News from Sierra Nevada Guides

Latest news from the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Southern Spain

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Via Ferrata route , El Torcal

For those who want to a bit more excitement from their day out there are a number of via ferrata routes in Andalucia, perhaps one of the best is just N of El Torcal Parque Nacional

Thursday, 15 March 2012

El Chorro cables in a dangerous condition

El Camino del Rey, El Chorro
Local activist, Antonio Lozano has posted this picture on his facebook page, taken on 10th March. Although some locals have been replacing cables on an "as and when basis" there is still no news from the local authorities in Andalucia who have allocated monies in their budget to re-equip El Camino del Rey. For the moment, don't rely on the fixed equipment and ensure that you are properly roped up and belayed.

Please don't treat this fantastic route as an equipped via feratta and ensure you have the necessary rope skills to be safe.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Caballo, Europe's most westerly 3000m peak

Cerro del Caballo 3015m
The Cerro del Caballo is Europe’s most westerly 3000m peak and is one of the finest excursions in the Sierra Nevada suitable for hill walkers in summer conditions. Taking the dirt track road from Lanjaron’s Spa hotel it is possible to drive to the road head at 2100m though the road is sometimes bad and you may wish to park lower.  A path leads from the road head past the old Ventura Refuge and eventually onto the south ridge of Caballo. 3 to 4 hours in ascent.

If the winter snows have melted a good return trip is to descend down to the Caballo Refuge, head NE down to join the rio Lanjaron which is followed to the acequia.  Follow the acequia  back towards Ventura.

Sierra Nevada Mountain Guides are always happy to advise on conditions and route choice.  We can provide you with a Qualified International Mountain Leader. Look us up at

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Scrambles in the Sierra de Huetor

On a recent trip to the Sierra de Huetor Martin from The Life of Riley discovered a couple more scrambling routes making use of two of the many limestone ridges in the area.

The Sierra de Huetor is an area of steep limestone escarpments where the rock is far more solid than the Sierra nevada range to the south making it an ideal area for scrambles.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Veleta 3394m, second highest in Spain’s Sierra Nevada Mountains

Climb Veleta 3394m
Veleta is the second highest mountain in Spain’s Sierra Nevada. We have heard people talking negatively about ascending Veleta because of its proximity to the ski resort and the fact that a road and one of the ski lifts run quite close to the summit.  Actually once you know the mountain it is easy to pick a route from Hoya de la Mora 2500m near the ski resort that keeps you out of sight of the resort and ski lifts.  You can even find some reasonable scrambling if you choose for added interest.

We usually start with coffee at the University Albergue  at Hoya de la Mora before making the ascent. From the summit it is good to continue by descending to the Carihuela Refuge at 3200m before following the old road back to your line of ascent.

For many years Veleta was thought to be the highest mountain in the Sierra Nevada and near the start of this walk is the shrine to “The Virgin of the Snows” seen in this picture framing Veleta itself.

It is a civilized ascent from Hoya de la Mora, not only coffee to start but the chance of a beer or ice cream to finish! Sierra Nevada Mountain Guides are always happy to advise on route planning or provide you with a guide. Visit our website at:

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Mulhacen from the Poqueira Refuge

Mulhacen from the Poqueira Refuge

Although it is possible to climb Mulhacen in a day, especially in summer by taking the National Park bus to 2700m, a more leisurely approach is to spend one or two nights in the Poqueira Refuge.  This allows for an ascent via the Rio Mulhacen, passing the Caldera (bivouac) Refuge 3100m, before climbing Mulhacen’s West Ridge and descending the South Ridge. A splendid excursion, summer or winter.

The Poqueira Refuge (2500m) has a restaurant / bar service. There are hot showers available and Accommodation is on “alpine” bunks. The food is mainly good (occasionally not so) but plentiful and wholesome. Their website is good and has a webcam pointing towards Veleta 3394m, second highest peak in the Sierra Nevada.

Sierra Nevada Mountain Guides are always happy to answer your questions about the area and advise on route choice. We are available to guide you up Mulhacen and other mountains in Spain’s Sierra Nevada Mountains and Alpujarra.

Want to become a Mountain Leader?

Want to become a Mountain Leader?
Sierra Nevada Mountain Guides are the only company of qualified British Guides (International Mountain Leaders) operating in Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Not only are we committed to maintaining high standards by continually updating our own skills, we also provide mountain skills training.

Last summer we hosted a placement for two mountain leader trainees, Rik and Dominic who assisted us whilst gaining valuable experience and training in the high mountains.  If you are contemplating getting qualified to lead in the mountains, you might like to read this article.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Climb Alcazaba 3371m

Alcazaba 3371m

Climbing Alcazaba (meaning fortress or citadel) the third highest mountain in Spain’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is also the most remote of the big three and therefore the least often climbed. We believe that it is a much better excursion than either Mulhacen or Veleta, requiring determination if you want to succeed.

This summer Sierra Nevada Mountain Guides will be organizing walking itineraries to traverse Alcazaba and will be available to guide individuals or groups.  The walking starting at from a height of 2700m takes around 8 hours for the complete trip ascending via the east ridge and descending via Siete Lagunas.

Pick up’s can be arranged in Lanjaron, Orgiva, Pampaneira  and Capileira. This itinerary is only available from mid June until the end of September.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Assessing People in the Mountains

Jane and Mike from Sierra Nevada Mountain guides attended a two day "Assessing People in the Mountains" course at Plas y Brenin (The National Mountain Centre) last week.  The course is aimed to help qualified mountain professionals who need to assess skills and competence of clients.

Sierra Nevada Mountain Guides run mountain skills courses in Spain's Sierra Nevada mountains and Alpujarra.  Mountain Walking, Trekking, Navigation, Scrambling and RocK Climbing.

Sierra Nevada Mountain Guides are the only qualified company of British guides working in Spain's Sierra Nevada Mountains.