Although this is Southern Spain and close to the Mediterranean and Africa, The Sierra Nevada boasts Europe’s most southerly ski resort and mainland Spain’s highest mountain, Mulhacen 3482m above sea level. As an indication, the ski season usually starts here at the end of November and finishes in May with a celebration of skiing in the morning and swimming in the sea in the afternoon! However there are sometimes during the season when the snow starts to get a bit thin though we can usually find somewhere to snowshoe.
|In the forest above Capileira|
The joy of exploring the Sierra Nevada on snowshoes is that the area is mainly undeveloped, so unlike alpine ski resorts you can get a real feel of wilderness away from crowds, ski lifts and prepared snow slopes. Our snowshoeing days start from one of the pretty high villages (usually with coffee) before heading up dirt track roads as high as possible into the snow. Occasionally we have to walk a bit before putting on snowshoes but often we can snowshoe from the car.
Our routes usually start up through the forests before gaining the open slopes above the tree line. On the majority of days we enjoy blue skies and sunshine which is a distinct advantage over the traditional alpine resorts, though if the weather is poor we can always walk the spectacular paths in the Alpujarra (the lower southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada).
On our snowshoeing holidays we like to spend a night up at the Poqueira Refuge (2500m) which although bunk accommodation has a good dining room, bar and made all the better by the log fire.
|Views of Mulhacen on the way to The Poqueira Refuge|
|Perfect snow and blue sky!|
In short, snowshoeing is good fun; sociable and takes you to places not normally visited in the winter months. The owners of Mountain House Holidays, Mike and Jane are all International Mountain Leaders, the qualification recognized in Spain (and internationally) for being a snowshoeing Guide.
In addition to their guided snowshoeing holiday, Mountain House Holidays are offering guided snowshoe hikes in the Sierra Nevada from
50 Euro’s per person including the hire of snowshoes.