The south-west of Tenerife is known for its beaches rather than for its mountains. Still, there is one of the oldest ranges on the island to the east of the town of Adeje. It was born together with the Anaga Peninsula in the north-east and Teno Plateau in the north-west of the island. They were created by volcanic activity 7 million years ago and at first formed a triangle of separate islands. Volcanism shifted to the area between the island, eventually creating the Teide stratovolcano while the three areas fell victim to erosion. There are profound barrancos and here, near Adeje a handful of summits (or less) rising above them but dwarfed by Teide, which is more than three times higher than the highest of them.
Among these summits, Roque del Conde is the best known and most popular one, thanks to its exposed location above the coast and also because of its sheer massiveness. Higher and more interesting are two summits to the north, Roque de los Brezos (1108m) and Roque Imoque (1107m). All three can be summited in one go and each of them has an exposed (and a little scary) section right beneath ist summit. Of all three, Roque Imoque is the most difficult but also spectacular one.
Seen from the approach from Arona, Roque Imoque towers like a tooth above the deep cut of Barranco del Rey (see signature picture). Its risges appear to get steeper the closer you get to the summit and it seems unlikely that reaching the summit could be possible without climbing gear. The rock of the area is notoriously brittle, still reducing the chances to stand on the top of Imoque.
Seen up close a weakness becomes obvious. The west ridge, while very steep, leads easily up to the summit block and a few turns along ledges and steps can take you to the summit, with little more than UIAA II difficulty. Views can be breathtaking, even though we ourselves were unfortunate because of haze and clouds. The south coast of Tenerife lies at your feet and in your back the likes of Teide and the southern rim of the Cañadas del Teide can be seen.
Side note: there are short but good climbing routes in Barranco del Rey at the south-eastern base of the mountain, mostly two or three pitch routes.
- Take motorway TF-1 west to the exit Los Cristianos
- Switch to TF-28 north-east, firection La Camella
- Before you reach the village, TF-51 turns of northward to Arona
- Pass the town but right afterwars (after two curves (right / left)) turn left (west) into Vento
- In case you want to skip the hiking approach and start right at the saddle between Roque Imoque and Roque de los Brezos, stay on TF-51 until you reach La Escalona
- Turn left onto TF-567 to Ifonche, where a side road takes you south to a paraglider launch area. Park here or at the end of the road near a rural finca.
The most recommendable route starts at the hamlet Vento, a "suburb" of Arona. It heads out west from the village church, first along a road, later on a dirt track. It crosses Barranco de las Casas and Barranco del Ancón. Right after heading out of the Barranco the trekking trail GR-131 passes from south to north. To the south you'll find the ascent to Roque del Conde. Instead turn north and descend in the largest Barranco so far, Barranco del Rey, which you'll have to follow for a few hundred metres. Get out on the far (western) side and follow GR-131 to Degollada de los Frailitos, where you have excellent views across the south coast of Tenerife and across the channel to La Gomera.
The route turns north again, passing a threshing place at Casa de Suárez, then heads up to another threshing place, this one in the saddle between Roque Imoque and Roque de los Brezos. Turn left onto Imoque's steep west ridge, which leads up to the steep summit block. Turn right underneath the block on a narrow path which leads to a ledge. Turn left onto the ledge which leads to a pulpit one floor above the west ridge. Head for the northern side where a few UIAA II moves get you across some big steps towards the surprisingly large summit plateau.
Red TapeI'm not aware of any red tape here, rather the contrary. The area is heavily used by paragliders and mountainbikers who (the latter) don't show much respect for pedestrians.
Parking space in Vento is very limited, you might have to leave your car outside the village boundary.
Of course you can find a lot of hotels, fincas and casas on the island which you can book from any travel office or over the internet. The closest tourist locations are at Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos. In the towns of the closer area (Adeje, Arona) you can also find hotels and apartments, which might turn out rather more difficult, however.
There are several sites on the web which give you information on the weather on Tenerife. The following table shows data for Puerto de la Cruz on the north coast.
|Avg. day temp.[°C / °F]||19 / 66||19 / 66||20 / 68||21 / 70||22 / 72||23 / 73||24 / 75||26 / 79||26 / 79||24 / 75||22 / 72||20 / 68|
|Avg. night temp.[°C / °F]||13 / 55||13 / 55||14 / 57||14 / 57||16 / 61||18 / 64||19 / 66||20 / 68||20 / 68||18 / 64||17 / 63||14 / 57|
|Water temp.[°C / °F]||19 / 66||19 / 66||19 / 66||19 / 66||20 / 68||20 / 68||22 / 72||23 / 73||22 / 72||22 / 72||21 / 70||20 / 68|
The Canarian Islands (as well as Madeira) are located in the trade wind zone. You almost always encounter northeastern winds which carry a lot of humid air. Being forced to climb to higher altitudes this moisture condenses into clouds. This in return means that most of the time the northeastern part of the islands is covered in clouds from altitudes of 1000m through 2000m. The Teno and Anaga Ranges often are covered in clouds, though mostly along the north coast. The Adeje region often is the area with least precipitation on the island.
Maps & Books
Kompass Map WK233
Freytag & Berndt
Out of the multitude of maps and books I have been using the following. It is excellent but be careful if you do any one of the suggested "variations" to the tours described therein. The variations are described in a few words only and you might get the wrong impression of their quality.
- Teneriffa, Tenerife
K. & A. Wolfsperger
Rother Walking Guide
English - ISBN: 978-3-7633-4809-1
German - ISBN: 978-3-7633-4016-3
French - ISBN: 978-3-7633-4904-3
Spanish - ISBN: 978-3-7633-4700-1
- Teneriffa, Tenerife