My friend Mick and I are just back from the Sierra Nevada. Not the Ansel Adams one, the other one… the one the Californian range was named after. The idea was to traverse the range east to west before turning south, crossing as many of the 3000m peaks (of which there are about 30, plus another dozen or so subsidiaries) as possible. We managed most but not all of the 30.
Both of us have been visiting this part of the world for about a decade - on and off - Mick more than I - and it has personal, political and cultural significance for us both, but this was mostly new and chewy ground. These are still fairly untamed mountains; intermittent paths, no signage and plenty of wildlife, much of which is endemic to the range. The Spanish Sierra Nevada are the highest mountains in western Europe outside the Alps, but are much less busy and burdened with far less infrastructure.
Here’s a few throwaway snaps. Not the best pictures of the trip - to be honest, they’re some of the worst… but they already have some kind of emotional resonance for me. This is the material you don’t get from the big commercial operators (yadayada). An actual journey, yo. 7 days only, but at times in some challenging weather and some intense terrain. It’s a place where the lines between backpacking and mountaineering can get all fuzzy if you choose the right (or wrong?) line. A traverse of the Sierra Nevada is compact but sustained.
Richard Hartley (that guide I mentioned - who has literally written the book on the area) and I are thinking of running a week’s guided photography trip in late Spring, 2019.
We’ll steer clear of the more severe scrambles and the weather should be much more stable. A Spanish High Sierra photo tour has the advantage of being off the beaten track and can be run affordably. The group size will be no more than five. I’ll share more on it once we’ve finalised the details, but if you are interested, please get in touch by email.