DAY 2 Sierra Nevada Traverse

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

day 1 | day 2| day 3 | day 4

Happily the sun appeared around 8:30am. It had been very windy all night. (I’d not slept much.)

It was still windy. As you can see.


This guy didn’t make it.


The scenery up here is otherworldly. Reminded me of New Zealand and Iceland.


Most of these photos were taken by Josh. I was impressed he managed to catch the rainbow. 🙂


Once up on the cliff edge summit ridge, the wind was even more severe.

But it was fun to be well above some of the clouds.




From up here we could see some of the other 7 lakes (tarns).



We managed to somehow lose this very well traveled pathway, sticking close to the cliff instead.


Josh had to keep moving just to stay warm. He and I pushed ahead over several false summits. To the top of Mulhacén.

We made it!



Josh huddled in the rocks at the top to warm-up while I rushed back to help Alisha. On the descent (somehow) I missed her coming up. So I rushed back up to the summit, missing her again. She’d been there already and seen Josh.


Unfortunately she’d left her backpack close to the cliff edge. And wasn’t sure exactly where.

The three of us – once finally reunited – went searching for it together. We asked one Spanish climber if he’d seen it. He had! And it was finally recovered.

In the end I summited Mulhacén 5 times that day!

Josh really needed to get down to some place warmer. Here’s the scramble down from Mulhacén on the Traverse route.



We had lunch at this crowded “Refuge”. Not all that warmer than the summit, to tell you the truth.


The route would stay above 3000m for the rest of the day, mostly along the Sierra Nevada Road. (Looks great for mountain biking.)



Lonely Planet recommended we sleep at the Cariguella Refuge atop the Sierra Nevada Ski Resort.


We had an hour of daylight left and thought we might make the next Refuge instead, shortening our day 3 back to civilization. That same Spanish walker who found our backpack happened past. He seemed to know where he was going. So we followed.

Big mistake. We ended up off route. Lost. Facing steep cliffs. Eventually we were forced to backtrack to Cariguella.

It was cold. But clean. We shared common bunks with about 6 other hikers who were planning to climb the 3rd highest peak next day.

Unfortunately a loud, obnoxious group arrived after 10pm. Absolutely no consideration for those trying to sleep. They left very early next morning, all their trash on the table. 😦

I dislike European Refuge huts. This was only the second time ever I’d tried to sleep in one.

Remind me never to sleep in one again.


day 1 | day 2| day 3 | day 4

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