Monday, June 11, 2007

ES LaPalma: Los Canarios -> Roundtrip on the Route de los Volcanos

S2, long sandy uphill, bikes have to be carried for ~300m alt., ~5h / uphill firetracks and steep paths, downhill 100% single trail

Riding the ridge of the southern cumber – great panoramic view. The trail you’re about to surf is an approx. 10km long, sandy, flowy dream that’s worth every single meter altitude to crawl up. One of my all time favourites – it’ll give you a first-time comprehension of the very meaning of “surfing” a trail.
Uphill is quite long and sandy – a short section you’ve got to carry your bikes (it’s really too steep to even push – but go for it, it’s worth it).

+ Start at the central crossing in Los Canarios/ Fuencaliente (road down to Las Indias) and follow the road to the east/ St. Cruz for ~200m.
+ take the first road uphill / left keep on the road leading uphill above the village
+ you’ll reach the woods after few serpentines, way turns into a fire road / track that you stay on.
+ keep left on the fire road, through the woods for a while until you reach a T-junction, where you turn right into some dry stonewall bordered fields.
+ You’ll pass a transformer installation / house and keep going on the fire track until a track is leading uphill / left shortly after you passed a narrow pass section.
If you’d continue this track you’d end on the “Pista de Cabritos” following the contour line on the eastern face of the Cumbre Viecha to the Refugio el Pilar. But you turn uphill / left and follow this sandy trail uphill.

+ maintaining a roughly northwestern direction this trail leads uphill through the pine woods
+ ignore all tracks turning into your way from the right – you can’t miss your way if you keep straight and uphill.
+ the map say, there’s a parking up here – forget it, it’s not!
* But you’ll reach a junction where a track is leading up turning right, you stay left and keep uphill / to the western face of the Cumbre Viecha.
+ Track is leading down for a short while and crossing a broad lava stream. A few meters later there’s a double track leaving the fire road uphill to the right, that you follow.
+ steeper and steeper you follow this track for 5 or 6 serpentines until you reach a small path that is leading up the hill in direct fall line for about 200m altitude. You’ll have to carry your bike for a while.
+ When the ground leans back again, follow the trail on black lava sand uphill till you reach the ridge near a small fountain / cross way.
+ If you see a path marked GR 131, you’re fine, this is our downhill!

From now on, you’ll simply surf down GR 131 to Fuencaliente.
In detail:
+ keep on the ridge for a while till you reach a prominent saddle with a viewpoint.
+ always towards the South, it passes next to some of the
most important volcanic craters in the island (Hoyo Negro, El Duraznero, El Cabrito, MontaƱa de Fuego, etc.).
+ After a steep section you’re facing a volcano, track is splitting but you keep on the right and circle the volcano on it’s right (western) slope.
+ After some surfing you cross a prominent lava field, facing down east – a small steep trail is leading down to the left – you keep on straight and enter the pine woods soon after.
+ watch out for a switchback in a forest aisle to the east again, and follow this trail
+ in a small dell you’ll find a cross way marked with dry stone walls. Take the way to the right / south slightly uphill for a few minutes.
+ Don’t descent to the parking / recreation area below, but stay on the trail GR 131
+ just follow the trail down, crossing some fire tracks until you reach the fields you already passed on your way up.


at the ridge of Cumbre Vieja looking north to Pico Birigoyo

lower section of the trail, just above Fuencaliente

You can start at the
Refugio del Pilar recreational area, ascent to the Birigoyo peak (1,808 m) and follow the ridge from there too.

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