Basalt face on the ridge towards Tequergenche
The "normal route" to Las Pilas and Tequergenche is a hike along an old Camino, which connects the village El Guro in Valle Gran Rey with Degollada de Cherillal with a traverse of the Adivino - Las Pilas - Tequergenche Ridge. It is the most popular route to the mountain and since it is also the normal route to Lomo de Harinero as well as a connecting trail to the the villages of El Cercado and Chipude you will find quite a number of fellow hikers on the route. There is an alternative shortcutting route, Camino del Leche
, which is very difficult to find, however, especially ehwn hiked bottom-up. One false turn when descending Camino del Leche and you'll find yourself in a difficult mess involving impossible descents and ascents into and out of one of the profound barrancos which cut deep into the west face of Montaña del Adivino.
The character of the normal route is an easy hike which only turns problematic in heavy or sunny weather. The ridge traverse is exposed to winds of all directions and on the Canaries you can have very fierce ones of all kinds. Also rain and fog can make orientation very difficult. Never use Camino del Leche in foggy conditions! A sunny summer day can turn scorchingly hot and the climb towards Degollada de Cherillal should only be undertaken in the early morning hhours on such days.
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.
Las Pilas west face
- Start altitude: 100m
- Summit altitude: 514m
- Prevailing exposure: W, later E
- Type: Hike
- Protection: None
Effort: 600m elevation gain
Power: 1 - Easy
Psyche: 1 / 3 - Unproblematic for Tequergenche / Exposed for Lomo de Harinero
Orientation: 1 - Easy
From the parking lot in El Guro, right on the Valle Gran Rey main road head into the bottom of the valley and cross the creek (Rio Gran Rey ?). On the opposite side a winding pilgrimage trail heads up to the chapel of Ermita de los Reyes. There's a good first view from the platform on which the chapel is built. Pass it and head northwards keeping level for about 500m.
At an intersection (sign to El Cercado, Chipude) turn right following a path which passes the last habitations of Valle Gran Rey. The path quickly gains height and meanders through numerous towers and pillars which all advertise their poor rock quality quite evidently. After half an hour you reach a lookout spot with good views across the valley.
The path turns south and enters a barranco, always remaining on the upper slopes. (If you miss your way on a return along Camino del Leche (see below) you will find yourself somewhere on the other side or within this baranco. It's rather dangerous to get out of it again as I can tell from own experience). After a while you'll certainly hear the bleating of sheep or goats and if you look closely you'll find a shed on the upper slopes of the canyon. The camino indirectly heads for the shed and passes it in 150m distance. The only orientation challenge happens here, beneath the shed. The path branches in different sections and you need to tell the hiking path from the goat trails.
Above the shed the path makes a beeline for Degollada de Cherillal, a notch in the ridge ahead. You'll reach it after approximately 1 1/2 h of climbing. In the col signs mark the ways to El Cercado and Chipude (left) but none marks 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.
Alternatively you can take a narrow path, Camino del Leche, which heads along the west slopes of Montaña del Adivino from the Degollada. I can't say that I can recommend this path since it led us into very dire straits. The first part is easily discernable but after a while you'll reach some caves carved out of colourful red tuff. Here the going gets difficult. There are two paths and we followed the upper one, which was obviously wrong. It led along a ledge - still with good paths until suddenly it ended high above a barranco. We could see the Ermita path on the other side but only after searching for quite a while we thought we saw a possible way to cross it. Getting to the barranco floor was difficult but possible but getting out turned out to be hazardous. Climbing a gully we had to climb rocks in several parts and in three occasions these rocks broke away under my weight. We made it out of the barranco but only barely - I with deep cuts induced by falling rocks and Judith with no injuries but lucky to have evade the big chunks of rocks which tumbled down when the rocks broke apart under my weight.
Essential GearHiking gear is sufficient. You'll need a good amount of water on summer days and wind stopping equipment on stormy ones.