Ascent to Veleta Peak, the toughest ascent in the world


The Veleta Peak is the fourth highest peak in Spain, behind Teide, Mulhacén and Aneto, it is the third highest in the Iberian Peninsula and the second in its mountain range with 3396.68 meters above sea level. It is located in the province of Granada and is located within the Sierra Nevada, in the Penibaetic System.

At the summit of Veleta, the municipal terms of Capileira, Güejar Sierra, Dílar and Monachil come together.

Features of the Veleta

The name of the Veleta comes from the Arabic word balata, which means "cut, cut or roll". It received this name as a result of the large cuts that are located on the north, east and south side of the Veleta, of which you can find some with a slope of almost 500 meters. Another way by which you can hear referring to the Veleta is with the name of Picacho, although this is more common by mountaineers and nearby inhabitants.

At the foot of the north pit of Veleta Peak, in an area known as Corral del Veleta, you will find an area of permafrost where an estimated ice fossil from the last glaciation is located, with about 13000 years. This shows that Sierra Nevada was an active glacier zone until the Corral del Veleta glacier finished melting.

The Veleta has a very characteristic form from Granada, since it is shaped like a candle and, being its image behind the Alhambra, it is one of the most photographed peaks in the world.

At the foot of the Veleta you will find the IRAM Veleta Peak Observatory and the Sierra Nevada Ski Resort. The latter begins in the town of Pradollano and ends almost at the top of Veleta.


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Ascent to the Veleta

The ascent to the Veleta has become a tourist attraction for mountain lovers. That is why throughout the year many of the tourists who visit Sierra Nevada take the opportunity to visit this characteristic peak.

It may be that your interest in the Veleta is only to know more about it or because you want to visit it. In the event that your visit is for leisure and enjoy it in a quiet way, you can book some of the excursions offered in Sierra Nevada to visit it.

However, your interest in Veleta Peak may be because you want to prepare some of the sports events that are held and that consist of climbing this peak. If this is the case, the two best known tests are the following:

Ascent to the Veleta: The organizers describe it as "the toughest ascent in the world", runs along the highest road in Europe that connects Granada with Sierra Nevada and has approximately 50 km. It is usually held at the beginning of August and starts from Granada to Veleta, passing through Pinos Genil, near Güejar Sierra and Purche, Dornajo, Pradollano, Hoya de la Mora and Laguna de las Yeguas.

Ultra Sierra Nevada: If you are not happy with the previous race, in this race you will find three different options.

Ultra: It is the hardest, it has 6060 meters of unevenness, 100 km of travel and, although it is the only one of the three that reaches the Veleta, it has its finish in Pradollano. Its route goes from Granada to Sierra Nevada.

Trail: This has 3710 meters of unevenness and 62 km of travel. On this occasion he leaves from Beas and stays in Pradollano without reaching the Veleta.

Marathon: It is the simplest of the three but that does not mean that it is easy. It has 2730 meters of unevenness and 40 km of travel. In this case, the runners leave from Quentar until they reach Pradollano and without climbing the Veleta.


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