The highlight of the trip was 5 days walking “Los Tres Miles” with Mike from Spanish Highs. We set off from Lanjaron in the SE of the region, and walked across several of the 3000m peaks (they have so many that some don’t even have names!). The route roughly followed the main ridge line El Caballo (the horse rider), Veleta, Mulhacen and Alcazabar (the “big three”), Laguna de Vacares (but said “Baccareth”) and out via Picon de Jerez, to Jerez in the NE of the region. Only about 60km in total, but the distance is far from a good guide to the toughness of the route! Sometimes 1km can take hours – if the terrain’s interestingly rough! Make sure that your boots are really comfortable before setting out!
The route shouldn’t be considered a pure ridge walk covering every 3000m peak – that’s an impossibility as some of the ridge is not remotely a walk and some of the outliers would add days to the trip. But consider it along the lines of the Haute Route in Switzerland, and you soon see its a fantastic and highly challenging expedition, into often surprisingly remote and rugged terrain.
Temperatures varied from freezing overnight at the first camp to 37C in the Lanjaron and Jerez valleys at the start and end (fortunately a lift was available for the start and end to reach roughly 2000m altitude, so the walking never became unbearably hot!), and water came from all sources – from pure Lanjaron spring water from the tap – and source – to snow melt!
And the scrambling was awesome, despite the full packs (5 days food and a day’s water weights a lot!!) – grade 2-3 in places, depending what route you took – we took the one that looked most fun, but easier options were available.
The thieving fox of Siete Laguna was also foiled (ask Richard for my unique lightweight formula for deterring it!), though Mike was unconvinced as it we only saw it on one occaision. Regardless it’s far more timid than many reports make out – a good shout sends it packing straight away!
The scenery was also awesome – watch out for photography courses/holidays in the region coming soon, and my own images on the Peak Images website in due course. I’ve written a more detailed report on the trip here.