News from Sierra Nevada Guides

Latest news from the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Southern Spain

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

A Dodgy Compass!

A Dodgy Compass!
Sierra Nevada Guides run skills courses in Spain's Sierra Nevada teaching how to operate safely in the mountains.  This includes navigation where we believe the ability to use a map and compass vital as a foundation. Recently we had a student turn up with an imitation of a Silva compass that instead of pointing north actually pointed south!

The red needle always points north!
If you want to learn the skills essential for safe mountaineering book onto one of our scheduled courses or contact us as we often provide 1:1 tuition. 

Sierra Nevada Guides are a company of qualified International Mountain Leaders operating in Spain’s Sierra Nevada Mountains and Alpujarra.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Scrambling, Kinder Scout

Back in The U.K. for a few weeks and thought we'd take the opportunity to do some new scrambles in The Peak District.

Ascended Kinder via the scramble up Crowden Brook then crossed to the "western edge" and descended to Red Brook which we then scrambled.

Sierra Nevada Guides provide scrambling and walking holidays in Spain's Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Scrambling in The Sierra Nevada

Scrambles in The Sierra Nevada
The Sierra Nevada contains Mulhacen 3482m which is the highest mountain in mainland Spain. For many years now, British climbers have been visiting Spain for it’s great rock climbing and to get away from the damp U.K. in search of warm dry rock. What is generally not considered is the possibilities for scrambling and mountaineering in the (mainly) dry sunny Sierra Nevada. For the past 10 years, Sierra Nevada Guides have been developing a range of scrambles and challenging walks to satisfy anyone interested in getting away from Britain’s cold damp mountains.

The video clip here shows some of the endless possibilities:

Summer in The Sierra Nevada

Summer in the Sierra Nevada with Sierra Nevada Guides
July is a good time to visit the high peaks and “borreguiles” (wet areas, tarns and springs) of the high Sierra Nevada. As the snow retreats the wildlife blossoms, insects, birds and especially the flowers are all in abundance. The temperature high up rarely exceeds 20 degrees making this a comfortable place for walking and scrambling though not so cold as to need layers of clothing.

Though the Eagles and Vultures are at first glance the most observable birds to watch, Wheatears, Redstarts, Alpine Accentors and Swifts are no less impressive.

The borreguiles are carpeted with Gentians, “Estrella de las Nieves” (a unique woolly plantain), Butterwort’s and many other endemic species. These areas are truly impressive though start to dry out by the end of August.

One of the most noticeable features walking in the high Sierra Nevada are the numbers of beetles. Everywhere underfoot  are a large variety of black beetles (tread carefully).  The fact they are nearly all black is no coincidence having evolved to absorb the summer sun.

Common on the summit of Mulhacen 3482m is the Tortoiseshell butterfly. Though not an uncommon butterfly it’s proliferation at altitude is amazing and may account for the abundance of Swifts and their amazing aerobatics!

Whatever time you visit the Sierra Nevada, there is always wildlife around to observe. Our team of International Mountain Leaders are trained in environmental interpretation and can advise you on the best things to see at any time. We are always happy to advise you or to provide you with a guide.