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Ascent of Mulhacén on 2019-09-24

Climber: David Howells

Date:Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mulhacén
    Location:Spain
    Elevation:11414 ft / 3478 m

Ascent Trip Report

Siete Lagunas Loop.
Starting from the campsite in Trevlez village I knew this was going to be a long day especially with the heat. Heading North through the upper part of the village you come to a signposted path that takes you out onto the mountains. This route through the village is indicated by signs directing you to Siete Lagunas - Mulhacén or simply follow the GPX track for this section as it is easy enough.
Once out on the mountain the route from here is well marked for much of the way with wooden posts and the trail is good. After about 2 km you’ll reach the Cortijo de Piedra Redonda, a small stone building, and shortly afterwards take the path up to the left. This is signed to La Campiñela and Siete Lagunas. It was just getting light for me at this point.
The next section is one of the steepest on the walk and takes the form of a large ‘Z’ over about 3km’s until you get to a place marked on the Spanish maps as Prado Largo. This is also known as La Campiñela and there is a small unmanned refuge there you could sleep in as well as nearby water from a stream. I could not find any reference to the latter on any of the maps however apart from ViewRanger open cycle maps, the refuge is marked on this but not on the Spanish 1:25,000 maps? The views down the Trevelez valley on this stunning day were quite beautiful. Ahead still lay the bulk of Mulhacen.
The onward path is fairly clear and after about 1.5km of gentle climbing you reach the Culo Perro (or dog’s bottom) river. Cross the river where convenient to take the path on the opposite side. Follow this path for a further kilometre until you get to a branch of the river at the foot of a waterfall. Cross the river and climb up to the right of the waterfall until you reach Laguna Hondera, the first of the seven lakes of the Siete Lagunas amidst an impressive rocky amphitheatre. There is a path, but the terrain is quite rocky, so take care, particularly in wet conditions. If it is icy you will need crampons and ice axe.
You still can’t see the summit proper from here. You head off left (south) and up, following the obvious ridge line that brings you around to right (west). Here you start what I thought was a long arduous ascent towards the summit that went on for another 2.5km. It just seemed to drag. After about 2km you join another path (where I saw the first hikers of the day) which leads you to the summit which has a cairn and pronounced view point. The views are glorious all round, especially today on a sky blue day. Rocky snow free spires all around this time of year in all directions, simply beautiful. It had taken me around six hours to do the 14km and 1,780m of ascent to this point.
Going down I headed south towards Mulhacen 2, branching off to the right at the aforementioned path junction I came up on. You get to Mulhacen 2 within a half hour. I then carried on steadily downhill to Alto de Chorrillo which was around 5 kms away along a broad ridge. For most of the time you are either on a good foot path or an off road vehicle track. The views again are great and now it tends to get busy (ish) with people as this is the standard route up.
Here near to Chorillo on the ‘roadway’ you are at the Mirador de Trevelez (viewpoint) where a 4x4 bus comes up daily from Capileira to drop off hikers. I then headed off east steeply downhill. There is a footpath but it is very steep, zig zagging and punishing on the feet. Five km’s and around an hour and a half later I was on the outskirts of Trevelez. I had to do a ‘bit’ of route finding here but I suggest you follow my GPX track as it is pretty much smack on. It can get a tad confusing here though. However another half an hour bought me back to the campsite and some cold beer.
’This’ is the classic loop route for Mulhacen and it is a beauty. It is hard going in 25c+ heat but this time of year (Sep) there was plenty of water up to Siete Lagunas but none on the downward leg.

Route Summary: Either good footpaths or rocky mountain trails nowhere exposed. Steep in places but nowhere too extreme. The downhill section to Trevelez from Chorillo is a very steep downhill and punishing on the feet. A very tough day hike.
Route Statistics: 26km, 1,810m of ascent in 10hrs 30mins.
For fuller details, photographs and other information see my blog or wikiloc account.
Click on the links below and put a search in for the appropriate hill or mountain.
My blog - mountain nomad
My wikiloc - David Howells

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5938 ft / 1809 m
    Grade/Class:Very tough trek
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Hot and clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:5938 ft / 1809 m
    Distance:16.2 mi / 26 km
    Start Trailhead:5476 ft / 1669 m
    Time:10 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by David Howells
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file




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