Siete Picos South – steep ski!

Steep rock on the South face of Siete Picos

Steep rock on the South face of Siete Picos

As i said in a previous post, the South face of Siete Picos doesn’t get a lot of snow in recent years. The last time it had any serious accumulation was in 2001. But this year we’re not doing too bad; despite some rainy episodes a good deal of the constant precipitation we’ve had since mid-January has been in the form of snow, and slowly the upper part of the South face has filled in. Yes, enough so to be skiable.

Last week i decided to have a go at it, ascending from Fuenfría, then Senda Herreros to below the Seventh (or First) Peak..long and arduous. High temperatures made for poor snow conditions, after reaching the top and descending 100m on skis i knew it didn’t make sense to continue..so i abandoned and struggled back to the top to ski the shaded North where wonderful conditions still prevailed.

Today, March 20, i had another go..this time ascending from Puerto Navacerrada train station to the Seventh Peak and descending the “Y” Couloir from there.

View from near the top of Siete Picos looking South. Cercedilla can be seen in the distance.

View from near the top of Siete Picos looking South. Cercedilla can be seen in the distance.

Today conditions were a good deal better than last week, though hardly ideal. I was hoping for a fresh layer of powder ..and i got a slab of compacted semi-humid fresh snow. I’ve seen worse. So down i went.

Looking down the "Y" Couloir

Looking down the “Y” Couloir

It probably wasn’t the best steep ski of my life but it was really great to ski this couloir after so many years wanting to, looking up there from Cercedilla in the middle of Winter and wondering if there might be enough snow to make it possible some year before i got too old!

Le gros gendarme..on the (skier's) left bank of the couloir

Le gros gendarme..on the (skier’s) left bank of the couloir

Conditions worsened in the lower half of the couloir but it remained skiable. At 1800m, just out of the bottom of the couloir there was little more to be done..so skis off, crampons on, piolet out and back up to the top and down the North and back to Puerto Navacerrada.

The end comes into sight

The end comes into sight

PS: Most of the fotos were taken in reverse order..i.e. on the way back up, that’s why you can see tracks and broken snow all over the place.

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About coldspringdays

Éireannach is ea mé, i mo chonaí insan Spáinn. Rugadh mé i lár na tuaithe, ar feadh blianta bhí mé ag teitheadh uaithi, i bhfad as an tuath, ach sa deireadh d'fhill mé, ar ais go dtí an tuath.. An Irishman am I, settled in Spain. Born was I in the middle of the country, for years I ran from it, far from the country, but in the end I returned, back to the country..
This entry was posted in ski, snow, the seasons and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Siete Picos South – steep ski!

  1. The highest peak of the seven (the one that is closer to Navacerrada Mountain Pass) is the Seventh Peak. Many people (even guides) say that peak is the first one, but they are absolutely wrong. Anyway, I hope I can descend that couloir some day.

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