MULHACÉN (11,340 ft) - ALCAZABA (11,059 ft). ENGLISH VERSION

2009/05/03 and 2009/05/04

In order to make the most of our recent travel to the south of Spain, because of family matters, and also the good weather forecast, we arrive for the first time, to Sierra Nevada. We are climbing to the highest summit of the Iberian Peninsula.

Spanish version in this link: MULHACÉN (3.484 m) - ALCAZABA (3.371 m)

National Park of Sierra Nevada. Sistema Penibético. Betics Systems.


Hydraulic power station of Poqueira, pased the small village of La Cebadilla.

After arrive to the region known as the Alpujarras, in Granada, we go to village of Capileira, and straight trough the proper village, drive the road towards to the recreational area so-called Hoya del Portillo; this is the most usual starting point, to access to Poqueira's Hut. As long as you go by this road, you shall see a path at left-hand. This is the approach path to the power station.

For further information, search in GUIA REPSOL.

National Park of Sierra Nevada 1:40.000. Penibética Editions.


UNEVENNESS: 1.000 m - 3.280 ft (+)
TOTAL DISTANCE: 5,5 km - 3,4 miles.
TOTAL TIME: 02:45 hours.
Hike by path way.

GEARS: Nothing to report.

As long as there's still too much snow over the top of the slopes of the valleys, is recommended to use teh path from the power station of Poqueira. Actually, teh easiest way to go, is the one departing from the place so-called Hoya del Portillo, as said before.

Other highly recommended way in this case, is the path beside the high ditch (look for "Acequia Alta").

Before we arrive the power station, the sight of Mulhacen's south slopes.

After park and have some meal, we prepare the backpacks, and start walking the route.

The old church of the abandoned village.

First steps of the route, near the main installation.

Two minutes away from the power station, we arrive to a fork, where the path really begins.

The beginning of the path.

After go past the fist steep slopes, walk through flat way.

...Until we arrive to this "cortijo" (a kind of shed for the cattle).

Not far from there, this sign.

That confirms we're on the proper course.

Well signed all the way.

But from now on, we have to descend to the stream of the Naute River.

After cross the river, for two times, we continue walking by the same side of the Naute River, as we've been doing untill now.

Cross the river.

Here is where we came from.

That's where we go.

It's an up and down walk.

Again, we cross the river, for the third time.

From now on, there's a continuous long and steep path.

Now, we make the most of consult the map.

Crossing the down ditch (look for the "Acequia Baja").

We move forward, and find a next sign, next to the high ditch (look for the "acequia alta").

The view backwards.

By the way, we find this solitary males.

Seems like they get upset about us.

But, some of them, seem unperturbed.

A bit upwards, we can see the silhouetteof the Peak Veleta.

Using camera's zoom.

The last slope, and we can now see Poqueira's Hut.

While we wal aour last steps.

For he first time, we find snow on the path.

Just a minute away, the hut.

Siting on the stairs of the entrance, we look at the warm sunset.

We register ourselves at the hut, and leave the luggage in the lokers, those are next to the rooms.

Notice that this is one of the best huts we've rested in ever, excep of the lack of heating, due it's out of order from the first time.

After a good dinner and a nice chat, with a couple of belgians and a pair of mountaineers from Albacete, we go to bed. The staff of the hut, let each group of us rest in different rooms. This is a good point.

2.009/05/04. CLIMBING MULHACÉN (3.484 m - 11.430 ft) - ALCAZABA (3.371 m - 11.059 ft)

Today's objective is climbing the Peak Mulhacén, the highest top of the Iberian Peninsula, and the second top high summit of Spain. Seems a good idea.

Starting from the Hut of Poqueira, it's quite a short path. So we are going to try another one else: the Peak Alcazaba.

We hope today will climb this ones:

- MULHACÉN II (3.369 m - 11.053 ft)
- MULHACÉN (3.384 m - 11.430 ft). The highest top of the Iberian Peninsula and the province of Granada.
- ALCAZABA (3.371 m - 11.059 ft)
- PUNTAL SW DE LA ALCAZABA (3.318 m - 10.885 ft)
- PUNTAL DE LA CORNISA (3.322 m - 10.898 ft)
- COTA SIN NOMBRE (3.296 m - 10.813 ft)
- PEÑON DEL GLOBO (3.289 m - 10.790 ft)

Hut of Poqueira.

National Park of Sierra Nevada 1:40.000. Penibética Editions.


UNEVENNESS: 1.700 m - 5.577 ft (+/-)
TOTAL DISTANCE: 22 km - 13,67 miles.
TOTAL TIME: 13:00 hours.
It's almost a hiking, but someplaces you'll have to take use of your ice-axe and crampoons, at some steep slopes.

GEARS: Ice-axe, crampoons, helmet... (why not?) don't forget warm clothes, it's much colder up here than in the deep of the valley, cooked under the hot sun of the Alpujarras.

Wake up at 6:00 o'clock in yhe morning, after the breakfast, both start the leaving.

From the entry of the hut, seeing the down.

We walk straight to the slopes of the Mulacén, since the first step, the route gets steepen.

Leaving the hut on our backs.

Avoiding the snow as we ascend.

Watching the Peak Veleta, a bit more near.

We find, at last, the snow under our steps.

Ascending the top of this big slope.

Up... Up... Up.

While the mist of the morning, doesn't let us see the mediterranean.

Soon we cross the trail named "Carril", which goes all over the big slopes of the National Park, coming from "Hoya del Portillo" to the Peak Veleta.

Now we're above the height of 3.000 m (9.842 ft), looking for the first "pit stop", at the landmark of Peak Mulhacén II. From there, we'll be soon at the Peak Mulhacén.

Snow hides from the sun.

East horizont.

Spotlight from the sun.

Sun's coating the Peak Veleta and the "Cerro de los Machos" (rememeber that "macho" is a kind of tough guy).

Hey!, there it is the Mulhacén II.

More near....

Here we are, nexto to the the geodetic vertex (a kind of landmark).

Summit of Mulhacén II (3.369 m - 9.842 ft).

There they are again: Veleta and Cerro de los Machos.

This is what remains to the top.

A bird alighs near us. It's an Escribano Montesino, a regular of this mountains.

Looking directly to Almería, a sunbathed skyline on the early morning.

Low mists still cover the coast, so we hardly see the sea, further the valleys of the Alpujarras.

We continue the trekking.

There is almost any snow.

While we move away from Mulhacén II.

Each time, more near of the Mulhacén.

There it is!.

No problem.

The landmark of the Peak Mulhacén.

Peak Mulhacén (3.484 m - 11.430 ft).

We're on the top of the Iberian Peninsula, we´re alone, in a sunny day, so let's take some pictures.

Peak Veleta, our objective for tomorrow.

Great drop to the North Face.

Really great!, not like the south slopes.

Peak Alcazaba, that's where we go.

Mane is on the landmark now, I look at the South-West, to Almería.

The Peak Chullo is further to the South-West, the highest top of Almería.

We take something for the meal, a drink, put the crampoons on, and begin to go to the Peak Alcazaba.

A curious find, a nativity scene down the landmark.

Looking at the East.

There are some summits above the 3.000 metres-9.842,5 ft, on the horizon, to the East.

We say goodbye to Mulhacén.

And take a last photo.

First steps to the Alcazaba.

Looking for the North-West ridge, a possible way to descend.

Here we are.

So it's very steep, and we don´t have a rope, neither equipment to make a rappel if neccesary. So we decide to descend to de deep of "Cañada de Siete Lagunas", going to the South-West, surrounding the West Face of Mulhacén.

By the way to there.

We may try this "couloir".

But we're not enough "machos" for this, as long as we don´t know how is the end.

And there we go again, descending the slope covered with a big .

While we stare at the Peak Alcazaba.

Go away.

To the area of "Siete Lagunas", in the hollow.

Faraway, see the route to climb to Peak Alcazaba, from the "Siete Lagunas". As We can see, there are footsteps on that slope of snow.

So that's the path surrounded by the summits which are going to be climbed too for us.

Seems easy to go.

Ascending the slope.

It gets steeper.

35º slope to ascend.

But easy to do.

We arrive to a plateau named "Meseta de las Borregas".

These second one, behind.

At last, we both go straiht to the Alcazaba.

Only a few metres unevenness.

Soon we get the summit.

Here are other three mountaineers, but they climbed the Occidental Face, much more dangerous, and steep. We chat to them for a short of time.

On the summit of peak Alcazaba (3.371 m - 11.059,7 ft).

Mulhacén and Veleta from here.

The North Face of Mulhacén.

Yes, there it is.

And again, PEAK VELETA.

A bit closer.

A panoramic sight, some peaks are identified.

The Valley of Genil River, to the North.

The Peak "Puntal de Vacares", on the background.

And some other summits we don't know.

It's windy over the summit, so we have to descend a few metres, to have some meal and a drink. It's not unusual, when you are at this height.

Don't forget your sunscreen, it's not only cause of the height, but for the south of Spain, which is very hot and sunny.

From now on, we´ll go riding the ridge of peaks from here, to the slope named "Loma Culo Perro" ("bottom dog slope", don´t take my translations of place name seriously, it's only for joking).

Walking to the Peak "Puntal suroeste de la Alcazaba".

The sightseen.

From this peak, that's the way it looks the Alcazaba.

The summit of Puntal suroeste de la Alcazaba (3.318 m - 10.885,5 ft).

Seems a great drop from here.

No problem, as it's been all of the day.

The summit of Puntal de la Cornisa (3.322 m -10.898,9 ft).

A different perspective of Veleta.

Peaks Alcazaba and Puntal SW de la Alcazaba.

Peaks Peñón del Globo and other unnamed Summit, with more than 3.000 m of height.

Let's go faster.

First the unnamed one.

Here we are at 3.396 m - 11.141,7 ft. Hey Look!, don't you think she seems a very skilled mountaineering?

South West slopes of Mulhacén.

Peak Peñón del Globo, a few metres lower than this one.

The last summit of the day.

A little scrambling...

For the first time, we use our hands, it's very easy, nothing dangerous.


Peak Peñon del Globo (3.289 m - 10.790,6 ft).

The Mulhacén seems a great giant from here.

From here, we'll descend by the slope named "Loma Culo Perro", looking for the "Laguna Hondera", an small lake of mountain, down to the 2.600 metres height, and then, bordering the "Loma del Tanto" (see the maps of this zone).

We go scrambling down the slope.

Walking now.

Descending by the snow is nicer than stepping on rocks.

There is the Laguna Hondera, covered by the snow.

That's the way we walked.

There are the south, long and hard slopes of the Mulhacén.

Triying to slide down. Now it becomes to be hot, and the knees start to cry.

Slinding down...

While the snow settles.

The slides we used for descending.

Hey!, look at those mates.


Don't find any path.

So we walk through.

We find some rocks.

Easy to walk across.

With some roadblocks.

At this point, the route gets flatter.

So far, but not so good.

Sometimes we find something like a hide way. Probably made by the goats or the cattle.

That's the village of Trevélez, nice "jamón serrano"!, we are hungry, and it's too far.

Using the camera's zoom.

Still remains snow, on the shady sides.

Is it the end of the slope?, I don't think so!

Surprise!, still remains the eternalslope. Where is the hut?, It's been moved to another dimension, for sure!

That's where we come from.

Seems like the sunset, but our suburned faces, show that it's still high in the sky.

Definitely, the neverending slope.

There is the Peak Veleta, feels like Columbus finding America... so then he really believed that it was the Philippines. Hope we're not wrong.

Here is again, the track we crossed in the begginng of the course: the "Carril", coming from the near place named "Hoya del Portillo". We're on aur way, at last.

Can you see the hut?, cos I can´t.

The slopes we started ascending early this morning, on the background.

It's the Hut of Poqueira, unbelievable!. But wait and don't deceive yourself; this image was taken with the zoom.

At last, we cross the path coming from "Hoya del Portillo", nearly finding the track known as "Carril", again.

Walking the path, my feet are cooked, definitely.

Here we take a shortcut, down to the "Carril", which is much covered by the snow.

That way.

Hot faced, such a sun!

Our last steps, for sure, we're late for the dinner!

Mane runs for the dinner, and I watch the silouette of Veleta.

The sunset, we're almost finished.

Seems beautiful, don't you think?

After 13 hours, our footsteps brought us back. Mane seems like the pain itself.

We have the dinner, as if it were the last one. Remember, never get out of the straight way.

Maybe tomorrow, our legs claim for help, but we'll try the Veleta. Only remember you that in the summer, you can drive almost to the Summit of VELETA. It´s easier to do than this.

To look for another Climbings in English Version, click on this link: RANK OF PEAKS. ENGLISH VERSION.

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