The VI Meeting of the IPA-Spain group took place from June 25–27, 2003, in La Granja de San Idelfonso (Segovia, Spain) at the base of the northern foothills of Peñalara Massif (Guadarrama Mountains of Spain’s Central Range). Members of the Department of Geodynamics at Universidad Complutense de Madrid and the Department of Geological Engineering at Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha organised the meeting.

The general topic of the meeting was “periglacialism in relation to other topics,” and the discussions highlighted the interaction between phenomena derived from freezingthawing processes and factors typically associated with slope stability and vegetation colonization. The opening presentation given by the Director of Peñalara Natural Park reviewed the status of ecological restoration work being done in a high mountain area of the park. The area was once the site of a ski station and now the habitat is being reclaimed to its natural dynamics. Two other park employees discussed the difficulties of regenerating the natural ecosystems in areas affected by numerous freeze–thaw cycles. In the scientific sessions fifteen papers were presented that focused mainly on the Iberian mountains. They were grouped into three categories: monitoring and dynamic characterisation of cold-climate processes; ecology, paleoclimatology, and natural hazards in cold-climate areas; and morphogenesis derived from cold-climate processes.

Field work was conducted on Peñalara Massif (2428 m), the highest peak in the Guadarrama Mountains, to gain insight to current periglacial activity above 1900 m, to detect morphologic indications that reveal current activity, and to interpret data collected at local control stations.

The team leaders of the IPA-Spain group closed the meeting with the presentation of the results of a detailed survey sent to group members to determine priorities for the direction of research presented in scientific works up to the present, set priorities and propose future research. Members agreed to the proposal to coordinate work on permafrost monitoring and periglacial processes underway in several mountain ranges of the Iberian Peninsula (Pyrenees, Central Range and Sierra Nevada) and in the Antarctic, and to study the possibility of creating a network for the exchange of information among the different stations.

Discussions took place with Gonçalo Vieria to create a joint IPA Co-chaired Member (Iberia Member) between Spain and Portugal. This proposal was made to the IPA Executive Committee for Council consideration.

Javier Pedraza and David Palaçios (davidp@ghis.ucm.es)