Words and photos courtesy of Jennifer Stott
A great scrambling route for the experienced mountaineer.
This is good news though for those who prefer to forgo the crowded mountain peaks and trails and disappear into their own world. A world of quiet, peace, tranquillity and superb natural scenery few others will get to see. One such day, we were privileged to enjoy yesterday.
Access to the face is most easily made from the Collado de Ciervo, near the Laguna de la Cadera and west of Mulhacén summit. A zig zag path leads down into the northern corrie of Mulhacén where sits the delightful Laguna de la Mosca. Just a short distance north of the lake a faint track trends right and then gains a sloping shelf the crosses the face of Alcazaba. This is called the Grand Vasar de Alcazaba.
Overnight in incredibly wild and natural mountain lakeside locations. Ideal trek for hikers and trekkers wanting to "get away from it all"!
The majority of the classic routes on these faces are of AD standard. Sure there are a few harder climbs and also some for the climber who searches for routes of PD standard. As you can see from this collection of photos there is plenty to go at! In particular the north faces of Alcazaba, Mulhacen, Puntal de la Caldera, Juego de Bolos, Cerro de los Machos and Veleta provide good sport.
Spanish Highs' self stated mission to "Inspire The Adventure" means that we are really at our happiest when we are taking clients to new areas and trekking different routes, far away from the masses on the summer trade routes. Whilst others prefer to slog away on the regular routes accompanied by fellow bus passengers we prefer the solitude of the "real" Sierra Nevada. To achieve this often means "going against the grain".
‘Inspiring The Adventure’, proclaims Spanish Highs’ blog. And it was reading some of their recent trip reports and looking at photographs on their website that inspired MY latest adventure: a traverse of Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountains taking in as many as possible of the 3,000+ metre peaks (Tres Miles) that I hadn’t already climbed.
As Alcazaba (the "Fortress") is nearly surrounded by cliffs most trekkers take the simplest route from the South East. For those with a spirit of adventure and a head for heights there are better routes. We revisited a route last week that makes a quality day's trekking to the summit of this fine peak.
From Granada, head east on good roads and pass by the town of Pinos Genil and on through the town of Guejar Sierra. On the eastern outskirts of Guejar Sierra take a left turn signposted "Camping Cortijo Balderas". This road is concreted but narrow. After 2km take a rough road right (marked with a No Entry sign!). Take this and drop down to a crossing of the Rio Maitena. Follow this concreted road as it winds upwards.
Rough and narrow tracks cross steep ground but provide rapid ways between the north side of Alcazaba and Laguna de la Mosca at the foot of Mulhacens north face. This saves the long detour east round the eastern buttresses of Alcazaba and Mulhacen via Siete Lagunas.
The route up the south ridge of Mulhacen from the Hoya del Portillo may not be the most exciting in the world but at least it gives a high start point. An early start meant the 8 of us avoided the searing heat of the lower Alpujarras and we had the cool of the morning for the ascent.
The following trip report was sent in by Volker Krenz after a 4 day trek in the Sierra Nevada covering "Los Tres Miles". This is a wonderful high altitude trek covering the major 3000m peaks in the range. We supported him in his self guided trek by dropping him off at high trailheads above Lanjaron.
The following detailed report is by Chiz Dakin of Peak Images. She joined us on one of our 5 day Los Tres Miles, 3000m peak traverses, in the Sierra Nevada. It provided interesting reading and a good summary of this adventurous trek for those interested in following in her footsteps.