The white towers

tower 1IT’S cold on Lujar. The beast of a mountain has been growling beneath a dusting of snow for the past few days. The telecommunication masts that crowd its summit are rimed with ice. So different from when I stood beneath them back in 2012, throat parched and boots white with dust. Glad I’m not up there today . . .

tower 9 tower 8Deep snow on the summits of the Sierra Nevada. Some days the mountains appear pure and white beneath clear skies. Some days they are black ships labouring through dense clouds with snow spray on their hulls.

Me, I just sit on the roof and take photographs, occasionally wishing I was wading through those pristine snowfields, but relieved I’m not when an arctic wind rolls heavy clouds in from the north.

tower 2 tower 3 tower 4 tower 6The weather changes remarkably quickly here in the Alpujarras. Today is like a day in late spring, with healing sunlight and a lively wind. Yesterday was cold and dark. Tomorrow could be a return to sleet and heavy clouds.

Meanwhile, I dream of spending a night on Lujar (1,877m or 6,161ft), stretched out upon the slabby western summit away from the towers, watching the stars revolve while the scent of pine fills the air. But not just yet. Warmer and more settled weather, I think.

tower 7

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17 thoughts on “The white towers

        1. A wise decision, Ash. I haven’t worn my Tommy Ball braces for a few years.
          I’d hoped to get up on the tops some time ago but have managed to bog myself down in DIY and gardening jobs. I also need to get fit again. And that’s not as easy as it used to be.
          All the best, Alen

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  1. Dramatic weather everywhere. Tenerife had 6inches 0f snow last week, Mt. Tiede looked Himalayan.
    Just read the post on your summer ascent of Lujar, you are brave to go off track in Spain – all those spiky bushes. It would be a serious proposition under present conditions.
    Stay by that roaring fire.
    John.

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    1. Hi John. I went off track because I didn’t know where the track was. Other than the Sierra Nevada, maps of the high ground in Spain are hard to come by. You can’t buy them in shops. I really should dedicate some time to acquiring some.
      Tiede is one mountain I would like to climb, not least because it’s Spain’s highest. Damned inconsiderate of them sticking it right out in the Atlantic.
      Cheers, Alen

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    1. Hi Carol. The Sierra Nevada is the highest range in Europe outside the Alps, I read somewhere recently. The highest peak, Mulhacen, is just over 11,000ft. There is a ski resort on the northern slopes and until recent decades there was a glacier. Alas, no more.
      Cheers, Alen

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  2. I prefer not to sit on the roof of my house, even though there is a view of Rivington Pike on the other side of the Douglas valley. Snow and roaring log fires in Spain; makes you want to go out and tear up the travel guides. Do you chop and store the wood using that wood chopping book you bought off Amazon? (I was chopping wood last Friday. I always think of that book when I’m doing it.)

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    1. We’re nearly out of woood, Chris, so I’ll have to buy some more. I also need a chainsaw to prune some of the older trees, and this will add to next year’s wood pile. That book, Norwegian Wood, is great. I did get the impression, though, that in certain parts of Norway there isn’t much to talk about except chopping wood.
      I’ve just Googled Rivington Pike and realised I’ve been up there. How cool is that?
      Cheers, Alen

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  3. Brrrrrrr, that looks cold! I remember seeing the mast on the Cairnwell rimed like that, a couple of winters ago. It’s turned very chilly here today. More snow for us, I think. That fire looks inviting, Alen!

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