Somewhere South of Granada

Trekking

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Highlights

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.

The entry to the Veredon Inferior

The entry to the Veredon Inferior
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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.

My advice? Try it. Start early, finish early.

Striking camp at first light in the Sierra Nevada

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There is a small section of chains on the Verea Corta that facilitate progress across a deep gully. A spectacular setting and easier than it looks. But, don't look down!

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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.

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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.

Entering the spectacular upper Lanjaron Valley

Entering the spectacular upper Lanjaron Valley

Cerro de Caballo behind as the valley opens out

Cerro de Caballo behind as the valley opens out
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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.

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Morning sunlight on Puntal de la Caldera

Morning sunlight on Puntal de la Caldera

Edging our way carefully across Mulhacen's north face

Edging our way carefully across Mulhacen's north face

Morning light on Veleta and Cerro de los Machos

Morning light on Veleta and Cerro de los Machos

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Route map – click to expand

Route map

#Trekking #Camping #SierraNevada

It's a long time since I had a pre dawn start in the mountains and I had forgotten how wonderful an experience it was moving at first light.

Camping has got easier too with lightweight gear. My trusty 1.5kg single skin Crux Raid X1 tent kept Kiersten and I snug as temperatures dropped to below 5C.

The sub 200gm cooking stove/pot/windshield combination from “Stormin Stoves” performed admirably. All in all a pack under 6kg (without water).

And coming down the mountain at midday after a days walking, just as people were heading up Mulhacen, meant we were always going against the grain. The best way to enjoy the summer mountains for sure.

Getting ready to depart by headtorch

Getting ready to depart by headtorch

The Stormin Stove bubbling away nicely!

The Stormin Stove bubbling away nicely!

Silhouette near the Collado del Ciervo

Silhouette near the Collado del Ciervo

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An amazing 2 day trek covering the northern 3000m peaks of the Sierra Nevada.

Day 1 Walk to Lavaderos de la Reina: Quite simply the most beautiful wild camping location in the Sierra Nevada. Watched the sun set and then fell asleep to the sound of running water

Looking south towards Alcazaba and Mulhacen

Looking south towards Alcazaba and Mulhacen

Day 2:

Ascent of Picon de Jerez – A start at first light. Then a tough 500m climb over rough scree, achieved in under 2 hours

Traverse the main ridge over 3 other 3000m peaks – easy walking, superb views and light winds with spectacular views

Descent back to car – a tough descent of 1200m into the afternoon heat. Legs feel it a bit (lot!) this morning

Thanks to my amazing and fine spirited companions Kiersten Hartley Rowland, Matt Dowse, Alistair Hunter and Ann Hunter

On the Puntal de Juntillas

On the Puntal de Juntillas

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Route map – click to expand

Route map