Climbing the BArranco east slopes
The route through Barranco de Araga is the longest and most difficult route to Tequergenche. It starts harmlessly enough along dirt roads but soon turns into a serious scramle through the eastern slopes of the Araga Canyon. The path is well marked so that orientation is not a problem. Exposure also is moderate so that only the actual difficulty of the climb registers.
After having scaled the lower parts of the canyon the route turns much easier, for a while following a road, then turning onto an old levada (irrigation channel). IIt passes the topmost Barranco de Araga for a final time and then heads for Degollada de Cherillal where it combines with the two other routes to Lomo de Harinero and to Tequergenche.
Dead end in the barranco
The Tequergenche and Lomo de Harinero main pages describe in detail how you can reach the three trailheads for the two mountains. The El Guro trailhead for the normal route is right on the main road through Valle Gran Rey.
Underneath the Tequergenche south face
- Start altitude: 0m
- Summit altitude: 514m
- Prevailing exposure: E
- Type: Serious scramble
- Protection: None
Effort: 800m elevation gain
Power: 2 - Moderate
Psyche: 2 / 3 - Serious in the Barranco / Exposed for Lomo de Harinero
Orientation: 1 - Easy
From the harbour of Vueltas follow the road to where it passes underneath the Tequergenche south face to Playa de Araga. After 15min you reach the mouth of Araga Canyon, where you have to turn left, still folowing the road. After leaving behind the last habitations the road turns into a path which steeply heads up beside a small artificial waterfall. It reaches a broad meadowed ledge which you have to follow to its end.
Here the serious part of the climb starts. First you cross the barranco bed to the western side only to return to the eastern one once and for all after several hundred metres. After the second crossing the path heads up very steeply into the east slopes of the canyon, quickly gaining elevation. You'll have good views of the Tequergenche east face from here and also a glimpse of El Hierro through the mouth of the canyon. Soon you'll have to use your hands to proceed but quite suddenly the climbing stops.
A ledge opens to the left and leads into the much shallower upper part of Barranco de Araga. For a while it follows the eastern side of the barranco only to head out of it alltogether, heading for the hamlet of Gerian, where you touch one of the local roads of the area. The path turns left, leading in the direction of Ermita de Nostra Señora de Guadeloupe, a perfect lookout point for the Tequergenche - Harinero ridge.
From the Ermita a irrigation channel leads northward but soon a sign "Valle Gran Rey" leads back into Barranco de Araga, which at this point is very shallow. Cross it and head out southwards for Degollada de Cherillal where the routes split for Lomo de Harinero and Tequergenche.
Lomo de Harinero:
For the Lomo turn left and follow the path for a couple of hundred metres. Here a narrow path turns off to the left which leads to a notch south of Lomo de Harinero. Before you reach the notch head out onto the ledges of the Lomo de harinero east face and try to follow them at the highest possible elevation. You'll pass the side summit after a while and reach a point directly underneath the main summit. To climb the summit you need some experience but there is a ledge heading steeply south-westward onto the summit block.
Turn right and basically follow the ridge on its eastern side. You'll pass several beautiful basalt faces on your way to Montaña del Adivino. You descend into a saddle, then pass Adivino on its eastern side.
After a while you'll reach a second saddle, Degollada de los Bueyes, where Camino del Leche joins. Up ahead is the north face of Las Pilas, which you have to pass on its eastern side. There is an unmarked path along the western side, very recommendable because of its views but very hard to find while heading southward for Tequergenche. Better spare this part for the return hike.
The first section of the Las Pilas traverse s passed on the eastern side of the ridge but soon you'll head up towards the plateau. There used to be a farm on top but nowadays only ruins and an odd threshing place or two remain. From the Las Pilas plateau you already se you destination, Tequergenche and the direct route crosses the plateau only to descend into the saddle between plateau and summit. From the saddle the path passes the summit on the western side and heads for a lookout spot right above the mouth of Barranco de Araga.
For returning I would suggest to follow the Las Pilas west ridge after returning to the saddle. There is an unmarked trail which heads along right above the vertical south face of the mesa and which offers breathtaking views to the villages underneath. After a while it turns north, now following the west ridge of the plateau and heading for a buttress on which you’ll find a "summit cross", called Reuss Cross. Head onwards and you'll reach Degollada de los Bueyes from which you’ll return via the ascent route.
Essential GearHiking gear is sufficient.