Los Tres Picos, Sierra Nevada, Spain
It was a privilege to be part of fundraising climb of the three highest mountains in Spain as part of a vision4kids fundraising event.
The whole team, which included my daughter Hannah, not only managed to push beyond what they believed they were capable off but in the process raised a magnificent £6005 for vision4kids projects.
Our first peak was Valetta (3,398m) and what an experience it turned out to be!! We had to ascend the north ridge where the going was rough and rocky but we were rewarded with outstanding views in all directions. Heading south from the summit we went via the Col de Cariguela and past the Paso de los Machos before reaching the head of the Rio Seco Valley. From there we descended trackless slopes before contouring round a headland and reaching our overnight stay at the Refugio Poqueira.
After a nights sleep in one of the large dorms we started early on our second day on what turned out to be by far the toughest day! – At the start it was easy enough up to the Alta del Chorrillo then up the south ridge of Mulhacen. At 3100m we traversed its eastern slopes to Siete Lagunas, a beautiful, tranquil spot consisting of 7 lakes in a dramatic mountain setting. We had to descend climb to the valley head where we turned to take a steep scree gully between impossible looking cliffs. In reality it was just a steep walk with a little simple scrambling involved. We arrived at the summit plateau and from there walked to the summit of Alcazaba (The Fortress).
Day 3 and after another early start we ascended the steep, relentless west flank of Mulhacen (3,482m), the highest peak in mainland Spain). taking a slow and steady pace as the altitude can have a small effect. The summit was a great viewpoint and the whole 50km chain of peaks could be seen. We return down the long and gentle south ridge before cutting through the forest to our transport to a well-earned rest.