
Ideas, information, trip reports, photos, videos for the guided and self guided adventurer
The Sierra Nevada
We visit all the major peaks and areas of the Sierra Nevada regularly including, Mulhacen, Alcazaba, Veleta, Caballo, Cartujo, Caldera and Los Tres Miles
We try to write up as many of our trips into the summer and winter Sierra Nevada as we can.
Mountain and snow condition reports, gear reviews, videos, web tech stuff and travel news
Year round varied activities
Mountaineering, Trekking, Hiking, Rock Climbing, Scrambling, Ski Touring and Snowshoeing are all covered during our busy year.
Southern Patagonian Icecap 2011
An expedition encircling the Fitzroy and Cerro Torre massifs on the icecap in perfect weather conditions. Starting at El Chalten and going via Rio Electrico, La Playita, Glacier Marconi, Paso Marconi, Cirque de los Altares and coming off at the Paso del Viento and down the Tunel valley.
Report from our guide, Jens Foell as he 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.
And we were lucky that first day, the clouds kept lifting, we had great views of the Sierra Nevada and occasionally we even got to see the sun. But crossing the little side streams feeding the acequia required some effort as days of rain meant lots of water everywhere. We later heard that we had made the right choice by coming this way though. The main path through the Poqueira gorge was flooded in many places. Even some of the bridges were fully under water that day, as we later found out from a pair of Swiss pensioners, the only people, apart from us, who had made it up to the hut in days.
Singapore is 7 hours ahead of Spain. That meant that Xavier’s inner clock hadn’t quite adapted to our time yet. He managed to fall asleep at 8pm and catch a good night’s sleep. That was just as well as he really needed all his strength the next day. Now the weather forecast was spot on: It was wet, visibility was zero, and higher up we encountered strong, wet wind.
Conditions like that can change the normally straightforward ascent of Mulhacen into a tough climb. And I doubt that anyone without local knowledge could even have found their way up with no visibility and all the paths up the Rio Mulhacen were flooded.
Once we had a little rest at the Caldera shelter at just over 3000m (which was very wet inside as the Southern winds had blown the door open), the wind picked up in earnest, pushing the wet air through our gore tex layers. So during the steepest part of the climb we got very quickly soaking wet throughout.
The snowline had retreated up to above 3200m, so we only had to wear crampons for the last half hour. But the summit itself was covered in thick ice so one should certainly never go without at this time of year. We were freezing cold and wet and couldn’t see a thing, but we made the summit in the end.
A great achievement for someone who had left the heat and humidity of Singapore only 2 days earlier!
After returning to the Hut we were joined by a third traveler on the way down. There is a beautiful, white and very fluffy mountain cat called Blanca living at the Poqueira hut. Don’t ask me where she’d met daddy, but Blanca had had kittens and two of them needed a new home. So one of them made the wet walk down the mountain rolled up inside the pocket of my soft shell jacket and now has a new home down in the Alpujarras!
A collection of some of our favorite images from last years expedition to the Southern Patagonian Icefield. Last years trip to the Southern Patagonian Icefield was of of the most memorable expeditions we have ever been on. The contrast from the previous battering that the weather elements gave us in 2010 was marked. Unfortunately we are not going [...]
A day walk in the Tabernas Deserts 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. Due to the heat we don’t normally visit the deserts [...]
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 [...]
Looking for a charity fundraising challenge? Something different? Is climbing 3 of the biggest peaks in Spain in 3 days tough enough? Try “Los Tres Picos” charity challenges in Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Mulhacen (3482m), Veleta (3394m) and Alcazaba (3371m) Los Tres Picos Charity Challenges from Spanish Highs on Vimeo.
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. Alcazaba [...]
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. [...]
Photos and video from a recent 5 day trek over the highest parts of Spain. Los Tres Miles is mainly at or above the 3000m level and covers all the main peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Trip reports from some of our past Los Tres Miles treks Further information and itineraries
The Los Tres Picos Trekking Challenge is here! Get your trekking boots ready… we are off to conquer 3 of Spain’s highest peaks in one long weekend! All for a good cause. Located in the stunning Sierra Nevada National Park, our Spanish 3 peak challenge will consist of summiting Alcazaba at 3,371m, Veleta at 3,394m [...]