The most spectacular path in the Sierra Nevada that nobody knows about!
The Veredon Inferior is definitely superior to the better known “Veredon Superior” that leads into the Corral del Veleta some 500m south. It deserves to be known as the most spectacular path in the Sierra Nevada that nobody knows about! We now head down onto a vasar, a descending rake which rather cleverly circumvents the vertical cliffs above and below.
At 6am on August 20th 2011, together with Pepe Badaje, Jesús Labajo Yuste of Campo Base and muleteers, Toni and Jonni (not forgetting Pepito the mule!), we met at the Ventura trailhead above Lanjarón. We accessed the Rio Lanjarón via the Acequia Alta above the Ventura refugio. Getting a mule along parts of the old acequia was trying at times and took a long time. Once in the river valley we climbed up to the refuge and arrived there by 1pm.
Then it was down to work. Jesus and myself cleaned litter and stones from the building whilst Pepe started on the window. By the end of the day the hut was clean, the ancient wooden replacement window in place and the door frame cemented in. All the accumulated litter was taken back down to Lanjarón which we reached at 8pm, after a 5am start.
There's something special about striking campsite pre dawn and hiking in the first daylight hours, whilst the rest of the world is seemingly still in bed. The sunlight soon hits the mountain tops and a myriad of colours adorns the summit rocks. You amble slowly along the deserted mountain tracks. You are alone in the still and quiet of the hills sharing the experience with animals and birds.
In the summer Sierra Nevada, any bad weather is likely to arrive mid afternoon. Of course, by then, we are enjoying a few cold beers and reflecting on unforgettable shared mountain moments.
A stunning mountain track adjacent to the Lanjaron valley
The Verea Corta – first light is best time to experience this beautiful walk. The sun hits the mountain tops and illuminates the peaks. Always ahead lies the stunning Cerro de Caballo (3009m). This is a superb mountain track best experienced north to south at first light.
Yesterday we went in search of Shangri-La. And we found it!
To the people of Lanjaron, their Shangri-La is the upper Lanjaron valley, it's lakes and it's rivers. It's the source of it's life giving waters. A special place that we were privileged to walk and spend the night in.
The North Face of Mulhacen. Its long been an ambition of mine to view the sunrise from Mulhacen's north face. This morning I got my wish and it didn't disappoint!
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.
Yesterday's trip into the dramatic Corral del Veleta. Still plenty of snow remaining. A steep climb up to the wonderful viewpoint of Cerro de los Machos. Morocco clear on the southern horizon. Then via the Paso de los Guias to Collado de Carihuela and back via the lush “borreguiles” and lakes at Lagunillas. A superb day.
Today we've been doing a bit of this. As I said to Kiersten .... “if you don't let go, you can't fall off”.
At the Paso de los Guias, Veleta
Dropping into the Coral del Veleta
On Cerro de los Machos looking towards Alcazaba and Mulhacen