OverviewAt 3150m, Pico del Cartujo is the 12th highest peak in the Sierra Nevada. The peak stands at the head of the ridge which runs north from the Sierra's lowest peak, Cerro del Caballo and is separated from the Sierra's highest peaks by the Tajos del Nevero (cliffs of the Ice Field), a 3200m high ridge of sharp jagged rock.
From the summit a clear day will give fine views down towards the ski resort and Granada; across to Veleta and Mulhacen; and south past the summits of Tajo de los Machos (3088m) and the prominent point of Cerro del Caballo (3011m) out towards the sea.
Pico del Cartujo translates into English as the Peak of the Carthusian, tying the mountain in with one of Granada's most important relics, the 16th Century Carthusian Monastery.
Getting ThereDuring the winter buses run from Granada to the ski resort (named Sierra Nevada as the destination) several times a day. These will be crowded so be sure to book a ticket in advance.
Off season, there is a 9am bus (2 coaches) that runs to a point above the ski resort at 2300m on the ridge that leads up to Veleta (3396m). The bus ride takes just over an hour. This bus returns at 5pm. You can check this timetable and book tickets here.
From the Veleta refuge Pico del Cartujo can be reached either by traversing the Tajos del Nevero ridge, which requires scrambling, or from the footpath that cuts down below the ridge on the northern side and heads back up. From the col between the Tajos del Nevero and Pico del Cartujo there is a good footpath, which leads to the summit while avoiding the ridge.
This peak can also be reached from the ridge that begins with Cerro del Caballo (3011m), which is climbed from the Alpujarras.
Red TapeCamping is not officially allowed in the Sierra Nevada without authorisation. Finding who to contact is difficult.
CampingIf you decide to camp, the ideal place is above the small lake in the valley between Pico del Cartujo and the ridge leading to Pico del Tajo de los Machos.
Across from the peak, however, is a refuge at the beginning of Tajos del Nevero. Its in a bad state but there a few of the rooms remain usable and sheltered from the wind. By crossing the Tajos del Nevero, or following the route below, the far better Veleta hut can be reached.