Ascent of Mulhacén on 1985-07-23

Climber: Greg Slayden

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Tuesday, July 23, 1985
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
    Elevation:11414 ft / 3478 m

Ascent Trip Report

(I spent the night in my car at 2650m on the south ridge of Mulhacén after driving up from Lanjaron the previous day.)

Like most having-slept-in-the-car mornings, I was up at first light on the barren mountainside. After some cereal and water, and going to the bathroom, I started (driving) back up the worst road of my life, driving very slowly. After a while the road split; one way went to Mulhacén's summit, a dead end, while the other to Veleta and eventually Granada, but I didn't know if this was open of not. Not wanting to add the dead end's miles twice to my poor car, I went towards Granada, and came to the Cuello de Mulhacén (Laguna de la Caldereta), a col just to the west of Iberia's highest mountain.

Here I parked next to another car just off of the "road", put together my pack, and started climbing up towards Mulhacén, not having to climb far over the boulders constituting the peak because of my high starting point. I followed obscure paths over the rocks, and, resting often on the steep cone, came to the pointed rocks, cross, and tiny chapel that crowned the highest point in Europe excluding the Alps by 9:00 AM.

I rested on top for a long time, admiring the views and resting. I left to descend to my car as I saw an auto arriving in a parking lot a hundred yards south of the summit, the terminus of the road I had not taken to save wear on my car. I descended closer to the sharp ridgecrest, jumping down the Presidential-type rock in a beeline for my visible car. I saw a man near by car from above, and when I got to it, talked the old Spanish gentleman. He told me I could get to Granada by continuing on the road (I thanked god!) and took a picture of me any my car parked on a moonscape at 3050m is the Sierra Nevada.

Mulhacen's rocky profile, from the summit of Veleta (1985-07-23).
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1407 ft / 428 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:W Ridge
    Trailhead:Laguna de la Caldereta  10007 ft / 3050 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear

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