The Sierra Nevada are an unforgettable destination to explore, but it can be a bit of a headache to work out how to get here. In the article below we will explore the different options available to you whether you are interested in travelling by air, rail or road. We will also provide you with some top tips to help you save money and time when you start organising your trip to the magical Sierra Nevada.
We have always been Weather "Geeks". Our semi-professional Davis Vantage Pro 2 Weather Station has served us well since 2008 and is still going strong. But technology always moves forward and the chance to acquire one of the new Smart Weather Stations from Weatherflow sounded too good to miss.
Now, Nick Cranham is a pretty tough guy and is used to difficult and arduous challenges. But on 21st April 2018 he will attempt possibly his greatest challenge yet. A walk from the Mediterranean Sea at La Rábita northwards to Albuñol, over the Sierra de Contraviesa to Lobras and Juviles in La Alpujarra, before climbing up to the summit of Mulhacén, at 3482m the highest point in mainland Spain via Siete Lagunas.
Learn basic use of ice axe and crampons, simple winter belaying and alpine skills to give you the necessary confidence to go off and enjoy the winters mountains.
Sierra Nevada infographic on the high peaks which includes the top ten ascents by height.
With the onset of June winter relents, snow melts and the high Sierra Nevada mountains cease to be the domain of winter mountaineers. Now trekkers and scramblers can escape the heat of the baking Granada plains and costas and head for the fresh cool air of the mountains!
We took a pair of Haglofs Roc Icon GTs, some Five Ten Guide Tennies, a couple of pairs of Scarpa Crux's and some La Sportiva Ganda Guides and put them to the test. But which comes out as the best all round Scrambling and Approach boot in our review?
After the tragic events of the last few days though I thought it may be wise to put out some helpful safety notes for those intending to head for the higher Sierra Nevada mountains this winter. Most of this is common sense but it may act as a useful checklist before your trip.
The Alpujarra is one of Spain’s most spectacular and unspoilt walking areas, with hikes in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and rambles through the meadows, orchards and white villages.
Our guides here in the Sierra Nevada are always looking to increase experience and expertise. Thanks to Spanish Highs guide Jens Foell for this report about his recent fulfilling of a dream, that of climbing the incredible "Half Dome" in Yosemite National Park
This post has been brought on by necessity. An ageing body means less ability to cope with the increasing rigours of the trail. Therefore reducing rucksack weight for multi day backpacking trips seems a logical step to take. It isn't as if I have neglected weight over the past 40 years of my mountain life. I haven't. It's just bourne out of a need to take that extra step to save every gram and make my continued mountain existence that much more enjoyable.
Vice President of the charity Acompalia, Chris Stewart, alongside Contraviesa farmer, Nick Cranham and London based Physiotherapist, Glenn, will undertake the mammoth task of walking the Sierra Nevada "Integral de los Tres Miles" in June to raise much needed funding. Spanish Highs are supporting this project and they ask you to sponsor the charity generously.
In August 2011 Refugio Caballo at 3000m in the Sierra Nevada. The aim was to clean the refuge and repair the door and window
Foxes are becoming more and more of a nuisance here. Increased incidence of tents being ripped and food being stolen. For background to some of the problems read our previous reports over the past few years
What could we show them in just 2.5 days in the Sierra Nevada though? We didn't want to show them the usual busy slopes of Mulhacén or Veleta. Wild and remote, with plenty of variety seemed to fit the bill. We decided and completed the following itinerary.
Thanks to Ian Tupman (and Meg of course!) for the following report detailing their experiences._
Sports professionals have long used the Sierra Nevada in Spain for altitude training. However it is also used by trekkers and mountaineers training for high mountain challenges such as Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc or Aconcagua.
In April 2013, Richard Hartley and Kiersten Rowland of Spanish Highs Mountain Guides are to join a team led by British snowboarder/mountaineer Julia Pickering attempting to become the first people to climb and snowboard down the largest active volcano in the Northern Hemisphere, Kamchatka in far eastern Russia. The team's main sponsor is outdoor clothing and equipment manufacturer, Berghaus.
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.
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.
These pests are cyclical and every three or four years, reach a maximum. Processionary caterpillars eat the leaves of the pines. These parasites leave the pine caterpillars just before end it. Although affected trees may seem dry, they are in fact dying.
To all you mountaingoers out there who read this. A plea from the heart! When you stay at any unguarded refuge in the Sierra Nevada would you kindly:
There were ups and downs, of course (it is the mountains after all.....ha ha!), but experiences in the Sierra Nevada and Patagonia have shown me some insights I thought I'd share with you.
Poem by Michelle Wakeley about her time spent with us on our recent Southern Patagonian Icecap Expedition
This article relates my own personal experience on the Patagonian Icecap with this painful condition. I am not a medical expert and haven't read up on all the facts, so if you want the medical stuff then do a Google Search. I relate below only my own experience.
Ian Tupman describes a challenging walk from the coast at Salobrena to the lofty summit of Mulhacen, highest summit in Spain
This beautiful butterfly rests on the branches at dusk and makes for a perfect photo opportunity against the fading light.
From the west of the Sierras and the Vega of Granada Tajos Altos is just a small lump on a long, seemingly flat ridge. From the north and south it is prominent, but often mistaken for Veleta, the Pico del Cartujo or some other more well known peak. But it is in fact a superb mountain in it's own right.
It lies between the jagged ridge of the Raspones del Rio Seco and Mulhacen. Useful as a base for mountaineering, trekking or when the Caldera hut is full.
There are only certain areas that will receive a signal. We tend to use and rely on sat phones or Spot Messengers for communication during our 5 day trek covering the main ridge of the Sierra Nevada.
In March 1867 he read his report before the Alpine Club and its magazine, The Alpine Journal, was then published in full. This included a basic map, which just marked the most important peaks, rivers and major towns of La Alpujarra.
A 32km hour wind at 0 degrees centigrade gives an effective -12.5 degree "feel" to the temperature. The chart below will help in ascertaining the dangers.
The town of El Chalten comes as a pleasant surprise. It is tucked away between some rock walls north west of the magnificent Lago Viedma in the Santa Cruz province of Argentina. It has a clean and frontier feel to it and the people are genuinely warm, friendly and helpful.