Canary Islands, La Palma

Pico de la Nieve (2238m)
Pico de la Sabina (2137m)
Punta de los Roques (2085m)
Point 2056m
Pico Corralejo (2044m)



To the main La Palma page (General La Palma hiking information)

 

The route, seen in Google Earth

The route, seen in Google Earth
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Intro...

This was our final day of hiking on the beautiful island of La Palma and the plan had been set for days; the southeast part of the Caldera de Taburiente crater rim - part of Ruta de la Cresteria. This route would take us across Punta de los Roques - a beautiful peak that I had looked forward to visit. The big question was however if the peak accepted visitors not carrying a rope. From a distance, it was difficult to tell..

 

Punta de los Roques

Punta de los Roques
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Carlos...

Our "regular" driver Carlos picked us up at our hotel (Las Olas) just after breakfast and drove us up the volcano. We got off where the forest road towards Pico de las Nieve began but took the forest path instead of the road. I think Carlos found Anne and me to be "very good customers", and for us, not getting a rental car had actually been a blessing.

Pico de la Nieve

The path up to Pico de la Nieve was 2,6km and the elevation gain was 360 meters. On our way up, we saw joggers along the crater rim and I wondered how they had organized this logistically. No obvious options for round trip hikes up here...

It took us 55 minutes to reach the 2239m signpost. But on my map, the name Pico de la Nieve was put on a slightly higher top 0,25km to the north. So while Anne started walking to the south, I ran up to the north top and caught up with her down by the viewpoint where our path met the crater rim.  

 

Heading south from Pico de la Nieve

Heading south from Pico de la Nieve
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Pico de la Sabina

The next target was two neighbour tops where the map said that the first top was Pico de la Veta de la Arena and the second top Pico de la Sabina. But the first top was signposted Pico de la Sabina so I can only assume the map had got the tops mixed up. We saw signs towards Petroglyphs but we did not go looking for them...

 

On Pico de la Sabina

On Pico de la Sabina
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Punta de los Roques

Ahead of us was the primary goal for the trip - Punta de los Roques. We were still clueless about the difficulty awaiting - if any at all. Time would tell...

From a distance, the north face of the peak looked a bit scary and I wondered where the path went. As we got closer, we could see the path had been "carved" out of the mountain side. At the Degollada del Rio pass, I tried to climb a rock feature but turned around just before the final push because of incredibly bad rock quality.

The path which - seemingly - had been carved out from the north face was indeed spectacular...

 

Along the north face path

Along the north face path
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The ascent up to the ridge crest was exciting. We would soon find out how difficult the summit point was. It turned out not to be difficult at all, which I found somewhat disappointing. As strange as it may seem...

On the summit, I felt that the northernmost point was slightly higher than where the "Parque Nacional" signpost was. So we had to climb out to the rock and were "happy" that there was some exposure involved...

 

On Punta de los Roques

On Punta de los Roques
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Pico Corralejo

The fog didn't seem to let go so we continued after a little while. First, we stopped by Refugio Punta de los Roques shelter. This could perhaps be a natural place to spend the night if one were to hike from Roque de los Muchachos to Fuencalente - via La Ruta de los Volcanes.

When we passed point 2056m, I wanted to go up there. Anne didn't feel the same way and waited for me by the path. The summit point looked massive when I first saw it through the fog, and I had to use my hands to get up there.

A little further down the ridge, we walked up to Pico Corralejo - the last top we would visit on our La Palma trip. This top marked the end to the fun part of the route. We anticipated that the rest would be a less eventful transport leg...

 

VERY COOL terrain!

VERY COOL terrain!
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"Magic" pines...

One of the highlights of the trip was the Canary pine; the mist from the trade winds condenses on the long needles and falls down as rain. This "local rain" helps the pine growing in areas with little rainfall. The long needles also help protect the tree from fires by burning fast before the heat damages the growing buds.

 

Raining pine trees

Raining pine trees
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After a while we got below the mist and got the LP-3 road in view. Just before we reached the junction where we got off the ridge, we had taken a short-cut and discovered a small cave - Cueva de los Cochinos. This cave used to provide shelter for those who crossed or traveled on the Cumbre Nueva ridge. 

Next, we got to the GR-131/LP-1 junction where we turned right left Cumbre Nueva. Soon we followed a very distinct ridge down to the church Ermita de la Virgen del Pino. The pine forest down by the church was just amazing...

 

Pine forest above Ermita de la Virgen del Pino

Pine forest above Ermita de la Virgen del Pino
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At the church, Anne didn't fancy 2km on a paved road and so we hitch hiked with some Germans who - actually - had got hold of a rental car. Back at the National Park Visitor Centre, we waited for the bus to take us back to Santa Cruz. We had to wait almost an hour for this bus, and almost an hour in Santa Cruz for the bus to Los Cancajos. But that didn't matter at all. We had a wonderful week in La Palma. I absolutely recommend this island!

 

In Santa Cruz, waiting for the bus

In Santa Cruz, waiting for the bus
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Trip Facts

The trip was 16,9km in length. Vertical gain approx. 800m and total hiking time was 6 hours.

Pictures

The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 60D + Canon EF-S 18-200mm 3.5-5.6 IS

 

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Routes & To the trailhead

1. Google Earth View 2. Google Earth View 3. Google Earth View 4. Sunrise soon 5. Los Cancajos - early morning 6. Sunrise 7. Carlos drives us to the trailhead

Leg 1 - Pico de la Nieve

8. Pico de la Nieve trailhead 9. Mysterious? 10. Excellent trail! 11. The dirt road ends here 12. Info 13. Detour up to the peak 14. Arriving on Pico de la Nieve 15. Pico del Teide on Tenerife 16. Classy signposts 17. We are going THAT way 18. On Pico de la Nieve 19. Crater details 20. Punta de Los Roques 21. Teide in the background 22. Crater details 23. On the north top

Pico de la Nieve panoramas

24. Wide angle view from Pico de la Nieve 25. Crater view from Pico de la Nieve 26. Crater view from Pico de la Nieve

Leg 2 - Pico de la Sabina

27. Towards Pico de la Sabina 28. Like it is on the moon? 29. Always being kept up to date 30. On the pine trail 31. Tempting as it may seem... 32. Another crater view 33. A cool wall ahead 34. Very cool! 35. Lots of viewpoints! 36. Pico Bejenado 37. Punta de Los Roques - our next stop 38. Anne arriving on Sabina summit 39. Me on Pico de La Sabina 40. Me on Pico de La Sabina

Pico de la Sabina panorama

41. Pico de la Sabina panorama

Leg 3 - Punta de Los Roques & Refugio

42. Deseada in the distance 43. Towards Pico de la Veta de la Arena 44. Anne on Pico de la Veta de la Arena 45. Private moment... 46. Punta de Los Roques 47. A peculiar hump ahead of us 48. Nice views! 49. Punta de Los Roques zoomed in 50. Fog is moving in 51. Beautiful! 52. Rough stuff 53. Careful... 54. The rock up to my left caught my attention 55. I decided not to climb the final yards 56. Punta de Los Roques 57. Good balance needed... 58. Excited... 59. In the Degollado Del Rio pass 60. In the Degollado Del Rio pass 61. Interesting route... 62. Degollado Del Rio pass 63. Stairway to heaven 64. Easy now... 65. OK, where is the way up? 66. Wonderwall! 67. Almost up... 68. View from the top 69. Anne on Punta de Los Roques 70. Me on Punta de Los Roques 71. A neighbour top - hopefully lower 72. Another nearby hill 73. Fun landscape 74. Looking back on the summit 75. Refgio Punta de Los Roques 76. Refgio Punta de Los Roques 77. Refgio Punta de Los Roques 78. Refgio Punta de Los Roques

Leg 4 - Point 2056m & Pico Corralejo

79. Moving on... 80. Cumbrecita 81. Point 2056m 82. Point 2056m requires some minor scrambling 83. Spooky terrain 84. Yup - scary! 85. NOT climbing that thing! 86. The fog still sticks with us 87. Approaching Pico Corralejo 88. Approaching Pico Corralejo 89. On Pico Corralejo 90. Descending from Pico Corralejo 91. A reminder...

Leg 5 - Ermita Virgen del Pino

92. Walking along the volcano ridge 93. Excellent island for hiking! 94. Less than 6km to go! 95. Pico Bejenado 96. Pico Ovejas. Hardly a pico! 97. Raining trees! 98. -Rain forest- 99. Our destination comes into view 100. We found this cave by accident 101. Short-cut from the road 102. The ridge continues to the south 103. Signposts 104. Los Llanos in the distance 105. Crossroads 106. Our exit comes up 107. A curious raven 108. Our exit 109. Do not ask... 110. Zig-zag trail 111. View up our descent route 112. Amazing pine forest 113. Amazing pine forest 114. Arriving at Ermita Virgen del Pino 115. We got a lift so our hike ended here 116. Ermita Virgen del Pino 117. A fabulous pine tree 118. Info 119. A fabulous pine tree 120. At the Visitor Centre 121. Our descent route

Bus back to Santa Cruz

122. Seen from the bus 123. Seen from the bus 124. On the 300 line 125. In Santa Cruz 126. In Santa Cruz 127. In Santa Cruz

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Other Trip Reports from La Palma

 

Dec 30 2014 Pico Bejenado
Dec 31 2014 Roque de los Muchachos, Roque Palmero
Jan 1 2015 La Ruta de los Volcanes
Jan 2 2015 Monta˝a de la Bre˝a
Jan 3 2015 Pico de la Nieve, Punta de Los Roques

 


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