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Spain – Hills white with snow

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Spain-Hills White with Snow (35 downloads ) The Mulhacén and Monte Perdido are at either ends of Spain. The Mulhacén is in the south, in the Sierra Nevada near Granada and is the highest mountain in the Iberian peninsula. We climbed it, and the adjacent Alcazaba in 1981. Monte Perdido is in the north, and is the third highest mountain in the Pyrenees. We got there from Barcelona and climbed it six years later, in 1987.

Both trips were a delight. We were young and strong and it seemed no effort getting up high or climbing whilst carrying packs with camping gear. We climbed both in winter, when there was much more snow than there is nowadays. We were lucky with the weather on both trips and it was sunny and warm except on the north faces. Both climbs are relatively easy and we didn’t find them difficult. We used a rope and an axe and hammer axe each on the Mulhacén, which gave Scharlie confidence because it was very icy on the steep pitches. We did Monte Perdido without a rope and with single axes and crampons and the snow was deep enough to kick good steps. Since we were on our own we took care not to have an accident. We went by bus and bivouacked or camped on both trips. We were hard-up then and we stayed with friends in Granada and Barcelona and, in the Alpujarras, we found places to stay in people’s homes.

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