We left our cars at the Hoya de la Mora at 2500m above the Sierra Nevada ski town. From there a bus takes you up to 3100m at Los Posiciones which saves the legs a couple of hours of uphill effort. At Los Posiciones, watch the hordes making their way towards Veleta and then turn opposite! Head north along the upper part of the Tajos del Campanario ridge. All along the journey north the cliff of the Tajos del Campanario have been looming on the right. Ahead, some 50m is a metal cross/sign of some sort. Turn right here and descend 10 metres. The start of the path is marked by a large cairn. This is the start of the Veredon Inferior
Leave the summer crowds heading up Mulhacen behind and instead have a go at the Vasar de Mulhacen which takes an improbable looking horizontal shelf across the seemingly vertical north face of Mulhacén to reach the peak of Puntal de Siete Lagunas. An adrenaline-filled but very straightforward walk to a superb summit with only one short section where the hands need to leave the pockets.
Our plan was to spend 6 days in total trekking the long distance Sulayr GR240 from las Rozas near Abrucena in the east, heading west to the Refugio Postero Alto near Jerez de Marquesado. Then we would "nip" over the Puerto de Trevelez and finish up in the village of Trevelez in the Alpujarras
Article written by Richard Hartley, founder of Spanish Highs, Sierra Nevada and author of the Cicerone Guidebook Walking and Trekking in the Sierra Nevada
We were a group of 3. Myself (Richard Hartley of Spanish Highs with two often returning clients, Laurie and Dexter. They are both experienced mountaineers but, like myself, are getting on in years. Laurie the eldest is nearing 70 but bad health has meant his recent mountain trips have had to be curtailed somewhat. We might be "old foggies" but we still always have ambitious plans. This 3 day trip was planned to have a base camp at Siete Lagunas followed by ascents of Alcazaba and Mulhacén.
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.
Words and photos courtesy of Jennifer Stott
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!
Many thanks to guest writer Ian Tupman for this report and photos from a visit to a relatively unknown but wild and remote area of the Sierra Nevada
Thanks to guest writer, Ian Tupman for this report of his day walk in the Sierra Nevada peaks encircling the Rio Chico above Lanjarón, including Cerrillo Redondo and Tajos de los Machos.
Here's a few tips sent in by John Halstead who's group attempted the "Tres Miles Integral" last summer. _
We recently supported 201 Field Hospital on "Sierra Nevada Tres Miles Integral". 7 days of high 3000m mountains, superb mountain lakes and stunning landscapes.
Although I had walked down the Rio Trevelez from the high peaks of the Sierra Nevada on numerous occasions, I had never visited the Refugio Horcajo, which sits on a little plateau next to a small river at approx 2220m.
Overnight in incredibly wild and natural mountain lakeside locations. Ideal trek for hikers and trekkers wanting to "get away from it all"!
A good walk in wild and dramatic scenery where few others will be seen! Also includes the park rules and regulations regarding a wild camp.
Here is a report sent in about one such self guided trek.
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".
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 the Sierra Nevada mountains of southern Spain we can expect some bad weather in November. This is normally the month when the major snows fall. We had a three day crossing of the mountain range booked for four clients in the last week of the month. Up to then we had "endured" endless days of blue skies and sunshine.
The trek started as normal from the south near the Ventura trailhead above the spa town of Lanjarón in the Alpujarras (4WD required). First night was camp was by the superbly situated Refugio de Caballo alongside the laguna of the same name. A spectacular sunrise was followed by a short ascent to the summit of the Cerro de Caballo (3009m), the Sierra Nevada's most southerly 3000m peak.
After an inauspicious start due to bad weather, leaky refuges and foxes the remainder of the trip was completed in glorious mountain weather.
‘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.
The start of the track is on the northern flanks of Veleta above the Sierra Nevada ski station, at "Los Posiciones del Veleta". This can be reached by short walk from the Veleta Chairlift (July and August only) or by autobus from Hoya de la Mora (Albergue de Granada). Of course you could always walk, in which case the ascent from Hoya de la Mora to Posiciones will take 1.5 hours and rise you up 600m to 3100m.
We had a request for a Group Walking Holiday itinerary. In Spain? In summer? This took some working out as the only place to enjoy the hiking would be in the cool and pleasant air above 2000m. This in turn meant that the Sierra Nevada in Andalucia would be the only realistic location, with over 20 peaks topping 3000m in height.
William and Jolanda wanted to escape civilisation, people, phones and busy jobs. With plenty of snow still remaining an 8 day trek in the Sierra Nevada seemed as good a way as any. To avoid the busy (relatively speaking) areas around Mulhacén and Veleta we split the 8 days into 2 treks of 4 days each.
An overnight camp on the summit of Spain's highest mountain, Mulhacén (3482m), in which the most spectacular sunset and sunrise were observed.
Thanks to Ian Tupman (and Meg of course!) for the following report detailing their experiences._
Although this is southern Spain the Sierra Nevada should never be underestimated. We supported . They sent us in this interesting report of their experiences. As Ryan states ...
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.
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.
Links the Refugio Cariguela south of Veleta to the Paso de los Machos. It provides a quick by pass of the main track, cutting off a substantial zig zag in the old track, saving 15 minutes walking. Starts at a cairn at the first right bend below the Refugio de Cariguela if going west to east. From east to west the start is via a track to the right just after Paso de los Machos.
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.
We recently came across a little know way through some big cliff scenery in the Sierra Nevada. Not technical, just walking, but in an amazingly exposed situation needing a good head for heights. It's called the "Veredón Inferior".
Full and interesting report from guest writer, Yvonne Holland, who returned to the Sierra Nevada in May 2012 to do a trek from Trevélez to Lanjarón, covering all the major peaks of the Sierra Nevada between the two villages, including the rarely climbed Juego de Bolos and Puntal de la Caldera.
"This summer, Acción Sierra Nevada intends to undertake significant repairs to the Elorrieta refuge to render parts of it secure and weathertight so that it can be used more by the mountain community here. Having read and heard so much about this place over recent months, I thought it was about time I went to see why it has been singled out for attention.
On Friday the Sierra Nevada looked stunning. Javier and Jim set out from the Ventura trailhead above Lanjarón to ascend to the Refugio de Caballo.
Ian Tupman describes a challenging walk from the coast at Salobrena to the lofty summit of Mulhacen, highest summit in Spain
From the Alpujarras to the south the ascent of Mulhacen, highest peak in mainland Spain can be done in a long day in the summer. But how can you make the round trip more interesting by traversing the mountain and not covering the same ground twice?
We camped in the upper Lanjaron valley by streams and under a spectacular night sky. This was to be his first overnight trip. My lightweight summer backpack felt strangely heavy, weighed down by the additional items such as dog food, extra water and a various assortment of chains, leads, slings and karabiners, in a vain attempt to control a huskies instincts for freedom.
A one am start from Lanjaron, an hours drive to the trailhead, followed by 5 hours trudge uphill through the night might not seem the best way to climb a mountain. But when we approached the summit and the sun broke through the horizon, all the hard effort and discomfort seemed well worthwhile. We were at the highest point in mainland Spain, Mulhacen, 3482m.
Report of a two day high level July trek in Spain's Sierra Nevada, from the ski centre in the north to Lanjaron in the south camping by a high mountain lake overnight
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.
Kiersten Rowland describes a 2 day trek camping by high mountain lakes and enjoying some of the wildest scenery and nature that the Sierra Nevada National Park has to offer
In Fred Zinneman’s 1984 film "5 days one Summer", Sean Connery plays the part of a pre-war climber in the Alps. Driven by a burning desire to conquer peaks (and, it must be said, to pursue his affair with his niece) he pushes onwards and upwards, as it were, regardless of the dangers. We are treated to some superb climbing footage and some toe curling tension before it all goes fairly wrong – for someone at least.
Normally this is a glorious trip seeing in the new day. But, rather than seeing the spectacular morning sunrise they had hoped for, they were met with a full on snow blizzard above 3000m. Nothing like we reported in our article "Brilliant sunrise following night ascent of Mulhacen" some time ago. Some you win, some you lose! James takes up the story.............
We spent a cold night in the ruins of the relatively unknown Cebollar Refugio 2500m in the heart of the Sierra Nevada. High in the Rio Chico valley above Orgiva in the Alpujarras lies the ruins of the Refugio Cebollar. Access is normally via either the forest area at Puente Palo (1700m) or via the high track to La Pluca above the western side of Capileira.
The highest mountains sometimes fail to live up to their status, whilst some relatively unknown peaks turn out to be lesser in height only. Here in southern Spain's Alpujarras, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, we have for some years now been enjoying the delights of an fascinating little peak called Giralda.
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.
When we dropped Clive Fenn, off at a high trailhead at 9 in the morning we didn't expect him back for 2 or 3 days. Certainly didn't expect him to stagger, totally spent, into our house at 11pm that same night, after a mega tough 14 hour walking day in the Sierras, including about 2000m of ascent and 3000m of descent!
Since we started visiting this fascinating walking and trekking location near Granada in 1998, we have seen a rise in the popularity of peaks such as the magnificent Trevenque (2079m). However, there is so much more than the normal routes of ascent to offer for those with an exploratory and adventurous nature.
The attractive peak of the Puntal de la Caldera (3223m) with the Laguna de la Caldera nestling at it's feet makes a spectacular setting. Many times in winter during Alpine Winter Skills Training courses we have sat atop it's narrow summit after ascended via it's east ridge from the Collado del Ciervo. A fine route, much better and more interesting, in my opinion, than the higher, bulky form of Mulhacen (3482m) to it's immediate east.
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.
So there we were, loaded up with 5 days of equipment and food. Richard, of Spanish Highs Mountain Guides, dropped us off at the trailhead near the Ventura Hut at 2250m above the town of Lanjaron in the Alpujarra region of Andalucia, Spain.