Rock and ski

It’s June and in Guadarrama this would normally mean the rock climbing season rolls out..but this year the steep ski season is far from finished.. so last Sunday my enthusiastic mountaineering partner Mariano and i set out to get a little of both!

Lots of rock below the East face of Peñalara..lots of snow too!

Lots of rock below the East face of Peñalara..lots of snow too!

It wasn’t difficult to find a line of steep rock to climb – with three or four meters of snow at our feet – though i had in mind something perhaps a little easier, given that we would be climbing with skis on our packs.. But there was no stopping Mariano..

Mariano climbing, skis on his back, just above a fifth grade move

Mariano climbing, skis on his back, just above a fifth grade move

Two short rope-lengths of what would normally be moderate difficulty rock-climbing later, we were back on the snow and climbing towards the top of Peñalara..with its corniced couloirs and excellent conditions for ski.

Peñalara, Tubo Ancho is upper left of center

Peñalara, 02 June 2013, Tubo Ancho is upper left of center

Then down..we chose the short couloir known as Tubo Ancho which offers a very steep entry at around 50º before mellowing out quickly lower down. The snow was sluffy and perhaps a little dangerous but otherwise fine to ski.

Dropping in to Tubo Ancho (Foto: Mariano)

Dropping in to Tubo Ancho (Foto: Mariano)

Lower down the snow became a little heavier but when you can slide down to 2045m – close to 400m vertical descent – on the 2nd of June in the center of Spain..you’re hardly gonna complain!

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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..
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