Celebrate your birthday in the high Sierra Nevada mountains!
Last week we tried it out in the Sierra Nevada mountains of southern Spain. Our friend David Thomas wanted a 50th birthday party with a difference so we headed up to a high trailhead above the town of Güéjar Sierra, just east of Granada.
Wading through thigh deep powder snow in the Sierra Nevada
All our snowshoes were out with another group having, as it turned out, a fantastic snowshoeing day. We didn't think we needed them. The overnight snow changed all that. For our 2 day winter alpine skills mountaineering course we were left with having to cope with the mental effort required to wade through knee and at times thigh deep snow.
Lounging at the Altar of the Patagonian Mountain Gods
The Cirque is to be found on the western side of the Cerro Torre massif, at the eastern edge of the great southern icecap which stretches 300 miles long and 50 miles wide between Argentina and Chile. In fact this is the largest piece of ice outside the polar regions.
My Favourite Walk in Las Alpujarras
I parked the car at the Hoya del Magalite, a group of cortijos just off the GR413, approximately 10km north of Almegíjar . From here we took the track heading west along the north side of the Sierra de Mecina. Looking down and across to the other side of the Río Trevélez, you can just pick out the remains of an old mosque built into the rock, now used as animal shelters.
A few days rock scrambling in Andalucia
This is their report.
Ski touring & mountaineering in an icy cold, bitter wind!
Three days later we had two guests from Ireland, Richard and John, who’d come for some ski touring. After seeing the pictures of the Raspones they decided to give the ridge a go as well. So we made quite an ambitious plan: ascend Pico Veleta (3394m) from the North on skis, cross over and descend to the Poqueira hut.
Winter mountaineering on Los Raspones, Sierra Nevada
This route is not done often, even by the spanish (we know of only 1 other british party that have done the full ridge traverse in winter), so decided it was high time to go and "take a look".
Still enjoying climbing Mulhacén in a whiteout!
The weather forecast was looking pretty bad. Rain, rain, and yet more rain for the whole week. But Xavier Wang had come all the way from Singapore to climb Mulhacen, at 3482m the highest peak in mainland Spain. So we set off regardless, knowing we were in for a battle with the elements, and walked up to the Refugio Poqueira along the Acequia Alta.
New scrambling in the Sierra de Huetor N of Granada
Approach is via Cogollas Vega just off the A92 north of Granada. We have climbed and scrambled on the Peñon de la Mata for some time now and it is our favourite rocky mountain. The summit slopes provide superb situations for confident and capable scramblers.
A walk up the peak of La Concha in the Sierra Blanca
Just half an hours drive from the busy Costa del Sol and you are in a different world where some great walking and hiking opportunities exist far above the sparkling waters of the mediterranean. Today we were climbing up La Concha (1243m), which is really an interesting series of lumps on a long rocky ridge far above the sea.
How to gain quick access to northern Sierra Nevada mountains
We recently revisited this old favorite as part of a search to see the rare Lammergeier (Bearded Vulture). It is a simple, pleasant walk along a gentle ridgeline with superlative views towards the northern faces of the Sierra Nevada including the big 3, namely Mulhacén, Veleta and Alcazaba.
Sizzling under a hot Tabernas desert sun!
Sometimes you can get caught out by the weather, normally bad weather. But this time the weather was good, too good! Our day trek in the Tabernas desert badlands of Almeria turned into a very hot walk indeed.