So after driving from Germany to Monaco and then Barcelona I flew home for 24 h to Stockholm to do a photoshoot and then back to Barcelona the next day. Then we drove to Mulhacén. I think we were there 3am in the morning after 12 h in the car. We got some sleep and around 11 we parked the car at the parking lot to summit Mulhacén. The highest mountain in the main land of Spain, 3478 m. This was going to be the longest climb so far.
It started with walking on a paved road and some trails on the hills just next to the road. This is a ski resort in the winter but lifts were not operating during the time we were there (and I would not have taken it if it was anyway).
The landscape was dry and had a mix of sand and rocks. The mountain is in Sierra Nevada in south Spain.
In the beginning it wasn´t too steep. It was just a long way to walk.
Up there was our first target (and mistake). We just followed a lot of the other people that were out hiking this day. It was just that they were not going to summit Mulhacén but that other peak you can see in the picture. Just a mistake that would cost us an extra hour and 200 more altitude meters to climb. But I guess that happens sometimes 😉
It was a pretty warm day so I hiked in my base layer t-shirt from Icebreaker.
After about two hours we had reached the summit of the wrong peak. Here we took a lunch break, had something to eat and looked over the view to see the real summit we were going for.
It didn´t look too far away. But it was. Omg. So far away. When people said “at least 3 more hours” I didn´t belive them. I was thinking “maximum two more hours”. I was wrong.
Well we kept walking…
And found this amazing view point where we had to stop to take a picture.
Then we walked some more…
There was a small via ferrata section. It was very short. But fun with something else then just a trail.
I was really happy to do this in september. I can imagine how hot this place is in the summer.
We walked some more… I don´t think you understand how far away it was. After climbing Mont Blanc a month earlier I had not been working out at all. Just rested for a month. I had some strange fever that didn´t want to go away. So this hike was hard for me cause I´ve been so lazy the last weeks.
Still so far away. And what you don´t see in the picture is that you have to go down before you can go up. That section is not even visible from here.
Are we there yet? Taking a mobile photo for my Instagram story.
This is not even the part where you go down. It´s after this section…
Just endless walking on a pretty boring path.
Then finally the last section. This became very steep after a while and I walked very slow in that part (but still got up way before the guy before me who was walking too fast). My guide Sandy from Mont Blanc said that the turtle always beats the hare on the mountain. I was so happy to get up in the summit because this last part was really boring and never ending. It was like you were walking and walking and it was still the same distance left.
Summit! I think it took us about 5 h up here. And then we had like a 20 min lunch stop too on the way.
We stayed at the top for maybe 30 min. Had some snacks. I enjoyed the sun and to rest a little.
Then it was time to walk down again. The first steep part went quickly.
Then we ran into this cutie.
I often use poles when I walk down to save my knees and to be able to walk even faster.
Since we started pretty late the sun began to set on the way down.
At this point we had walked for 3 hours down from the summit. And you started to be really tired in your legs. I had some more water. I think I drank 1,5 l during the day. Is not that much but it was enough for me. I´m usually not a big drinker.
Even if you were tired you couldn´t complain about the view.
I mean look at this!
We also ran in to them. What a dreamy end to this long and never ending hike.
When we got back to the car we started driving towards Portugal. But it was pretty late so we found a hotel 2 h from the mountain where we got a few hours of sleep before we continued to drive.
After all I have to say that Spain was a pretty boring mountain. I think we walked 37 km to the summit and back. It took 10 hours. And I was exhausted in my body after. And the lesson I learned was to not just follow other people because they might not go to the same place as you. So I got a bonus peak done on the way up too 🙂
Mountain no 9/49
Photos by me and Jacob Thörnäs / Studio Emma Svensson