Monday, 25 August 2014
As well as offering a great city break Granada is also ideally based for walking in the Sierra Nevada range. The mountains lie just east of the city and are designated as a Parque Nacional because of their important habitat and landscapes. Walking in the Granada area great at any time of the year and couldn’t be easier to access from the city. Day walks can be arranged to suit a wide range of abilities and interests from rugged 3,000m peaks to low level cool gorge walks. Examples of the walks include Monachil Gorge , a stunning medium grade walk in the magnificent rock gorge of the Rio Monachil. The path clings to the rock face of the gorge, passes through natural rock tunnels and crosses the river on a number of suspension bridges . This is a great adventure for families groups or individuals and can be undertaken at any time of the year. Verada de Estrella. Following the route of an old mine access track we walk into the north side of the Sierra Nevada range. The high mountain scenery of this route is breathtaking with views of the north faces of the three main peaks of the range , Alcazaba , Veleta and Mulhacen. Veleta. High above Granada at 3396m this is the second highest peak in the range yet can be scaled via a non technical walking route from Hoya de Mora just 45 minutes drive from Granada centre. This is a challenging days walking achievable by those with a reasonable level of fitnes. For more information see
Friday, 22 August 2014
The Three Peaks
A lot is made in the U.K. of the “3 Peaks” though this means different things to different people. There is the Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge whereby you have to complete a round of Ingleborough, Great Whernside and Pen-y-Gent in under 12 hours and the National 3 Peaks Challenge which is an ascent of Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis, usually in under 24 hours.
|Mulhacen's West Ridge seen from The Caldera Refuge|
However here in the Sierra Nevada we have our own 3 Peaks Challenge, an ascent of Mulhacen 3482m, Veleta 3394 and Alcazaba 3371m. Some seriously high mountains compared to their U.K. counterparts.
|Summit of Mulhacen 3482m|
Mulhacen3482m the highest mountain in mainland Spain is named after Mully Hassan the penultimate Arab ruler of this part of Spain.
Veleta 3394m is the 2nd highest mountain in the Sierra Nevada and 3rd highest in mainland Spain (after Aneto 3404m in the Pyrenees). Veleta translates from the old Arabic as The Weather Vane and is clearly seen from The Alhambra Palace in Granada where the Arab Kings resided.
Alcazaba 3371m is the 3rd highest in the Sierra and joint 4th / 5th in height in mainland Spain (Equal with Pico Posets also 3371m). Alcazaba translates as The fortress, aptly named as its most commonly viewed from the North revealing its awesome North Face.
Although it is possible to complete all 3 peaks in a day as a challenge, this would really spoil the enjoyment of a truly great mountain walking experience. We would highly recommend allowing for 3 days in the mountains spending 2 nights at the Refugio Poqueira as the best option for
completing the Sierra Nevada 3 Peaks.
|Near the Summit of Veleta 3394m|
Day 1, Alcazaba and to the Refugio Poqueira.
Day 2 Veleta from the Refugio Poqueira.
Day 3 A circuit on Mulhacen returning to the valley.
Sierra Nevada Guides would be happy to facilitate your 3 peaks expedition or include it as part of a weeks walking taking in some of the other great mountains the Sierra Nevada has to offer.
Sierra Nevada Guides are the only qualified British Guides (International Mountain Leaders) living and working in the Sierra Nevada. Details about the guides and their qualifications are listed on the Sierra Nevada Guides website.
|Alcazaba 3371m - A very impressive mountain!|
If you are planning a visit to the Sierra Nevada, there is much useful information on the Sierra Nevada Guides website and we are always happy to advise on routes and conditions.
Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Autumn Walking in the Alpujarra and Sierra Nevada
We have spent the summer months leading walks in the high mountains where the air is cooler. With the end of August looming the temperatures in Southern Spain start to fall and walking in the Alpujarra will become a comfortable experience again. We are looking forward to getting re-acquainted with some “old favourites” classic walks in the Alpujarra, walks we have done many times before so good that you never tire of them!
|Dramatic gorge in The TaHa|
One such route is a circuit in The TaHa de Pitres following medieval packhorse trails and improbable looking paths through cliffs and rocky buttresses, crossing a Roman bridge and passing through impressive scenery more reminiscent of The Inca Trail than Southern Spain.
Walking in the high mountains is still possible too. Although any rain may fall as snow it usually does not lie for long until November when it starts to build up. (the ski resort usually opens the last weekend of November). Last year, the National Park bus from Capileira up to 2700m for an ascent of Mulhacen continued until the end of October. However caution
|Walking The TaHa in Autumn|
should be exercised on the high routes and always check the weather forecast and go equipped with the right clothing.
Another Old favourite, the mountain Trevenque 2080m which is too low and therefore hot becomes an option again in the autumn. Trevenque is a shapely mountain, sometimes described as the Matterhorn of the Sierra Nevada and has a short scramble to reach the summit. Well worth the effort, especially if you make a circuit.
There are too many good walks to list in a blog but there are detais of 10 walks that can be downloaded from the Sierra Nevada Guides website.
At Sierra Nevada Guides we are keen to ensure that your visit to the area is as safe and enjoyable as possible. We are happy to answer your questions whether you hire a guide from us or not!
Mike, Jane and Martin from Sierra Nevada Guides are all qualified International Mountain Leaders. Detais about us and of our qualifications are listed on the Sierra Nevada Guides website.