Sierra Nevada, Spain – December 30th, 2008
Clearly visible from its white caps in the lower portion of the image is the Sierra Nevada, near the city of Granada, in the region of Andalusia, Spain.
Meaning “snowy range” in Spanish, it contains the highest point of continental Spain, Mulhacén, at 3,479 metres (11,414 ft).
It is the southernmost skiing area in Europe, very close to the Mediterranean Sea, an area usually known for its warm temperatures and abundant sunshine.
Central to the mountain range is a ridge running broadly west-south-west to east-north-east. For a substantial distance, the watershed stays consistently above 3000m in altitude.
On the southern side of the range, several long but narrow river valleys lead off towards the south-west, separated by a number of subsidiary ridges.
On the steeper and craggier northern side, the valleys have less regular orientations.