Sombrero de Chasna seen from north-east
Sombrero de Chasna is a flat topped circular mountain, slightly set back from the rim of the giant caldera which constitutes the Cañadas del Teide on Tenerife. The contrast between its near vertical walls and its large flat top is quite surprising and the cause for its name. From afar the mountain looks like a large round hat. Like much of the Cañadas it is formed by red basalt, which - being much harder than the surrounding tuff and pumice - was left standing while the neighbourhood got washed down the slopes by wind and rain.
Sombrero de Chasna is not the only mountain of that shape, and in consequence is not the only one to bear "Sombrero" in its name. Quite close by, in fact visible from its top, to the north-west there is the higher "El Sombrero". Both mountains often get confused - on maps as well as in guidebooks and in travel reports. Sombrero de Chasna can be easily climbed from its north-eastern side where its vertical walls are lowest. El Sombrero is very difficult to get to and the ascent of the final summit block requires real technical skills.
The ascent of Sombrero de Chasna is an easy hike for most of the time. There are two parallel trails which combine right to the north of the Sombrero de Chasna summit plateau. The final ascent from the north-eastern side runs through a chimney and requires some UIAA I scrambling. It is not exposed and thus rather uncomplicated. Views from the plateau on top are obstructed by the large gorse bushes which grow there. You have to go to the (lower) edges to get good views. Unfortunately Teide can only be seen through a saddle in the Caldera walls which are higher than the mountain itself.
Roque del Conde as seen through the Sahara dust from Sombrero de Chasna
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 Sombrero de Chasna is at on the road from Vilaflor, TF21. Between km59 and km60 there is a bend in the road where a couple of ruined cabins can be seen. There is space for some 5 small cars. A bit higher up there is a picknic area with ample parking space. You need to descend by the road for about 1km, however.
Sombrero de Chasna is located just outside the "Parque Nacional del Teide" which is composed of a giant volcanic crater the "Cañadas del Teide" with 48km circumference. However, it belongs to the "Parque Natural Corrona Forestal" a natural park in which similar rules apply as in the national park. Trails are marked and it is not permitted to leave them. Plants may not be removed and the few animals have to be left alone. Some places in the Corrona Forestal Park are private hunting grounds but not in this part close to the Cañadas.
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.
The closest town is Vilaflor, which though it certainly offers inns and hotels, certainly is not one of the most popular tourist destinations.
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