Monday, March 11, 2013

Pico del Inglés - Taganana, Vilaflor - Guarjara, and Teide

Another three days of excellent walking in Tenerife, last week. This time I had the pleasure of the company of two strong walkers from Peaks Mountaineering Club in Clonmel.


La Quebrada - Pico del Inglés - Taborno - Afur - Taganana (via Casa Forestal)

Distance - 21.5kms
Climbing  - 2,242m
Duration - 6 hours 49 minutes
Moving time - 5 hours 37 minutes.

We got a local bus from Santa Cruz towards Valle Seco and the turning point for the bus, at the end of the route, is where there is a sign for the walk start at La Quebrada.

A beautiful walk on well marked footpaths. It was overcast and a bit windy but there was plenty of cover from the vegetation. As a fellow walker described it "It's like walking in the Botanical Gardens for five and a half hours."
Aqueduct bridge near La Quebrada 




Vilaflor - Degollada de Guarjara - Summit of Guarjara - Degollada de Ucanca - Valle de Ucanca - Vilaflor

Distance - 23.4kms
Climbing - 1,833m
Duration - 7 hours 55 minutes
Moving time - 6 hours 10 minutes.

The best day we had weather-wise. A good number of walks start/finish in Vilaflor at 1,465m and the paths and scenery are excellent. The summit of Guarjara stands at 2,715m and has breathtaking views of Teide National Park and surrounding peaks. The descent from Guarjara to Degollada de Ucanca was tricky enough but other than that a good safe hike.

En route to Guarjara

Arenas Negras

Teide, Montana Blanca, Pico Viejo (from Degollada de Guarjara)


Montaña Blanca car park - Pico del Teide - Los Charcos - Torre Blanco - Parador. [Used Senderos 7, 10, 12, 9, 23 (short scramble from Sendero 3 over Roques de García to pick up Sendero 23 again)]

Distance - 19.8kms
Climbing - 1,704m
Duration - 9 hours 14 minutes
Moving time - 6 hours 32 minutes.

By far the most difficult walk/climb I have encountered to date. Our average speed was a kilometre per hour slower than normal. The sole reason for this was the snow/ice when we got above 3,200m. Crampons would have helped.

The Teleferico Station was deserted and there was no need to show our permits and passports. I found the final 163m scramble to the summit difficult as I was virtually crawling. We met two other climbers on their descent and they were the last walkers we met until we got to the Sendero 23 side of Torre Blanco that evening.

It was equally as difficult on the descent. I'd say that this is a handy enough walk/climb without the snow and ice. We'll just have to do it again another time.

Even though it was difficult, it was the most enjoyable days walking to date. We all took a tumble and got bangs and bruises. We also learnt a painful lesson on snow blindness. You walk and learn.

Terrain near Refugio Altavista

Teide Summit

Pico Viejo Crater

(Rough) Sendero Guide

PS: If you want to do a long walk on Teide the bus service isn't great, the last bus leaves at 16:00. They don't accept the Bono Via card on this route. Also, there are no taxis based in Parador so one would have to bone up from Vilaflor to bring you back down south.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fauscoum, Slievenamon, Galtymore & Knockmealdown

I've been hill walking now for just over six months and recently had a notion that I'd like to try and climb these four peaks in the one day ie touch the Trig stones or Cairns on each. I wasn't sure about how long it would take and only mentioned it to my daughter. Her response was "You're crazy!!".

I set off to do climb Fauscoum from Kilclooney Wood at 07:30 yesterday morning and was back at the car at 09:25. Headed over to Slievenamon and was walking at 10:00 and was back down at 11:15.

I was on the Black Road at 12:15, after having a bite to eat, and made it back down to the car from Galtymore at 14:35. Left the car at The Vee at 15:00 to head up Sugarloaf via the Grubb monument for Knockmealdown and was back down at 17:40.

I don't have a GPS so I'm not sure what distance or height gain was involved. Judging by the way I felt at the finish and a very rough guess from the map, I'd say it must have been about 2,200m ascent. The weather was great on the first three climbs but cold, windy and foggy on the Knockmealdowns.

Update 13th March 2013 - A club member informs me that the height gain on this challenge is 2,339m (approx)  and distance is 28.5km.