A stunning hike which takes us on a climb up through the Sierra de las Nieves in the darkness of the wee small hours in time for sunrise at the top of Mount Torrecilla, the highest peak in western Andalucia. Our next trip up is on the night of the full moon on Thursday 6th November. These photos were taken at the end of July, on the night of the new moon, when the temperature was a balmy 20 degrees or more for the whole walk.
The hike starts early in the morning under the cover of darkness. It takes 2-3 hours to ascend Torrecilla and you are rewarded by watching the sun rise as you rest your legs, take an early breakfast and enjoy a hot cup of coffee, prepared by your guide.
Torrecilla peak is set at 1,919 metres above sea level and towers above the Mediterranean Sea and Costa del Sol resorts to the south and Serrania de Ronda to the north. This is looking down to the lights of Ronda from partway to the top.
Just below the peak as the sun begins to cast its light on the mountains of the SIerra de las Nieves.
Full daylight at the top. I think some of us still look half asleep!
At the top you can take in the amazing views across the SIerra de las Nieves mountains to the Sierra Nevada above Granada to the east and the Rock of Gibraltar to the west,.
After the early morning start, there is always the opportunity for a quick snooze at the top - you'd never believe how comfy those sharp rocks can be after a 3am wake up call! Just watch out for the goats eyeing up your pack filled with breakfast and other tasty treats!
After some time to chill out, our descent in the early morning light takes us down from the peak and then on through the ancient pine forests.
Heather Cooper, Hike + Bike 25/10/2014