Taguluche beneath Lomo de Carreton and La Merica (right)
The coolest route to La Merica - and you can take this literally - is the exposed scramble from Taguluche through the north face of the mesa. It is exposed in its upper part, brittle in the middle and picturesque at its bottom. Taguluche is one of the villages in the west of La Gomera in which the local palm honey is produced. Hundreds of palm trees line the way along the lower part of the route but once you leave the Taguluche basin the scramble gets serious. The path winds its way through the erosion structures in the north face: colourful tuff and pumice slopes alternate with spiky lava towers. The Taguluche Basin, the Techeleche Range and the red basalt faces of Lomo de Carreton accompany you on your way to the top.
High above the La Merica north face
The trailhead for the climb is Taguluche. See the main page for the general information how to get there. The path starts at the very end of the main road of Taguluche, to the left of a local summer house.
Struggling through the La Merica north face
- Start altitude: 190m
- Summit altitude: 855m
- Prevailing exposure: N
- Type: 2-3h
- Protection: None
Effort: 800m of steep scramble
Power: 2 - Strenuous
Psyche: 2 - Exposed near the top, always very brittle
Orientation: 3 - sparsely marked with cairns. Unmarked from the saddle to the high plateau
50m from the end of the road through Taguluche, amidst the last buildings of the village, a narrow path turns off the road to the left. It runs up a sort slope behind one of the houses before turning left again to head in easterly direction. A long slope traverse follows, always some 100m above the village of Taguluche. The path finally reaches the topmost part of the village, passes a few houses nearby and then dives into a small palm plantation.
From its top the path turns right (south-east) and heads up a barranco on its left hand side. There are several switchbacks, taking you high on the slopes above Taguluche, always heading for the colourful end of the barranco. Red tuff and yellow pumice slopes mark that end and the path moves across them to reach the other side of the little gully.
Frome here it climbs steeply underneath the massive, but very brittle lava towers in the north face of La Merica, first heading west, then back east again. Finally turning south the path heads for a sharp notch in the north face, a little saddle, which offers the only access to the broad backed mesa from the north. Head through it, then down a few steps on the other side before climbing towards the platea. Here, you find no marks anymore, but to ensure not getting lost turn as far east as possible. This will take you to a dirt road (the regular route from Arure) which ends after several hundred metresright underneath the north face of the summit block. A path passes underneath summit block to the east, leading to a broad ledge which finally leads to the plateau a few steps south of the main summit.
Reaching the main summit is a steep scramble of several hundred metres through dense undergrowth so that most hikers settle for the marked summit a little to the south. It is almost as high as the main summit but much easier to reach.
Essential GearHiking gear and a good amount of water, especially in summer.