Tuesday, 17 February 2015
Situated at 2,500m on the southern slopes of Mulhacen the ‘’Refugio de Poqueira’’ has in recent years become more and more popular with mountaineers and walkers. Built in the mid nineties to replace the higher Felix Mendez hut the refuge is a well appointed base for activities in the high peaks of the Sierra Nevada. With some recent improvements the refuge sleeps up to 84 people in a number of mixed dormitories on its upper floor. Below in a large airy dinning room large three course evening meals are shared out amongst that days guests by friendly and professional guardians. The main objective for most people staying overnight is undoubtedly an ascent of Mulhacen . from the refuge either the south or west ridge routes are easily accessed but it is perhaps the Rio Mulhacen/Caldera/west ridge route which is the better of the two. A technical route under winter conditions when there is steep ice and snow on the upper slopes this route comes into its own once snow clears the main faces of the mountain and it becomes a beautiful walk up an alpine river valley to a steep final ascent. As well as Mulhacen the Sierra Nevada’s two other big summits are available from the refuge. Veleta lies to the west and can be easily reached by following the old mountain road as it traverse the range at around 3,000m. To the east lies Alcazaba , an ascent from the refuge takes in Siete lagunas and involves about 1,300 m of ascent. It is perhaps though the best trip in the range and well worth the effort.