News from Sierra Nevada Guides

Latest news from the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Southern Spain

Monday, 18 November 2013

Sierra de Lujar.

Whilst reaching a height of 1,850m the Sierra de Lujar range to the south of the Sierra Nevada is generally overlooked by walkers visiting the area. Perhaps the reason is that with its whale bacl appearance and lack of rocky peaks it just does not appeal. There are routes here however with one of the better ascents forming a hard day out with about 1,200m of ascent. The route starts in the Baranco de Castilejo a steep sided valley due south of Orgiva. The baranco , which holds some single pitch climbs on outcrops , provides an easy route in as there is a mine access track running up it from the main road. The track splits at about 700m with the main branch doubling back to climb the western side of the valley to the mine workings above. Our route climbs the eastern side on a less well used track before reaching a fire break/track which runs south along the crest of a narrow ridge that climbs steeply upward. The track provides a clear route until about 1.000m where it reverts to a path running up the middle of the fire break which still follows the crest. The route now steepens and at 1250m begins to develop a more rocky nature with a number of limestone outcrops along the crest. The first three are by passed to the right (west) though provide short scrambles. After a further 300m of ascent the ridge fades into the main bulk of the mountain. From here you will see the masts at the summit, head due south to and these. Just before the first of the masts you will reach a narrow tarmac road, follow this past the first of the masts to bear right just before the second group to follow a stone path bearing right before the third group of masts. The path now narrows and heads west to cross the head of the Baranco de Castilejo and reaches a minor peak. Now narrower the path crosses open plateau to reach the edge of a one forest. From here head right (north) through the forest. As you emerge cross a distinctive limestone ridge to enter a second narrower band of older pine trees. Leave the second band of trees and head to a clear track still heading north across the hillside. As the track turns west continue north across virgin hillside to reach the head of a broad firebreak which creates the start of the descent route. Cross a number of narrow tracks until at about 1,250m you reach a well used track. There are some large caves off to the left (west).This now heads east to pass the ruins of some mine buildings before zigzagging down the mountainside back to the start of the route.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Winter Skills Course – Sierra Nevada, Spain including a winter ascent of Mulhacen.

Winter Skills Course – Sierra Nevada, Spain.

Learn the skills to walk confidently in the mountains in winter. 
A week of winter mountaineering skills training, in Spain’s beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains. Including a winter ascent of Mulhacen 3482m mainland Spain’s highest mountain.

1st February to 8th February, 2014.

The course is being run / directed by Andy Say (MIC, IML) of Mountain Training England and supported by IML’s from Sierra Nevada Guides (Jane Livingstone, Martin Riley and Michael Hunt).

The course will be hotel based in Lanjaron with 2 nights spent in the mountains, Poqueira Refuge and snow shelter. Cost, excluding flights, £795. This includes meeting you at Malaga Airport, full board accommodation and returning you to Malaga at the end of the week.

Course Outline:
Sat 1st Feb.              Arrive. 
Introductions, course outline and equipment brief.

Sun 2nd Feb.            Moving on snow and ice.
An introduction to ice axe and crampon use.  Simple secure movement; step cutting, self-belay, self-arrest.  Movement on snow with crampons and snowshoes.

Mon 3rd Feb.           Safer travel in the winter environment.
Snowpack formation and analysis in the field.  Route planning from weather/snowfall history. Simple observation and tell-tale signs.  Test pits.  Following a safer route.
Tue 4th Feb.            Looking after others. 
The use of the rope in a winter environment.  
Snow and ice belays.  Retreat using the rope.

Wed 5th Feb.            Journey up the hill.
Putting it all in to practice.  Night in Poquera Refuge.

Thur 6th Feb.            Emergency procedures.
Snow shelters, bivouac skills.  Night out on the hill, either Caldera Bivi Refuge or in snow shelters.

Fri 7th Feb.              Ascent of Mulcahen 3482m (highest mountain in mainland Spain) and descent to valley.

Sat 8th Feb.              End of course and depart.

Further details can be obtained from either Mike or Jane at Sierra Nevada Guides.              Email:

                        Tel:            01433  639  368