Sierra de las Nieves

November 2015 – ‘Thursday Night Walkers’ trip. Usual suspects as last year, minus Lucy, flying into Malaga where we were met by our guides Steve and Jens who transported us to Ronda our base camp for the three days. A road accident nearly brought the trip to a premature end fortunately none of us were hurt and after several hours waiting for the Authorities to get their act together we arrived in Ronda and the Don Javier Hotel closely followed by several beers.

Saturday, an introductory walk from Yunquera into the forested foothills of the eastern side of the Nieves.

The path winds up a small valley to a ridge turning left onto a fire road before exciting right onto GR243 to traverse around a broad shoulder, a brief stop at a view point before descending into a valley, a short climb brings us to a mirador or viewpoint. We have lunch in strong winds surrounded by clouds, Jens and I scramble to the top of a small promontory before we all set off on our return walk retracing our steps. Graham takes the opportunity to shoot off ahead as we amble down back to the vehicles.

Sunday, given the low cloud on the previous day we were not sure that the plan to ascend the highest peak Torrecilla (1919m) would immersed in cloud however, as we climbed through the pines from Refugio Los Quejigales the sun shone and continued to do so with little wind. We emerge onto the plateau and walk through the barren landscape towards the final ascent to the summit.

 We all made it to the final slopes and a few of us made it to the top looking down on a sea of clouds. The sun burned and we walked back the same route through the oaks and juniper.

 Monday, I started the day by climbing the via Ferrata below the bridge in Ronda which was fun, we packed up and set off for Marbella and La Concha. Again the sun was strong and whilst we lacked the energy to complete the peak we enjoyed views of the coast and sea beyond. Graham and I left the group for a small subsidory peak Cruz du Januar where we spent an hour absorbing the situation before returning down the track and ice cream in the hotel.

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