Monday, 12 November 2012

Autumn walking

I was back in England recently doing the usual family visits during the October half term. I did manage to get some walking in in the White Peak area of Derbyshire though which is an area I didn’t know too well before. I was there redoing my First Aid certificate needed to maintain my qualification to work as a guide. This was great hands on course but very different for the fist one I ever went on when the doctor running the course showed us how to do a tracheotomy using a biro and a pen knife!!!. The recent course was for wilderness first aid aimed at use way from the nearest phone or medic. I must admit I’ve been lucky enough never having to do much more than stick a plaster on (checking for allergies first though) and that has tended to be at home rather than out on the hill. Having got back from reasonable weather in the UK we had two weeks of fairly constant rain here which didn’t allow for much walking and surprisingly put little if any snow down on the mountain directly above us. The peak, Cero de Caballo is 3,011m and as such is the most westerly 3,000m+ summit in Europe. Seeing snow on its summit is a great indication of conditions further into the range. As I write the unusually mild weather isn’t allowing the low temperatures needed to allow snow fall or if it does fall to thaw out on the ground. Hopefully early days yet though and I‘m sure we will soon be out playing in snowy mountains. Once the rain eased however I did manage to get out and did a short walk in the sierra north of Granada. I had seen a walk near the village of Moclin which includes quite a spectacular gorge section. I headed out and having done an early drop off at Granada bus station was walking by nine on a very misty morning. I must admit once I was out in the cool it was very nice to walk and not be concerned about over heating and avoiding the sun as I have been for most of the summer. The route is a delight and was made better by cloud coming a going thoughout the walk which made for very atmospheric views of the gorge and surrounding cliffs and castles. The river which runs through the gorge was in spate which made the crossing of a very bouncy suspension bridge even more dramatic than it would normally have been . The route is well marked and easy enough to follow though perhaps at its best in summer when I dare say you could get into the river to cool off. for more information about walking holidays in the Sierra Nevada, Walking in the Alpujarra contact The Life of Riley at