News from Sierra Nevada Guides

Latest news from the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Southern Spain

Friday, 5 December 2014

Winter walking skills

As I write this in late November it would seem that winter has finally arrived. The fire is on and we’ve had two days of rain which I hope will be falling as snow on the high mountains. All bodes well for some good winter walking at last. So far this season I’ve already experienced a white out and hail storm on a Mulhacen ascent in early November followed by a superb ascent with crisp white snow under a blue sky later that month. The first ascent was miserable, the second one of those days when it was a dream to be in the mountains. For me walking in the under a clear blue sky in snow covered mountains is perhaps the best way to experience the high peaks. Many summer walkers are very wary of setting out in winter and whilst clearly it is more difficult and possibly more dangerous a few basic skills and some common sense means that it can be open to all with reasonable experience and fitness. There is a saying amongst UK walkers that there is no such thing as bad weather only bad gear. To a certain extent that’s true and certainly you need better and more gear for winter than summer walking. Good boots and waterproofs are essential as are enough layers of clothing to keep you warm. One of the main issues in the Sierra Nevada is high wind speed which due to wind chill can dramatically drop the temperatures particularly on exposed ridges and mountain sides. Whilst not as dramatic as in the UK winter days are shorter than in summer so carrying a head torch in your rucksack (along with spare batteries) is useful as are spare gloves and hats Snow and weather conditions vary a great deal from day to day so keeping an eye on the forecast is essential. Whilst on the mountain conditions change quickly, snow moved by strong winds can create areas of ’’wind slab’’ on lee slopes which are often prone to avalanche. Good route planning and navigation skills are more important than at other times of the year. A safe winter route may not be the same as one done in clear summer conditions when following a GPS. For those who want to gain more winter mountaineering experience and learn skills such as safe use of ice axes, creating snow shelters and avalanche awareness in early February together with colleagues at Sierra Nevada Guides I am running a Winter Mountaineering Skills Course. Contact me for more details or see the link from my website.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Winter Mountain Skills Course

Winter Mountain Skills Course

Sierra Nevada Guides run a series of winter skills events in Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountains each winter. The aim is to give mountain walkers the breath of skills and experience necessary to tackle “non technical” mountains. i.e. mountains that can be ascended without the need for ropes and climbing ability.

Winter Skills, Learning the Ropes!

Winter Skills, Building Snow Shelters
These courses cover the following topics:
Walking with crampons;
Walking with snowshoes;
How to use an ice axe to cut steps and to arrest you if you fall down a slope;
Navigation and route planning;
Building emergency shelters and snowholes;
The use of a rope in emergency situations;
The use of avalanche tranceivers;           
Mountain weather;            and
Snowpack analysis.

Winter Skills, Ice Axe Arrest
Because for most people, the course is a holiday we consider it important to make it fun and to have some mountain objectives. For the week long course we aim to ascend mainland Spain’s highest mountain, Mulhacen 3482m from the Refugio Poqueira. The week long course spends 3 nights in a hotel and 4 nights at the Refugio.

The course is headed by Andy Say (IML and MIC) the Chief Officer of Mountain Training England and staffed and supported by IML’s from Sierra Nevada Guides.

For 2015 we are running from 31st January to 7th February.  Cost £825, this includes airport pick ups from Malaga Airport, a week of full board accommodation and tuition. All you need to provide are your flights, personal equipment and beer money!

Sierra Nevada Guides will provide any ropes, snowshoes, helmets, tranceivers and snow shovels, though you are welcome to provide your own.

Winter Skills - Relaxation!!
You can read more about walking in the Sierra Nevada mountains in our article winter on UK Hill Walking.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Winter Skills Training in Spain’s Sierra Nevada

Winter Skills Training in Spain’s Sierra Nevada with Sierra Nevada Guides

Winter Skills Course - Mulhacen Summit, 3482m
The Sierra Nevada has the highest mountain in mainland Spain, Mulhacen 3482m. Although it is Europe’s most southerly major mountain chain, it usually has a good covering of snow from December through to March with winter mountaineering  and skiing possible from late November until early May.

This year Sierra Nevada Guides are running a week of winter mountain skills training from 31st January until 7th February. 3 nights spent in a hotel and 4 at the Refugio Poqueira at 2500m. The week is being led by Andy Say, Executive Secretary (Chief Officer) of Mountain Training England, assisted by Sierra Nevada Guides.

Winter Skills Course - Descending Steep Ground
Although weather dependent, the proposed itinerary is as follows:
Saturday 31st
Arrive at Malaga Airport
Depart for Lanjaron, optional lunch at Salobrenea (beach bar 10 Euro’s).
Arrive Hotel Alcadima, tour of Lanjaron.
Evening session: Safety and Equipment.

Sunday 1st
Depart hotel around 9am.
Puento Palo for introduction to walking with crampons, snow shoes and ice axe breaking techniques.
Back to hotel for debrief and session discussion re: ascending to Refugio Poqueira.

Winter Skills Course - Learning the ropes!
Monday 2nd
Depart hotel with gear and clothes for 4 nights, 9am.
Walk from Capileira to Refugio Poqueira.
Evening session: Navigation and Route Planning.

Tuesday 3rd
Navigation Practice,  Use of Avalanch Tranceivers,  Building Snow Shelters.
Evening session: Mountain Weather

Wednesday 4th
Putting it into Practice 1 – Rio Seco / Rio Mulhacen

Winter Skills Course - Near Mulhacen's summit
Thursday 5th
Putting it into Practice 2 – A winter ascent of Mulhacen 3482m.

Friday 6th
Walk out from Refugio to Capileira.  Hotel

Saturday 7th
Depart for Malaga Airport and Home.

The Cost £825 includes full board accommodation, airport pick up and drop off and tuition throughout the week. You will need your own ice axe and crampons (we have some spares) and winter clothing. We will provide helmets, ropes, snowshoes and tranceivers.  Oh yes, you will also need some beer money!

Full details of the course are on the Sierra Nevada Guides website.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Walking the acequias of the Alpujarra

Many of us who live in the countryside areas around the Sierra Nevada rely upon the acequia system to bring us much needed water. For those not in the know, acequias are man-made water channels which run throughout the area bringing water to lower agricultural land They are often essential, allowing us to grow fruit and veg., fill swimming pools (perhaps illegally) shower or even wash the car.

Thought to have been fully developed by the Moors when they ruled the area, the system probably reaches further back into history. It seems obvious that digging channels to route water to where it was most needed must have gone on for millennia in order to make the most of what is a precious resource. The system has spread across the whole of the region with hundreds of channels creating a massive irrigation system that feeds the whole of the area. On my hillside alone there are four major acequias channels. The Acequia Alta which ultimately feeds my cortijo, runs directly from the Rio Lanjaron at about 1,400m and traverses the hillside before it finishes above the Tablate gorge about whole 10km from its start. En route, sluices allow the water to be managed and fed down a network of smaller and smaller channels before ultimately watering my lettuce.

When walking in the region most of us will have come across acequias. Often with a path alongside, they can provide relatively easy walking routes along steep hillsides and river valleys reaching into the mountain ranges of the area. Whilst providing easy graded walks, they sometimes have short steep sections where the channel itself will be sent down rock outcrops in order to change the level at which it runs. Sometimes however they give much more dramatic walking as they pass through rather than down an outcrop. If you do come across these sections it seems incredible that the original builders had the skill to create these parts of the system. I must admit I actually seek out some of the more dramatic bits and have found many during my exploration of the area.

Some of the best are actually on the Acequia Alta where about 2km from the river the acequia clings to high cliffs above a vertical drop of about 50m. These sections are unfenced and if crossed when the water is flowing are breathtaking. Another dramatic section is found in the Rio Chillar gorge near Nerja. Here the acequia cuts through cliffs high on the east side of the valley. The ‘’path’’ is about a foot wide and runs around the cliffs as the water channel itself runs through on a narrow tunnel. Even though these sections are fenced they still need a good head for heights.
Perhaps one the most used routes is that through the Monachil Gorge. Here though, you may not know it, the channel is covered for most of its length and the acequia takes you through dramatic natural rock scenery.

Friday, 5 September 2014

The High Sierra road.

One of the more remarkable features of the Sierra Nevada range is the road that traverses the main ridge at around 3,000m. The road, an un surfaced dirt track, is now closed to all traffic, in summer however it is a clear route across the range and is popular with walkers, mountain bikers and occasionally horse riders. The history of the road dates back to 1916 when it was thought that it would be possible to create a link from Granada to the Alpujarra across the mountains. Construction began from the west side of the range and in 1932 a section of the road reached 3,100m on the side of Veleta, the peak high above Granada. This section of road, now surfaced in parts, is still on the ground and is used to service the ski tows and chair lifts on the mountainside. This particular section is also mentioned by Wikipedia as the highest surfaced road in Europe. During the civil war construction stopped and it wasn’t until the mid sixties when the link between Veleta and the south ridge of Mulhacen was opened. Once finished the route was open to all who wanted to venture across what would have been a very dramatic route which could be followed all the way from Granada to Capileira. This high sierra route was popular with drivers and remained open until the late nineties when the Parque Nacional was created and public access stopped. Remarkable as it was in its own right, as well as the road, it was also envisaged that a tunnel would be constructed below Veleta which would be used as a part of the route. Work on the tunnel was started from both sides of the St Juan ridge on the north side of the mountain. The work however was stopped by the onset of the civil war and never restarted after. The eastern entrance to the tunnel is still open and lies in the Coral de Veleta below the path known as the Verdon Superior. The ‘’tunnel’’ is about 50m deep and is often used as a bivouac site by mountaineers. When I first started walking in the Sierra Nevada I bought a copy of what was then the only English guide book to the area. That first edition of ‘’Walking in the Sierra Nevada’’ has a number of routes from the road and describes one route up Mulhacen which involved parking your car at 3,000m and walking the last 400m up the west ridge. It even describes a branch of the road that ran to a parking area on the south ridge itself which would require any intrepid “mountaineer” to walk a kilometre and ascend 75m before reaching the top!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Day walks from Granada

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

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

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.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Galayos de Dilar

The ridge line that runs along the south side of the Rio Dilar has been on my tick list for many years. I’ve often viewed it during ascents of Travenque when the ridge line takes on a rugged and mountainous appearance, hence the nick name of the ‘’Cullin of the Sierra Nevada’’. We used 4X4 to access tracks on the south side of the ridge and then ascended an open gully before heading up a narrow sandy ridge onto the main ridge itself . We reached the ridge just east of the rocky summit of Carazon de Sandia where there is a fantastic view north through a cleft in the ridge line toward Travenque. The path along the ridge itself runs some way below the crest and whilst it was sometimes a bit vague on the ground provided an easy enough line traversing the eastwards below El Castillejo to reach easier ground at Collado del Pino. To the south the short rocky ridge line of Los Gallos looked inviting and was added to the long list of routes to be done at some point in the future. From the collado it was an easy enough though hot return along sandy tracks to the car.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Laguna de Carnero

The Sierra Nevada in summer is arid and dry it’s a special event then when a new there is chance to walk to a laguna or tarn. Laguna de Carnero lies just below the 2,700m contour north of Pico de Cartujo and is not easy to find even when following a GPS route and studying what maps are available. The path we followed breaks off the west ridge of Cero de Caballo about 45 minutes and 450m of ascent after leaving the Mirador at Rincon de Niguelas. A cairn marks a feint path traversing the hillside for some way before finally petering out on the slopes of Cuerda de la Dehesa. From here we followed our noses contouring into an open bowl on the mountainside. The laguna was not obvious, though what was was a couple of large dogs which seemed to have been left to look after the cattle grazing on the lush grass of the area. After a few false starts climbing up to what appeared to be obvious sites for the laguna we finally decided to do the obvious and follow the stream which lead us directly to a small area of water perched below an open boulder field. The return route followed an acequia running from the stream across toward Fuenta Fria. The walk by the acequias is an easy enough route luckily cooled somewhat by the water running along side. A final descent by a waterfall leads to broad track leading back toward the car. A final 250m ascent in the afternoon heat got us back to the car at the mirador. A great walk across much underused mountain side and well worth the trip.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Tajos de la Virgen ridge, Sierra Nevada.

In order to avoid the summer heat in July we decided to take advantage of the cable car that runs from the Sierra Nevada ski village up to about 2,800m on the slopes of Veleta. During the summer months this is a great way to get up into the cooler air of the mountains without to much effort , though it does dent the wallet a bit. What’s new this year is that the gondola and chair lifts are now very popular with mountain bikers who can get a day pass which allows them to take advantage of a new network of down hill mountain bike routes created on the slopes of the mountain. We headed from the top of the chair lift and crossed steep scree toward the Carahuela refuge perched at 3,000m to the south of the Veleta summit. The refuge sits in a col with magnificent views east to Mulhacen and Alcazaba and marks the point where the old road from Granada to Capileira crosses into the high mountains. We headed south from the refuge onto the Tajos de La Virgen ridge. This is perhaps one of the best ridge walk in the area and at the north end even includes a short ‘scramble’ up on to its crest. Whilst easy enough this section is quite exposed and needs a steady head. Once on the ridge it is slightly easier walking until you reach a rock needle known at la Fraile (the friar). Heading south from this pinnacle the route crosses an area of large blocks which whilst solid enough are perhaps the trickiest section of the route. The ridge eventually reaches the Eliorreta refuge built into the ridge itself and once used isolating TB patients. On the slopes below the refuge is an obvious square area cleared of some of the larger rocks. As there where two park rangers at the refuge I was finally able to confirm with them that the area was cleared to create a helicopter landing zone on the mountain side. The return from the refuge follows a well constructed path which was once used to transport patients up on mule back to start their recovery. This mountain path is a delight as it passing below dramatic cliffs and crossing through an area of small lagunas. Rather than re ascend to the top of the chair lift we decided to head down to pick up the gondola back down to the village and a bar.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Hidden Secrets of the Lecrin Valley

The Lecrin valley is a particularly special place, and offers a great alternative to high mountain walking, particularly in the cooler months of the year.  Sierra Nevada Guides recently had the opportunity to to explore the village of Niguelas, together with Gonzalo and Amanda from the hotel Alcadima in Lanjaron.

The gardens of the Osorio Zayas family mansion can still be visited.  The current owner tells the tale of ownership during the civil war, when his father helped the family escape to Portugal. The highlight of the garden design are extensive box hedges, surrounding pools and fountains. It apparently takes 10 weeks to cut the hedges!

Moving on through the village you come to the main square, with the church on the site of a former mosque, albije (arab water tank and wading place), and fuente.  

Nearby is a wonderfully renovated olive mill, one of the oldest and best preserved in Andalucia.  The mill has 2 sections - the blood mill, which used mule power to turn the grinding stones, and an innovative water powered mill.  The rooms include a range of artefacts and the mill was being used as recently as the late 1930's, when at the end of the civil war, electricity was in short supply.

If you continue  walking through the village, you will find a great walkway, which follows an acequia (water channel), engineered to contour the side of the mountain.  The path takes us below some cave houses, hewn into the rock - more commonly seen in Granada and towards Almeria.  A return route can be made by turning right at the end of the walkway, to follow a path beside allotments, then crossing the river and back into the village.

A great short walk, with lots of interest, which can be combined with part of the GR7, which passes through Niguelas, to form a longer days outing.
Niguelas is the highest village in the Lecrin valley, at an altitude of 938m, it is tucked under the slopes of Caballo, one of our favourite Sierra Nevada mountains.  The village is bound one one side by the Rio Torrente, which tumbles down a dramatic limestone gorge, and offers rock climbing opportunities.  A casual visitor walking through the narrow streets is often unaware of the hidden gems of Niguelas, some of which have their iritis in its Arab past. Look out for the gardens of the Ajuntamiento or village council.  These were part of a much grander estate built in the 16th century and owned by the Osorio Zayas family, which sadly was burned down in the 1970s.  Part of the house remains and is now the offices of the council.  The inner courtyard with its wooden balconies; well worth a visit.

The gardens of the Osorio Zayas family mansion can still be visited.  The current owner tells the tale of ownership during the civil war, when his father helped the family escape to Portugal. The highlight of the garden design are extensive box hedges, surrounding pools and fountains. It apparently takes 10 weeks to cut the hedges!

Moving on through the village you come to the main square, with the church on the site of a former mosque, albije (arab water tank and wading place), and fuente.  

Nearby is a wonderfully renovated olive mill, one of the oldest and best preserved in Andalucia.  The mill has 2 sections - the blood mill, which used mule power to turn the grinding stones, and an innovative water powered mill.  The rooms include a range of artefacts and the mill was being used as recently as the late 1930's, when at the end of the civil war, electricity was in short supply.

If you continue  walking through the village, you will find a great walkway, which follows an acequia (water channel), engineered to contour the side of the mountain.  The path takes us below some cave houses, hewn into the rock - more commonly seen in Granada and towards Almeria.  A return route can be made by turning right at the end of the walkway, to follow a path beside allotments, then crossing the river and back into the village.

A great short walk, with lots of interest, which can be combined with part of the GR7, which passes through Niguelas, to form a longer days outing.

Climb Mulhacen!

Climb Mulhacen!

Looking at Mulhacen's North Face from the West Flank
Having made many ascents of Mulhacen over the past years, I can honestly say that I never grow tired of it.  Different seasons bring a range of  weather and alter conditions underfoot; different routes bring variations in gradients and technical difficulties; but most of all the enjoyment comes from the range of people that I guide and meet during the course of an ascent.

There are many different ways to climb Mulhacen and variations on each of them. These are described in our Guide to Climbing Mulhacen  which also describes the technical difficulties and the level of “mountain competence” required.

Basically (in summer) you can either climb Mulhacen as a day trip or as a 2 day trip by spending a night at The Refugio Poqueira. Our 3 favourite routes up Mulhacen are:

Day Trips

Stunning flowers on the way up!
1.     If you have a car available, book yourself onto the National Park Bus that leaves Capileira at 8.30am. On the morning of your ascent, turn up early and make sure that the National Park staff and bus driver know that you will drive up to the “barrier” at Hoya del Portillo where you leave your car and get on the bus.

The bus takes you to Alto del Chorrillo at 2700m. From here it is an easy 2 hour climb to the summit of Mulhacen by the South Ridge. From the summit make your way down the West Flank to the Caldera Refuge (taking a look over the impressive North Faces of Mulhacen and Alcazaba) then down the Rio Mulhacen to the Refugio Poqueira (drinks and toilets).

Iberian Ibex "Cabra" by the Caldera Refuge
From the Refugio Poqueira take the road, initially up hill to join the gentally descending path that leads back to Hoya del Portillo.

2.     From Hoya del Portillo 2100m, walk up through the forest to the viewpoint at Puerto Molino. Take the path that ascends up above the road and follow a broad ridge before joining a road that takes you to Alto del Chorrillo 2700m. Here the path leads up Mulhacen’s South Ridge. Allow 5 hours for the ascent.

To make a bit of a circuit, descend by the West Flank to the old road which can be followed back to Puerto Molino (or pick up the route along the ridge that you ascended above Puerto Molino). Allow 9 hours for the round trip.

2 Day trip

Flamenco on the summit!
3.     Day 1. Starting from Capileira, ascend to the Refugio Poqueira via La Cebadilla and Cortijo Las Tomas. Allow around 5 hours for the ascent. This is a beautiful way into the mountains, especially in June when the flowers are magnificent.

Day 2. Ascend the rio Mulhacen. After around half an hour cross the river to the west side and ascend past lagoons to the Caldera Refuge. From the Caldera take the path that ascends taking you to “glimpse” over the North Faces of Alcazaba and Mulhacen. Rejoin the cairned path to the summit. (3 to 4 hours).

Descend down the south ridge to near Alto del Chorrillo and follow the road for a short distance, take the “short cut” via a huge obvious cairn that cuts out a loop in the road which is re-joined to the Refugio Poqueira.

Mulhacen II (the lower summit) from Puerto Molina
Re-trace your route back to Capileira.

Although we are describing these routes, the level of difficulty varies according to conditions underfoot (e.g. snow), your level of fitness and especially the weather.  It is perfectly possible for the mountains to be shrouded in mist, even during the summer which makes navigation difficult.  High winds can also be a problem in summer.

There is lots of useful information to help you plan your trip to The Sierra Nevada on the Sierra Nevada Guides Website.

Sierra Nevada Guides are always happy to advise on conditions but if you are in any doubt, please hire a guide!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Guided Walks in The Sierra Nevada 2014

Summer Programme of Guided Walks  -  Mountains of the Sierra Nevada

Caballo from the Rio Lanjaron
Mondays and Fridays     
Mulhacen 3482m, Highest mountain in mainland Spain!
Catching the 8.30am National Park bus in Capileira to 2700m we ascend Mulhacen’s South Ridge and return via the Caldera, Rio Mulhacen and the Refugio Poqueira.  8 hours walking, 1100m of ascent, fairly strenuous.

Veleta 3396m, 2nd highest mountain in the Sierra Nevada
From Hoya de la Mora (2500m). 7 hours, mainly on good paths and not too strenuous.  

The "Star of the Snows" and Gentians at Siete Laguna's
Alcazaba 3364m, 3rd highest mountain in the Sierra Nevada via Siete Lagunas
8 hours walking, 900m of ascent, strenuous with some steep ascents. Catching the 8.30am National Park bus from Capileira.

Iberian Ibex on Mulhacen
Caballo 3011m, Europe’s most westerly 3000m Peak!
8 hours walking 1100m ascent, a strenuous day out.  Departing from Lanjaron 8am, walking 9am till 5pm.

All walks cost €40 per person.  You will need to wear boots and bring a picnic + drink.  We will be leaving from Lanjaron each day. Some “pick up’s” en route are possible.  Walks at weekends and different itineraries are possible by appointment.

2 day ascent of Mulhacen with a night spent at the Refugio Poqueira is a great mountain itinerary prices from €130 depending on group size.

To make a booking or reserve your place, call 
Jane or Mike tel: 600  692  166     (or if unavailable Martin tel:  696  354  824)              

Mulhacen from the Caldera Refuge
Jane, Mike and Martin are all qualified as International Mountain Leaders. Jane and Mike are members of The British Association of International Mountain Leaders. Martin is a member of the Spanish Guides Association (AEGM)

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Guided Walks in the Alpujarra and Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada Guides are pleased to announce their programmes of guided walks for the coming spring and summer seasons. Details are on the Sierra Nevada Guides website.

Walking in The Taha Gorge

The Spring programme of walks in the Alpujarra also includes an ascent of Trevenque 2079m which though not being in the Alpujarra is a fine "low altitude" peak sometimes described as the "Matterhorn" of the Sierra Nevada. The walk through the Taha being one of the best hill walking days you'll find anywhere...........

Walkers in the Alpujarra
Mondays - Hills and Terraces and Acequia's above Lanjaron, walking with a local landowner / guide who will explain the local landscape, farming and wildlife. 5 to 6 hours, a little strenuous.

Tuesdays - A circuit in the Taha walking a medieval path through old "arab" villages through terraces and a spectacular gorge crossing a Roman bridge. Not to mention the water fountain with naturally carbonated water! 5 to 6 hours walking, strenuous.

Wednesdays - An ascent of Trevenque 2079m, the Matterhorn of the Sierra Nevada. 5 hours walking, with one steep strenuous ascent / descent.

Thursdays - A circuit in the Rio Poqueira and the pretty white villages of Capileira, Pampaneira and Bubion.
5 to 6 hours of walking a little strenuous.

Fridays - Glimpses of Mulhacen!
A walk in the forrests above Capileira to Hoya del Portillo and Puerto Molina 2380m. 5 to 6 hours walking a little strenuous.

All of the guided walks are priced at 40 Euro's per person and are led by qualified British, International Mountain Leaders.

The Summer programme - of walks in the Sierra Nevada is aimed at tackling the higher peaks which will be a cool relief to the heat of summer.  These include ascents of Mulhacen 3482m the highest mountain in mainland Spain, Veleta 3396m,  Alcazaba 3364m and Caballo 3011, Europes most westerly 3000m peak.

Walkers at The Caldera Refuge, Sierra Nevada

The upper Rio Lanjaron near Caballo
Mondays - Mulhacen 3482m, the highest mountain in mainland Spain. Starting in Capileira and catching the National Park bus to 2700m, we ascend Mulhacen's south ridge to the summit. Our descent is down the west flank with glimpses of the impressive north faces of both Mulhacen and Alcazaba before reaching the Caldera Refuge, Rio Mulhacen and Poqueira Refuge. 8 hours of walking, 1100m of ascent, fairly strenuous.

Tuesdays - Veleta 3396m, the 2nd highest mountain in the Sierra Nevada. Starting from Hoya de la Mora at 2500m.  After the summit we visit the Carihuela Refuge and the Lagunas de la Virgin. 7 hours. A day mainly on good paths that is not too strenuous.

Wednesday - Alcazaba 3364m, the 3rd highest mountain in the Sierra Nevada and most remote of the big three. Starting in Capileira and catching the National Park bus to 2700m, we ascend Mulhacen's south ridge before traversing around to Siete Lagunas. We then make a circuit on Alcazaba descending through Siete Lagunas with its wonderful flowers before traversing back around Mulhacen to the start.  7 to 8 hours of walking with 900m of ascent, some steep and off path.  This is a strenuous day.

Thursdays - Caballo 3011m, Europe's most westerly 3000m peak. Not to be missed or underestimated. A route taking in not only the summit of this fine peak but our descent takes us to the Caballo Refuge and into the upper Rio Lanjaron. 8 hours of walking, 1100m of ascent, a strenuous day out.

Fridays - Mulhacen 3482m, a repeat on Monday's itinerary.

Like the Spring itinerary, all of the guided walks are priced at 40 Euro's per person and are led by qualified British, International Mountain Leaders.

Further details and how to book these walks are on the Sierra Nevada Guides website:
Spring Programme of walks in the Alpujarra

Summer programme of walks in the Sierra Nevada