Depending on conditions and how much snow there is, it is possible to climb Mulhacen as a day excursion in winter conditions but it will be a long hard day.
We believe that a better option is to make the ascent over 2 or 3 days returning to the valley on day 2 or 3.
Mulhacen at 3482m is the highest mountain in mainland Spain and the whole Iberian Peninsular. People climb Mulhacen for a variety of reasons though we at Sierra Nevada Mountain Guides want to ensure that everyone has the best, most enjoyable and safe experience whether you climb it with us or not.
Mulhacen is not the most technical or difficult of mountains in good summer conditions, though should never be underestimated as a winter trip, it has claimed several lives in the past few years. High winds and temperatures below freezing should be expected. That said, don’t forget to be prepared for the effects of both sun and altitude too.
In winter Mulhacen is a serious winter mountaineering proposition and should only be attempted by experienced mountaineers or with a guide. Details about maps and the area including booking the Poqueira Refuge are available from Sierra Nevada Mountain Guides
Day one Capileira to The Poqueira Refuge 2500m
The normal and most sheltered route is to drive to the abandoned village of La Cebadilla 1600m a short distance above Capileira. It takes approx 1.5 hours to reach here on foot from Capileira. The path from Cebadilla to the Poqueira refuge is well defined.
From the Poqueira Refuge we follow a path into the Rio Mulhacen which is ascended to the Caldera Refuge. Here we ascend close to the West Ridge of Mulhacen and to the summit. 2 to 3 hours from the Poqueira Refuge.
Descent is via Mulhacen’s south ridge to a “flat” area just north of Alto del Chorrillo. In good visability a a large cairn can be seen approx 1KM NW. Take the easiest line to this, the Poqueira Refuge can be seen a further 1KM to the NW.
If time allows, it is possible to descend back to La Cebadilla. This makes for a very long day. Better still is a beer and another night in the Poqueira Refuge sitting by the log fire and smug from a winter ascent of Spain’s highest mountain!
If you have any questions about route choice or conditions, do not hesitate to contact Sierra Nevada Mountain Guides