Montaña Gangarro seen from Boca Tauce
Montaña Gangarro is among the four smountains, which compose the western crater wall of the huge caldera of the Cañadas del Teide on Tenerife. It is the southernmost of these summits, presiding directly above the Boca Tauce pass, the southern gateway to the caldera. Like its neighbours, Roques de Chavao
, Montaña del Cedro
and Roques del Cedro it is among the lower summits of the Caldera but unlike them it offers no unobstructed views of the surrounding sights. The summit area itself is rather small and overgrown so that you have to step around quite a lot to see the Cañadas or the islands to the west of Tenerife.
Montaña Gangarro would be a hill-like mountain if it weren't for the bizarre rocks which pile up on its eastern side. They are made up from basalt and thus survived erosion much better than the lava from which the bulk of the mountain is composed. The black lava flows, which were emitted from Pico Viejo
in one of the latest eruptions on the island in 1798 just reach the base of Montaña Gangarro and form a stark contrast to the red basalt of the mountain itself.
The ascent of Montaña Gangarro is either long or difficult. The northern route runs across all the neighbouring summits before reaching the mountain. There are shortcuts which make it possible to cut out Montaña del Cedro and Roques del Cedro but the hardest part of the route along the Roques de Chavao still has to be climbed. From the south the ascent is very short and would be easy if there wasn't a wide and vertical chimney just beneath the summit. Since the route has become quite attractive in the last few years the passage through chimney has been eased by the aid of a tree trunk which has been placed inside. I have never climbed the mountain from this side but descending has become much easier using that trunk.
Summit view Montaña Gangarro: Guajara (2715m) and El Sombrero (2534m)
As said above the summit area of Montaña Gangarro is very small and overgrown. Views are obstructed by gose bushes and Taginaste flowers as well as large boulders. To take in the views you have to step around on the summit and bushwhack through the gorse. If you do so you are awarded with good views of Teide, Pico Viejo, El Sombrero and the rest of the Cañadas as well as the islands of El Hierro and La Gomera. Nothing is perfect, though and you'll find yourself picking the heir thin needles of the Taginaste out of your skin.
The western Cañadas del Teide
As one of the major European vacation getaways Tenerife can be reached from all major European airports. From Spain there are regular flights from the rest of Europe you can book lots of charter flights. On Tenerife there are two international airports, one at Santa Cruz in the east, one at Los Abrigos in the south.
You can reach the Cañadas del Teide from all four directions. Just drive as far upwards as you can and you'll be there. From the south there is a road from the airport via Villaflor to the Cañadas, from the West you must head for Chio either from Playa de las Americas or from Santiago del Teide. The northern road starts from Puerto de la Cruz and the eastern ascent starts from the capital Santa Cruz del Tenerife and crosses the mountain range Cumbre Dorsal.
Alternatively you can take the bus either from Playa de las Americas (Line 342) or from Puerto de la Cruz (Line 348). Both buses depart at about 9:00 a.m., the return buses go around 4:00 p.m.
The trailhead for Montaña Gangarro is at Bocca Tauce, the south western corner of the Teide National Park. There is ample parking space and a bus stop.
Pico Viejo and Teide
Montaña Gangarro is part of the "Parque Nacional del Teide" which is composed of a giant volcanic crater the "Cañadas del Teide" with 48km circumference. In fact the Cañadas were created by two craters which over the time (and due to erosion) blended into each other. The central range of the Roques Garcia formed the boundary between these craters and you can still see how the earth was tormented to form these bizarre rocks. To the south and west the crater walls of the Cañadas del Teide are still standing. They form a number of distinctive summits, the highest of which is Guajara
at 2715m. The northern and most of the eastern crater walls have disappeared below the huge Pico Teide and Pico Viejo volcanoes.
Activities in the national park are limited as in every park. You are requested not to leave the trails - and from your own judgement - you shouldn't. The lava sometimes piles up to heights of 5 - 10m and makes orientation VERY difficult. Climbing is only allowed at the base of Guajara at the Piedras Amarillas. Also, camping is not allowed in the park.
Of course you can find a lot of hotels, fincas and casas on the island which you can book from any travel office. The Cañadas del Teide are a natural park so camping is not allowed. You might use the Parador Hotel which is supposed to be quite expensive, however. Better stay at one of the hotels at sea level and drive up by rental car or bus.
There are several sites on the web which give you information on the weather on Tenerife. However, they all show the weather for the coastal regions (Puerto de la Cruz) which significantly differs from the weather in the Cañadas del Teide which are 2000m of elevation higher. The following table shows data for Puerto de la Cruz on the 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 mountains themselves - being mostly of the same altitude - finally stop the clouds so that on their southeastern slopes the clouds "run out". In the case of Tenerife the Cañadas del Teide are so high that rarely ever you encounter fog or clouds. This on the other hand means that the whole area is very dry so be sure to bring your own water.
Maps & Books
Out of the multitude of maps and books I have been using the following. However, so far I have not
found a good hiking map of the island. The one posted here is ok but shows only a fraction of the marked hiking trails. The guidebook 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.
Kompass Map WK233
- Teneriffa, Tenerife
K.Wolfsperger, C. Ade
Rother Walking Guide
English - ISBN: 3-7633-4809-3
German - ISBN: 3-7633-4016-5