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Dan Cramer
13-01-2013, 22:56
I am considering walking from Arona to Adeje via Itonche and Barranco del Infierno in February when I'm on holiday there.
Can anyone advise me on the temperature up there and what clothing would be suitable.
TIA

Susief
13-01-2013, 23:31
I am considering walking from Arona to Adeje via Itonche and Barranco del Infierno in February when I'm on holiday there.
Can anyone advise me on the temperature up there and what clothing would be suitable.
TIA

Sorry Dan you won't be walking Barranco del Infernio as its been closed for a long time!

Dan Cramer
13-01-2013, 23:35
Sorry Dan you won't be walking Barranco del Infernio as its been closed for a long time!

Yes I have read that but many people still walk that way I understand (at their own risk)

Skeggy
14-01-2013, 10:11
The temperature would be about 22c to 28c all you should need is a light fleece just in case, but will probally not need it, to walk the Barranco you would need to climb over the fence which would then be at your own risk but perhaps inadvisable. In many visits to Tenerife I have walked in all regions including what you propose but have never walked the Barranco, it always been closed. Tenerife Ramblers book Discovering Tenerife On Foot is a useful guide for anyone who intends walking in the South.

ribuck
14-01-2013, 12:14
I am considering walking from Arona to Adeje via Itonche and Barranco del Infierno
The route from Arona to Adeje doesn't go near the closed part of Barranco del Infierno. It crosses the Barranco del Infierno way upstream from the closed part. It wouldn't be possible to follow the Barranco downstream from that point anyway, due to cliffs and the waterfall, so the track continues to the west of the Barranco (there are several options, but I guess you're intending to descend via Lomo de las Lajas and Camino des Los Picos).

The tracks are clearly marked on OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=28.13158&lon=-16.71379&zoom=15&layers=M). The pink dashes over the Barranco del Infierno track show that the authorities have designated it as closed. Your track crosses about a mile above that.

February is a fantastic time of year for walking in this area, which can be too hot at other times. You'll probably do the walk in shirtsleeves, but have a sweatshirt or light fleece with you in case of cool winds. Take suncream and a hat as much of this walk has no shade, plus plenty of water. It's a great area to walk in; very scenically dramatic especially the higher parts.

I haven't been there since last summer's forest fire, but I haven't heard about any access problems in this area.

Dan Cramer
14-01-2013, 18:59
Skeggy, Ribuck

Thanks for the sound advice and map. I had misread this article http://www.tenerifetimes.com/content/view/214/1/
and thought the decent was thru the Barranco.

It will be a shame to miss that part of the route but I see the alternative now.

ribuck
10-02-2013, 20:57
Dan, I wonder whether you've done the walk yet?

Yesterday I did a long walk from Vilaflor to Playa de Troya, going via Ifonche and Adeje. So the middle third of my walk overlapped with the second part of your planned walk. It was very pleasant. The wildflowers are out in profusion and the views were great!

While sipping a cortado in the cafe that has a panoramic view into the Barranco de Infierno, I noticed dozens (if not hundreds) of people doing the walk. Closer inspection revealed that the Barranco de Infierno walk is open!

By that I mean that the gate has been unlocked and left wide open. Furthermore, the bolt of the gate has been locked in the protruding position, which means that the gate can't be closed. The "Track Closed" sign is still there, but "everyone" was doing the walk including adults, children, babies, dogs, grandparents etc, with no need to climb over any fence.

Apparently there's one spot where the track width is halved due to the collapse of part of the track, and another spot where a falling boulder has smashed a steel footbridge, but neither of these things were stopping people from making the journey to the end and back.

Dan Cramer
18-02-2013, 21:38
Instead of the long walk I managed 2 shorter walks; the Barranco de Infierno walk which is exactly as you describe. I also walked to the top of Guaza where the views are spectacular.

kiwiphil
04-05-2013, 11:43
Dan, I wonder whether you've done the walk yet?

Yesterday I did a long walk from Vilaflor to Playa de Troya, going via Ifonche and Adeje. So the middle third of my walk overlapped with the second part of your planned walk. It was very pleasant. The wildflowers are out in profusion and the views were great!



If anyone is planning walks and looking for some additional company let me know. I am only really free to do walks at the weekends as I work. I've done Masca (down then back up) and Paisaje Lunar. I'm keen to try out a few of the more challenging routes too. Ideally when its not windy as Windsurfing is my addiction :)

I think I'll go for a walk up Conde this afternoon.

ribuck
04-05-2013, 15:19
If anyone is planning walks and looking for some additional company let me know...
I'm back in England now, otherwise I'd be giving you a shout.

I recently realised that if I drew all the walks I had done on a map, it almost linked one end of the island with the other. So a couple of weeks ago I walked the last mssing link (La Caldera to Agua Garcia). So now I have hiked from Punta de Anaga to Los Cristianos, with connecting links to Santa Cruz, Puerto de la Cruz, Garachico, Buenavista, Los Gigantes, Costa Adeje, and also the summits of Teide, Pico Viejo, Guajara and Montana Blanca.

My next goal when I'm back in Tenerife will be to finish exploring all the canals and tunnels that link in to Masca Gorge.

angiebabes
04-05-2013, 18:51
Oh ribuk, that is most interesting. Can I persuade you to write a series of articles on those walks? Maybe even a booklet which would not only be helpful to folk wanting some walks to do, but also would help to inform the rest of us on the geography of Tenerife, and especially on the tinnels etc feeding into Masca?

kiwiphil
04-05-2013, 19:32
Oh ribuk, that is most interesting. Can I persuade you to write a series of articles on those walks? Maybe even a booklet which would not only be helpful to folk wanting some walks to do, but also would help to inform the rest of us on the geography of Tenerife, and especially on the tinnels etc feeding into Masca?

There is a good book already produced, Rother Walking guide, Tenerife (Google: amazon rother walking guide tenerife). Its available on Amazon, only 11.69.

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I'm back in England now, otherwise I'd be giving you a shout.

I recently realised that if I drew all the walks I had done on a map, it almost linked one end of the island with the other. So a couple of weeks ago I walked the last mssing link (La Caldera to Agua Garcia). So now I have hiked from Punta de Anaga to Los Cristianos, with connecting links to Santa Cruz, Puerto de la Cruz, Garachico, Buenavista, Los Gigantes, Costa Adeje, and also the summits of Teide, Pico Viejo, Guajara and Montana Blanca.

My next goal when I'm back in Tenerife will be to finish exploring all the canals and tunnels that link in to Masca Gorge.

Sounds good, I have read about those walks and am keen to do them .... but not on my own! Let me know when you're next back. I can take an occasional day off work so am not 100% restricted to the weekends. I'd better get some training in too, as you must be quite fit to have done all them :)

ribuck
06-05-2013, 13:45
Let me know when you're next back ... I'd better get some training in too, as you must be quite fit to have done all them :)

Unfortunately I probably won't be back until autumn. October perhaps. And don't worry, I'm not that fit, just adventurous!

kiwiphil
06-05-2013, 13:51
Unfortunately I probably won't be back until autumn. October perhaps. And don't worry, I'm not that fit, just adventurous!

Sounds good. Summer is windy anyway so is windsurfing time. See you in Autumn.

ribuck
06-05-2013, 14:54
Oh ribuck, that is most interesting. Can I persuade you to write a series of articles on those walks? ... especially on the tunnels etc feeding into Masca?

I don't want to write in detail about my walks until I'm back in Tenerife. Then, I can check what I've written before I post it. Otherwise I might accidentally post some wrong information and send someone the wrong way.

But to whet everyone's appetite, here are some interesting ways to enjoy the Masca Gorge. Most people just do the standard walk from Masca Village to the beach, then catch the boat back to Los Gigantes. But the area has much more to offer than that. Here's my list:

1. The standard walk from Masca Village (get the bus from Santiago del Teide) down to the beach, then on the boat back to Los Gigantes (get tickets in Masca Village).

2. The same walk, but in the uphill direction. There is a boat from Los Gigantes leaving at 9.30am which will allow you to avoid encountering most of the big groups that descend the gorge after lunch.

3. The walk along the top of the south wall of Masca Gorge. It's called the Guergues track and is described in the Sunflower guide to South Tenerife and La Gomera. It starts at Casas de Araza, and the bus can drop you at the nearby mirador.

4. The walk along the top of the north wall of Masca Gorge. It goes past Roque de la Fortaleza and leads to a fascinating area called Morro de la Galera. It's described as one of the alternative walks in the Sunflower Guide to South Tenerife and La Gomera. It starts at the government cafe at Cruz de Hilda (there is a bus stop).

5. There is a variation available for the last few hundred metres of the standard Masca walk. Instead of walking in the bottom of the barranco, you can take a higher route on the left. As soon as you see the first terracing, make for the top of it and keep going at that level. There's one slightly-awkward part, but it's mostly easy. It takes you past a really big cave with animal enclosures in it. If you're going uphill, you can do this variation by following a small metal pipe that goes diagonally upwards on the right-hand-side.

6. The usual way into the gorge is from Masca Village, but you can also access the gorge by a path from Lomo de Masca, the small village to the south-east of Masca. This path meets the usual route just before the bridge.

7. About ten metres after the bridge, and up a small scree slope, is the entrance to a tunnel that takes 20 minutes and goes under the Guergues trail and right through the mountain to the next valley. You can explore the nearby galleria, then either take a steep and dilapidated track up to Casas de Araza, or return through the tunnel to Masca.

8. About 45 minutes along the "standard" route, the path meets a small dam. Here there is a valley joining from the right. You can get back to Masca by following this valley. By crashing through the overgrown reeds, you can reach a rough path on the left-hand wall (when looking up the side-valley). There is a gate, which I assume is to keep goats out rather than people. The path meets some disused terraces which you need to make your way past to get back to Masca. If you meet a small farming track, turn right.

9. From the same dam, on the left is a disused canal. You can follow this for a while, then turn back and retrace your steps. Depending how adventurous you are, you will either reach a narrow ledge that is a bit scary, or else a small collapsed section where you can go no further. Along the way is a short tunnel. Here's an 8-minute video of a guy walking along the canal back to the dam:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMHK4pxFaBk

10. It's not strictly Masca Gorge, but one of the most scenic walks is from Santiago del Teide to Masca, via the amazing view at Pico Gala, then along the cumbre before turning left onto the camino that leads to Cruz de Hilda and then past La Bica to Masca. This walk is described in the Rother walking guide.

11. Some people have actually flown through the gorge. When I started to play the following video, I assumed they would be flying above the gorge and looking down. But no, they actually flew through it! From 2:14 to 2:20 in the video, you can see the canal mentioned in number 9 above.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eykxw-fYQ9I

12. At the Playa de Masca there is one house. Behind the house are some disused terraces stretching way up the slope. There is a fence around the house, but there is surely a way around it and up to the terraces. I haven't been up there, but the view from the top terrace must be stunning!

13. Finally, here is the most exciting walk that I have done in Tenerife. Starting at Masca, you walk back through the cliffs to Los Gigantes. Yes this is possible, but it's not for the faint-hearted. You need to have a head for heights, and be absolutely sure-footed. You need to be able to locate safe scrambling routes around various obstacles, and you need to be able to navigate reliably. You need to already know at least one of the exits through the mountain range into Valle de Santiago, or else you risk being stuck overnight. You also need to be prepared to retrace your steps for the entire route, if your forward route is blocked by a fresh rockfall or if you can't find the scrambling route around one of the waterfalls. Here's how it goes:

Catch the early boat to Masca beach and head up the gorge. After about half an hour there is an impressive side-gorge coming in from the right (at 1:10 in the video of number 11 above). You can see traces of an old donkey-track that was used by the tunnel-builders, but most of the old track has collapsed, and some other parts are close to collapse. Make your way up the path carefully. It winds back and forth to bypass various cliffs. Eventually the path goes no higher, but a cairn marks a short scramble up to an old canal. I assume this is the same canal as in number 9 above, but much further along. Turn right along the canal, and pick your way cautiously along the exposed cliff into which the canal has been built. Suddenly the canal turns left and enters a tunnel.

At this point you are half-way up the cliffs, and everything looks mighty impressive. It takes about 20 minutes to get through the tunnel. At first it's dry, and almost high enough to walk straight upright. Later the ground becomes wet and muddy, then the ceiling gets lower and for the last few metres you need to crawl. You come out half-way up the cliffs of the next valley! From here, the old canal drops down at about 45 degrees to a path near the bottom of the valley. You just sit in the canal and sort-of waddle down.

When you meet the path, you could turn left and eventually emerge at Casas de Araza, but it's more exciting to turn right. At times the path disappears and you need to pick your way around scrambles that bypass waterfalls. Sometimes the route is not obvious and takes a while to find. At one point you make your way down some footholds that have been hacked into a small cliff. It's awkward. Eventually you come out at a stony beach, Playa de Barranco Seco. There may be signs warning of rockfall risk, but your only options are to proceed regardless or to retrace your steps. At the other end of the stony beach is a path up another Barranco. Again it's on a deteriorating path with occasional scrambles.

Now you have two choices. There is a canal on the other side of the barranco, which is in use for carrying water. It leads to a 20-minute tunnel that emerges half-way up the cliffs of Los Gigantes. Unbelievably, it's possible to pick your way along an old construction path until you reach the end of Calle Tabaiba in Los Gigantes. But the path is narrow and crumbling, and there are huge unprotected drops just a footstep away. This walk along the Los Gigantes cliffs is described in walk 32 of the Rother walking guide. I have done it once in the past, but it's scary, and by this time in the day I had used up all my adrenaline reserves, so I opted for an alternative finish that is longer but much easier.

The alternative is a construction tunnel that goes through to Tamaimo. It's not obvious where the entrance is, so it's worth doing a reconnoisance from the Tamaimo end first. This tunnel is also described in walk 32 of the Rother guide. Once you've found this tunnel, all the hard stuff is over. It's an easy walk with a dry floor, and the tunnel is tall enough to walk upright. From the tunnel exit, turn left for Tamaimo, or turn right to walk all the way to Los Gigantes (an hour and a half from here).

The whole trip is from 6 to 10 hours depending on your speed, and it's certainly the most adrenaline that I've ever burned in one day. As always in Tenerife, there is a danger of rockfall and path collapse, and for this walk in particular you need to be able to evaluate and mitigate many types of hazards. But, wow!

angiebabes
06-05-2013, 16:01
Ribuk, thank you so much for such an interesting post. Am still studying it and then will give your piece to my husband to read. Wouldn't this info make a wonderful video? You are a very experienced walker/hiker and obviously very fit. I am sitting here in England at the moment suffering from an awful asthma attack, so your post has really helped me and I do appreciate your efforts. Thank you