Trekking the Northern Flanks of the Sierra Nevada

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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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The Northern Flanks

We have now to cross the Guarnon valley and rise up to Veta Grande. Signs of a path begin to materialise and then we have the steep rise to the Collado de Veta Grande. This is the hardest section of the first day due to the steepness and looseness of the terrain.

As a reward the Collado is an impressive place to be. Rising above is Cerro de los Machos and to the west Mulhacen, Alcazaba and Puntal de la Caldera command the eye.

Looking east to Juego de Bolos and Alcazaba

Looking east to Juego de Bolos and Alcazaba

Campsite at Laguna Galbata

These relatively unknown lakes perch below the mighty northern crags of the Puntal de la Caldera and Loma Pelada. Few venture here, only those lucky few who prefer isolation and wish to getaway from the hordes heading to Mulhacen along the old road higher up!

Pick your camping spot. There are plenty. We preferred to site our camp about 50 metres south west from Laguna Galbata. here, we are well away from the lake and also would cause no damage to the fragile green “borreguiles” environments. Our camp site even had a pre built table and chairs!

Campsite Laguna Galbata

Early Morning 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.

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

Overnight camp

The Return Journey

We contoured round the northern side of Puntal de la Caldera and climbed up a shallow valley south west of the strangely named peak of Juego de Bolos (3021m).

Scrambling near Juego de Bolos

Scrambling near Juego de Bolos

We had met nobody for a day and a half. At the Refugio de la Caldera we saw people in the distance heading for Mulhacen. We turned west and took the rising traverse behind the refuge leading to Loma Pelada (also known as Puntal de Laguna Larga). Here we sheltered from the gusty winds in the lee of the summit.

Paso de los Lobos

Paso de los Lobos

We followed the old road, taking the photo opportunity of Collado de los Lobos and then finishing via the Paso de los Guias before arriving at the Col de Carihuela.

Paso de los Guias

Paso de los Guias

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