I have been lucky to spend many beautiful days in the mountains..and it would not be an easy task to choose one day in particular as the best. But last Sunday 08 February would certainly be a strong candidate for the most beautiful day.
After days and days of snowfall, storm, wind and cloud – some of which were also very wonderful days – the sun finally shone upon the Sierra once more. We headed for Cotos and the Loma del Noruego where we knew we wouldn’t meet too many people.
And indeed but a few minutes walk from Cotos all was quiet and wondrous white..everything absolutely covered, caked, plastered with snow. The views were..well, spectacular.
It didn’t really matter which direction you looked..things were equally spectacular all around..
I had skied the North and the surprisingly delightful SouthEast of Siete Picos the previous day in the cloud..so i wasn’t too powder-hungry on this day and could just take it easy and try to take it all in.
Of course we did get to ski some very lush powdery snow on the southeastern flanks of La Loma too..so really no room for complaints at all.
Then in the afternoon i had a few hours to myself, so i decided to go visit my beloved Hermana on the other side of Cotos. On the way up thru the forest i risked a shower – or a succession of showers – as the snow began to fall from the trees due to the action of the sun.
Higher up some cloud began to waft in from the North..working magic with the light among the wild pines.
And when i got above the forest, the spectacle broadened..once more in every direction..
Like many of us who love Guadarrama, i never tire of looking towards La Mujer Muerta..
I skied down, down thru the forest..and then back up. The second time on the way up, as the sun dropped lower in the sky and evening came in, things got really breathtaking.
A great sea of cloud washed over Valsaín and the huge valley that lies between Peñalara and Mujer Muerta..and the low-angled light wrought deep contrasts of texture, on the mountains and on the clouds.
I should say that all the afternoon – all the day even, excepting the area immediately close to the road in Cotos – i had seen practically no-one. During the morning maybe seven or eight people on La Loma del Noruego..and four or five on the southern slopes of La Hermana during the afternoon. At 6 in the evening near the top of Hermana Menor (2271m)..
..just before i reached the summit for the second time that day, there suddenly appeared two other people..moving towards the SouthWest on their descent. I quickly grabbed my phone two or three seconds before they disappeared, not wanting to miss the opportunity for a perfect photo.
The most beautiful day..? There or thereabouts.