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Tenerife Tribute

Tenerife Tribute

Postby Pensioner » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:29 pm

Date walked: 21/12/2018

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This was a mixed activity trip from 16 - 28 December involving trekking and spending Christmas with the family in Costa Adeje/Las Americas. We were based in Los Menores above the TF-1 away from the trash and tackiness of the coastal resorts which allowed easier access to the caldera and the mountains. We used the less busy and better profiled TF-38 via Chio to access the caldera rather than the busier twisting TF-51/21 up from Arona/Vilaflor. Apart from a couple of very windy days with some cloud the weather was gloriously sunny throughout.

Montaṅa de Guajara (2717m)
This huge bulky mountain lies on the southern rim of the caldera and looms over the Parador and western end of the southern access track. It throws down a series of broken loose cliffs above the trail which are to be avoided at all costs. It can also be accessed from Vilaflor to the south via the Paisaje Lunar but this is a long slog partly wading through deep volcanic ash albeit eventually reaching an excellent path on the upper slopes. We followed the link path from the Parador Nacional onto the southern access trail and in a further 2km reached the steep track leading up to the Degollada de Guajara at 2372m in about half an hour. Views open up here of the mountains along the crest and a panorama of the south coast. After a short rest we continued over the pass and downhill for a bit before swinging past a distinct pumice wall and then on rising ground to a notice board and iron rod where the paths diverge. Downhill leads eventually to the Paisaje Lunar but we followed the right trending path ever upwards over the slopes towards the summit of Guajara which we reached after a very hot 45 minutes. The temp was at least in the upper teens C and we couldn't believe the number of people in thick jackets and full hiking gear.
Montana de Guajara.JPG

Roque Garcia.JPG

The view from the summit is extensive but it's Teide that dominates and draws the eye. It was hard to comprehend that from our standpoint, Teide was a full 1km higher. While coming down the upper slopes I fell and twisted my ankle and so had to make a very careful descent. We retraced our route back to the Parador.

Guergues Ridge
We had traversed the Masca Gorge twice before in each direction and planned to do it again until we discovered that it was closed until further notice for safety reasons (https://www.janetanscombe.com/news/masca-barranco-closed.html).So instead we repeated a superb ridge hike high above the gorge with dramatic views. We parked the car about 200m below the Cherfe viewpoint on the Santiago del Teide --> Masca road and picked up the track just further down. From the road the entirety of the route appears obvious but the start of the track is sketchy and braided but quickly improves into a well constructed mainly clear line.

Guergues Ridge.JPG

The well laid path either follows the ridge crest or the less steep slopes predominantly on the south side rather than the fearsome gut-wrenching vertigo of the Barranco de Masca. In places the track supported by rock walls zigzags up the steep face before finally crossing a narrow neck onto the Masca side with a short exposed pitched traverse onto the highest peak. From here Teide comes into view and there is a descent to a Finca and perched threshing area with impressive views to the sea and sprawling Los Gigantes. Altogether about an hour and half. You have no choice but to return by the outward route. An excellent moderate ridge trail with extensive views.

Barranco del Infierno
This is a well known and popular hike which starts at the top end of Adeje at the end of a very steep road next to the excellent Otelo restaurant. There is a €17 pp entry fee, safety talk and helmets with two guides positioned in the gorge. None of this happened when I last did the trek 8 years ago. It was a scorching day and my head was sweating within minutes of putting the helmet on which was really annoying. The constructed path starts high up on the NW flank of the gorge and gradually heads into the upper ravine which was in the shade after about an hour's walking. There were far more ups and downs than I recall on steps and logs and it seemed longer too. The gorge scenery overhead is dramatic and there are a number of rest/info stations. At the end there is a rather pitiful waterfall with a guard railing which wasn't there on my last visit either. I suppose in full flood the waterfall would be more impressive.

Barranco del Infierno.JPG

Roque del Conde
Conde looms above Las Americas and the other SW coastal resorts with its distinctive chopped off top. Due to its position and isolation it appears much more significant than it actually is because the vast slopes behind it continue to rise way above it towards the towering caldera rim. We had originally intended to climb another mountain trail in the caldera but my ankle was playing up so we went for Conde instead.

The starting point is on the backstreets of Vento, a suburb of Arona past which the TF-51 snakes ever upwards on its tortuous path to the caldera. There is a parking lot, albeit some distance from the trailhead, with a few coveted kerbside spaces much closer. The mountain looms above and the route is well signposted to Roque Conde and Ifonche with white & red markers. The good trail first descends into and crosses two barrancos, the smaller Barranco del Ancon and the much deeper Barranco del Rey, then climbs out in a series of small cobbled switchbacks onto the upper slope to the left which it traverses for some distance past a dilapidated house and threshing circle. If you have time to walk down Barranco del Rey there is an impressive rock wall and further up near the ruined house a branch track leads to a huge hole with a water well. But be careful here.

The clear rocky track continues relentlessly uphill eventually in about half an hour onto the crest of the mountain at a viewpoint and small degollada. Suddenly the the whole panorama of the south coast appears. From here the nature of the walk changes. The uneven path does not continue up the crest but traverses left more or less horizontally across the slopes tumbling down from the summit plateau. It is exposed in places with some rock steps and loose sections as it gains height up gullies and over ridges. Finally it breaks out onto the summit plateau through a surprising area of wild plants and cacti.
Roque Imoque.JPG

Roque Imoque from Conde.

It is a surprise to discover that this summit area was once cultivated; there are ruinous dwarf walls. From the various vantage points on the summit there are views all around but it was the pointed cone of Roque Imoque that drew my eye. It is possible to continue along the ridge towards Imoque and Brezos in about an hour but with a lot of scrambling. Descent by the outward route eventually to a pleasant bar in Arona.
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Re: Tenerife Tribute

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:57 pm

Great read. We've been going to Tenerife for a good while now, and I'm always amazed at how good and varied the walking is. Last time there I walked in the Anaga Mountains, and went up Teide.
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