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Summits of the Sierra Nevada: The Three Peaks hike

Peaks of Sierra Nevada

TRIP DESCRIPTION

What hiker hasn’t dreamt about reaching the three highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada, including the highest on the Iberian Peninsula? This is your opportunity. Small group

The route is of interest for all hikers who want to discover the high mountains of the Sierra Nevada and Granada and the features of the mountain range, its ecology, geology and interesting endemic flora will be explained by experts (biologists and geologists).

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Enjoy a mountain range full of water and high mountains meadows, lakes of exceptional beauty among the high peaks and waterfalls which spring from mountain sides in every valley.
  • Discover the amazing biodiversity of Sierra Nevada National Park and Biosphere Reserve.
  • Really experience the high mountains, sleeping in a refuge at 2,500m, surrounded by nature.

Price:

€600

€300 (Payment of 50%)
Location: Sierra Nevada National Park, Granada
When: Summer
Duration: 6 days / 5 Nights
Difficulty: Level 4 (REI)
    • Day 1

      Transfer from Malaga airport to Granada. Hikers will meet each other and go for a guided tapas tour (guide included, tapas not included). A good chance to talk about the routes that we will do over the next few days.

    • Day 2

      Poqueira valley and route to the Poqueira refuge

      After breakfast, we will go to the Poqueira valley, which is at the western entrance to the Alpujarra. At this point, we will have our first encounter with the geography and geology of the Sierra Nevada, and also the region of the Alpujarra with its distinctive architecture, urban planning, customs, and traditions.
      Every hiker will have free time to have a mid-morning snack or sample some dishes, choosing between the wide range of bars and restaurants in the area. After getting our strength up, we will set off for the Hoya del Portillo, where the transport will drop us.

      3-hour hike and night at the Poqueira refuge. Dinner included

    • Day 3

      Poqueira refuge- 7 Lagunas and Alcazaba (peak optional) – Poqueira refuge

      Breakfast and pick up picnic lunches.

      This beautiful excursion will take us to the 7 Lagunas, one of the most spectacular areas of all of the Sierra Nevada. The ascent to Alcazaba is optional and can be reached along two different tracks. On this path, we will cross a couple of u-shaped valleys, with their corresponding ascents and descents until descending to the summer pastures, where the lowest of the lakes of this area, La Laguna Hondera, which flows into a waterfall, is located. We can easily visit each and every one of the lakes, which in July could still be partially frozen, surrounded by wide green high mountains meadows. It’s an idyllic area, with a landscape made up of the immense peaks which close off the group of lakes and the intense green of the fields. We can spend a few hours here, visiting the lakes, eating, chatting and, for those who are interested, use the time to ascend Alcazaba.

      Arrival at the Poqueira refuge around 5 or 6 pm. Rest time and dinner.

      Route Characteristics:

      Ascent and descent along the river:

      • Ascent: 600m to the Laguna Hondera; 1080m to Alcazaba. Descent is the same as the ascent, it’s a linear route.
      • Duration: 8 hours.
      • Difficulty: High
    • Day 4

      Poqueira refuge – Laguna de la Caldera and Mulhacén (peak optional) – Poqueira refuge

      After breakfast at the typical time for the mountains and collecting our picnic lunch, we will begin our circular route which will take us to the Laguna de la Caldera along the valley of the river Mulhacén and, optionally, to the peak of Mulhacén for the more adventurous among us. We will descend across “la loma”.
      We will encounter different lakes which will be at their best, crystalline waters surrounded by high mountain pastures, such as the Lagunillos del Majano and the Laguna de la Caldera (3.100m) formed from an ancient glacial cirque.

      Route characteristics:

      Ascent along the river:

      • 600m ascent to the Laguna de la Caldera and 958m to the peak of Mulhacén
      • 3h30/4h. Picnic lunch 1h.

       

      Descent across “la loma”:

      • 1000m descent from Mulhacén to the refuge. 700m descent from the Laguna de la Caldera with a slight ascent.
      • 3 or 4-hour descent if you climb Mulhacén.

       

      Arrival at the refuge around 5 or 6 pm. Rest time and dinner.

    • Day 5

      Poqueira refuge- Río Seco and Veleta (peak optional) – University refuge

      We will have breakfast, collect our things and pick up our picnic lunch. We will leave the Poqueira refuge. On this day we will change the slopes which we are walking on, passing from the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada whose waters flow into the river Mulhacén and to the Alpujarra, to the source of the river Monachil which descends to the settlement of the same name, near Granada.
      Once again we will leave the refuge towards the Mulhacén valley but we will cross it in order to pass over to the valley of the Rio Seco, which, specifically at this time of year, will be bursting with waterfalls and small streams. At the head of this valley we will find the Lagunillos and the Laguna de Río Seco (2h) a beautiful place to take a break.
      Before arriving at the pass of the Carihuela del Veleta (1h30 from the Laguna de Río Seco) we can visit another small lake, Aguas Verdes, which is a perfect place for a picnic lunch. Those who wish to can go up Veleta from the pass in less than an hour as long as there are no snowfields which make it inadvisable.
      After a few hours, we will arrive at our destination, the University refuge in the Hoya de la Mora, at an altitude of 2,550m.

      A relaxed chat with a beer while waiting for the return to Granada.

      Route characteristics:

      • Ascent: 909m to the Carihuela del Veleta; 1,119m to the peak of Veleta.
      • Descent: 650m from the Carihuela; 850m from the peak of Veleta.
      • Duration: 8 hours.
      • Difficulty: High
    • Day 6

      • Breakfast.
      • Pick up at your hotel and transfer to Malaga airport.
    • What’s included

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      • Guided tapas tour in Granada.
      • 3 nights in the Refugio Poqueira. Full board
      • 2 nights in Granada. Hotel and breakfast
      • Guide with expert knowledge of the area, not only in terms of hiking but also in the ecology of the ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada. This knowledge could be of interest for the hikers
      • Accident and liability insurance
      • Equipment to maximize safety, such as walkie talkies
      • Group field material: maps, GPS, guides to the area, binoculars
      • Communal first aid kit
      • 2 transfer Malaga-Granada. If you use the Granada airport we will discount 50€ of the budget
    • What isn’t included

      • Dinners in Granada
      • Lunch on day 2.
      • Drinks and tapas on the route around Granada on the day of arrival.
      • Personal travel insurance.
      • Flights or transport that has not been previously stated.
      • Anything that has not been previously mentioned.
    • Recommended equipment

      • Sunglasses, suncream, and protective lip balm. Hat or winter hat and gloves.
      • Hiking footwear; boots or shoes with ankle protection.
      • Technical mountain clothing, short- sleeved and long-sleeved t-shirts made of breathable fabric (not cotton) and a fleece or warm layer. Hiking trousers and jacket made of Goretex or a similar fabric to act as a windstopper.
      • Changes of dry clothing.
      • Small washbag. Include only the absolute necessities and in extremely small quantities.
      • Sheet sleeping bag. The refuges provide quilts so a sleeping bag is not necessary but a sheet sleeping bag is required. Your own pillowcase is recommended. Lightweight clothes for sleeping. Sleeping bag, if you want.
      • Personal snack food such as dried fruit and nuts, energy bars, etc. Remember that the picnic lunches are included.
      • 2-liter water bottle or camelback, with drinking tube if possible.
      • A small towel, in case we want to dip our feet in any rivers that we cross.
      • Hiking poles.
      • Head torch.
      • Camera, mobile phone and other electronic devices and their chargers.
      • Small first aid kit and any personal medication.
      • Notebook and pencil (optional).
      • Knee bands, if necessary.
      • Personal documents, such as identity cards and European health insurance cards.
    • Meals

      The main meal in the mountains is dinner. It’s not a good idea to eat a lot during the hikes and the picnic will be more than enough. Eating small amounts at regular intervals is recommended, for example, an energy bar or a handful of nuts every hour. We will take short breaks and a longer one for the picnic lunches.

      In the refuges dinner is two or three courses and dessert.

      Drinks are not included in the price.

      The water in the refuges is not potable so hikers should buy bottled water or bring water purification tablets.

      If you are vegetarian, have any allergies or any other dietary requirements, please let us know beforehand.

  • Starting and finishing each hike

    In general, breakfast in the mountains is at 7- 7:15 am.

    It’s customary to arrive in the dining room with your rucksacks prepared apart from the picnic lunch.

    We will start walking at 8:00 am and arrive at our destination around 5:00 pm.

    It is very important to stick to the timetable because it’s necessary to rest between each day’s hike. We will have 3-4 hours rest before dinner, which, including the time to stretch properly, will allow us to be in perfect condition for the following day.

    Guides and Safety

    All our guides have the necessary training to ensure the complete safety of the group.

    We will keep the group together and in contact by using walkie talkies. Our guides have all taken first aid courses.

    Weather in the Sierra Nevada

    The weather in the summits of the Sierra Nevada is severe, even in summer. The high levels of the sun on a clear sunny day can make us sweat and allow us to walk in shorts and t-shirts. However, we will frequently meet with low temperatures especially in the early morning when we start walking, or winds, which require several layers and windstoppers as well as walking trousers.

    The temperature also falls dramatically at night, even to below zero, meaning that we will need to wrap up warmly even to go outside to look at the stars.

    According to our terms and conditions, the guide, being the person responsible for the group, can decide to modify the route and the timetable in the case of forecasts of gales or storms, public land closures, etc. which could put the activity and the safety of the group at risk.

    Medical Considerations

    We ask that our hikers inform us of the existence of any chronic or cardiovascular illness which could interfere with hiking activities. To this end, we will send out a form which must be completed. The personal information which is given is covered by our data protection policy and will not be used for anything other than to provide us with the information necessary for this activity to be carried out well.

    For the same reasons we need to know about any allergies.

    The high mountains are demanding. In different guides the routes which we will do are catalogued as being medium difficulty, but it is necessary to remember that these are mountaineering guides and are written for regular mountain users.

    A good level of physical fitness is required and previous experience of routes of a similar difficulty and altitude acclimatization is necessary. The pace that we will follow is not a sporting one but a pace which will allow interpretation and interaction, however, experience or regular hiking is essential.

  • Price

    Our prices are estimated taking into account the number of participants registered on the deadline of the inscription. The deposit into the account is made in order to reserve the vacancy and also to know, in advance, the number of participants that will be realizing the activity. In case the activity is canceled, the deposit would be returned. On the other hand, if the activity is successfully organized, a second payment would be realized with the final amount.

    Group Size

    Minimum 4 and maximum 8

    Payment

    Deposit of 50% for registration

    Deposit of 50% 15 days before

    Cancellation and refund policy

    In case of cancellation, the following policy applies.

    • More than 30 days prior to the trip start date, we will grant you a full refund minus a €50 administrative fee per reservation.
    • Between 29 days and 15 days prior to the trip start date, we will retain 50% of the trip cost.
    • Less than 14 days prior to the trip start date, or once the trip has begun, there will be no refund.
Activity Level Descriptions

REItrips

(1) Relaxed: Adventure travel at its most relaxed pace.

  • Activity: 1-3 hours most days
  • Distances: walk less than 3 miles most days
  • Surfaces: flat terrain
  • Elevation change: little to none
  • Altitude: less than 3,000 ft

(2) Easy: Great for newcomers to active travel.

  • Activity: 2-5 hours most days
  • Distances: hike up to 6 miles, cycle 10-30 miles most days
  • Surfaces: flat or rolling terrain with some possible steeps
  • Elevation change: up to 2,000 ft/day
  • Altitude: up to 6,000 ft

(3) Moderate: For outdoor novices and above.

  • Activity: 4-6 hours most days
  • Distances: hike up to 10 miles most days, cycle 20-40 miles most days
  • Surfaces: rolling or mountainous terrain with some steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation change: up to 3,000 ft/day
  • Altitude: up to 10,000 ft

(4) Vigorous: Recommended for fir travelers with basic skills.

  • Activity: 5-8 hours most days
  • Distances: hike up to 12 miles most days, cycle 30-50 miles most days
  • Surfaces: mountainous, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation change: up to 4,000 ft/day
  • Altitude: up to 14,000 ft
  • Experience and a doctor’s release may be required

(5) Strenuous: Designed for very fit travelers.

  • Activity: 10+ hours/day
  • Distances: hike up to 12 miles most days, cycle 50 miles or more miles most days
  • Surfaces: remote mountainous, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents, uneven trails with loose features.
  • Elevation change: up to 4,000 ft/day
  • Altitude: up to 14,000 ft
  • Experience and a doctor’s release may be required

SierraySol is an enterprise that belongs to the Asociación de la Carta Europea de Turismo Sostenible de Sierra Nevada. If you are looking forward to realize an activity truly responsible with the environment in this green space, we encourage you to use the services of the organization since all the enterprises adhered are accredit by Europarc. They also make a great effort to minimize the environmental impact and to contribute with the local development. In the next PDF you will find every enterprise of the organization. You can also find information about them in www.ecoturismosierranevada.com

Ecoturismo

Activity Level Descriptions

REItrips

 

(1) Relaxed: Adventure travel at its most relaxed pace.

  • Activity: 1-3 hours most days
  • Distances: walk less than 3 miles most days
  • Surfaces: flat terrain
  • Elevation change: little to none
  • Altitude: less than 3,000 ft

(2) Easy: Great for newcomers to active travel.

  • Activity: 2-5 hours most days
  • Distances: hike up to 6 miles, cycle 10-30 miles most days
  • Surfaces: flat or rolling terrain with some possible steeps
  • Elevation change: up to 2,000 ft/day
  • Altitude: up to 6,000 ft

(3) Moderate: For outdoor novices and above.

  • Activity: 4-6 hours most days
  • Distances: hike up to 10 miles most days, cycle 20-40 miles most days
  • Surfaces: rolling or mountainous terrain with some steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation change: up to 3,000 ft/day
  • Altitude: up to 10,000 ft

(4) Vigorous: Recommended for fir travelers with basic skills.

  • Activity: 5-8 hours most days
  • Distances: hike up to 12 miles most days, cycle 30-50 miles most days
  • Surfaces: mountainous, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation change: up to 4,000 ft/day
  • Altitude: up to 14,000 ft
  • Experience and a doctor's release may be required

(5) Strenuous: Designed for very fit travelers.

  • Activity: 10+ hours/day
  • Distances: hike up to 12 miles most days, cycle 50 miles or more miles most days
  • Surfaces: remote mountainous, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents, uneven trails with loose features.
  • Elevation change: up to 4,000 ft/day
  • Altitude: up to 14,000 ft
  • Experience and a doctor's release may be required

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