Pico Verde in front of Los Pajares and La Gomera
Pico Verde is the second highest mountain of the Teno mountain range in the north-west of the island of Tenerife. The highest mountain, Cruz de Gala, is only a few hundred steps away and both mountains are usually climbed together. However, Cruz de Gala has a whole little forest of radio antennae on its top with the corresponding paved maintenance road so that putting it up on a mountaineering site doesn't seem to be the best idea. However, neighbouring Pico verde is only some 30m lower and certainly is a worthy object to be climbed and talked about.
The mountain is located high above the village of Masca, main tourist attraction of the Teno range. From Masca the most important canyon of the island runs out towards the sea, winding its way beneath and through vertical and overhanging walls which close in to it leaving only very narrow passages. To the east of Masca a huge vertical wall rises out of the canyon, with its highest point, 700m above the village. This highpoint is the summit of Pico Verde, dominating the whole area. Seen from this side it is barely conceivable that the mountain actually can be climbed quite easily.
The route up the mountain runs up or passes Cruz de Gala on either of its sides. Three paths combine in a saddle to the north of the summit, Degollada de la Mesa. From here a steep scrambling ascent path leads to the summit, with airy and exposed sections near the top. The summit is made up from square basalt blocks which offer good lookout seats. The views from the top are breathtaking. You can see the whole Teno range at your feet with its deep gorges and razor sharp ridges with Masca right underneath. Beyond the coast there is the neighbouring island of La Gomera but it takes a perfect day to see it clearly. In the back - to the east - the terrain gently rises across a volcanic desolation zone towards Pico Viejo and Teide.
You'll share the summit with lots of endemic lizards of which three separate species exist on Tenerife. The one encountered in the Teno range is Gallotia galloti eisentrauti, the males of which are large and bulky while the females appear somewhat skinny.
Summit view across the Teno range towards La Gomera
The best trailhead for Pico Verde is at Erjos to the north-west of the mountain. It can be reached from TF82, the road which connects Icod de los Vinos in the north with Guía de Isora in the south.
From the North
Take the motorway TF5 to Puerto de la Cruz and Los Realejos and follow the coastal road (still TF5) to Icod de los Vinos. There turn south onto TF82 and follow the road through El Tanque to Erjos. The trailhead is south of the village near a bus stop with ample parking space.
From the South
Take motoway TF1 to its end at Adeje. There either follow TF82 through Guia de Isora to Erjos or follow the coastal road TF47 to Los Gigantes and TF454 to Santiago del Teide where it recombines with TF82 to Erjos.
Gallotia galloti eisentrauti, male West Canarian Lizard
There is no actual red tape in the Teno mountain range. However, the land is used for farming and belongs to the locals of the area. They have agreed to hiking trails being created which traverse their fields but request that hikers stay on them. Also, any gates should be left the way you found them. The ridge of Los Pajares has only one gate right at the beginning and is only used for extensive goat grazing.
The route to Pico Verde leads through fiedls and water reservoirs. Stay on the trails. If you head up to Cruz de Gala don't cross the fences around the antenna installations. Stay on track during the ascent to the summit. The path is already quite eroded and exposure makes the trail difficult enough. Always remember that you'll meet tourists who don't regularly climb mountains.
Of course you can find a lot of hotels, fincas and casas on the island which you can book from any travel office. The closest tourist location is at Los Gigantes and Puerto de Santiago. The Teno mountain range can be easily reached from the towns in the north as well as the ones in the south and simply requires a 1h - 2h drive. In the villages of the range you can find inns where you can find a place to eat and maybe even to sleep. You should not count on the latter, however. Camping is not allowed in the Teno Range.
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 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.
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