A walk exploring a new path up to the Sombrero de Chasna from Vilaflor, Tenerife
On Wednesday we were unable to complete our planned walk from Vilaflor as the track we intended to follow from near the firetower above the town was cordoned off. So we had to turn around and find another route. We had climbed to there on the Camino Pino Enano (Dwarf Pine path) from near the football pitch by the Hotel Villalba. So we explored a point where a track leaves the road just above km63 on the road from Vilaflor to Boca de Tauce, where I had discovered there was a path going up to the Sombrero de Chasna, thanks to Tico Acoran’s contribution to Wikiloc.
We went up the track which forked, took the left fork and soon saw some cairns and a faint path leading up onto a rocky ridge. It zig-zagged a bit on the way to the top of the ridge and then turned to the right to head straight up. We noticed a small galvanized pipe in an old water channel, partially covered with stones, was to our right when we were on the ridge, and this channel was key to not getting lost! This was as far as we went on Wednesday as we did not want to climb further that day, but decided to return on Saturday to start our walk there.
On Saturday we parked one car at the Las Lajas barbeque park and one at km 63, and walking from there we followed the same route up to the first level bit. We noticed the cairns on this flatter stretch led us over to the right of the ridge so we could enjoy the view over the forest, looking down onto the Pista Agua Agria which leaves the main road a little down from where we started. Those who suffer vertigo, however, might prefer to stay with the water channel as the path is on the edge of a precipitous slope. The path then rejoined the water channel until it reached the foot of a steeper slope where the cairns led us round to the left up a zig-zag easier route than the water pipe. On the next flatter part we passed a ruin of an old shepherd shelter.
We followed cairns where they were there, often diverting from the water channel for an easier path, and where there were no cairns we stayed near the water channel, till we reached a wide open space, where we could see no onward cairns, only a very large cairn which appeared to be one of a series we had seen that appeared to be in a straight line, perhaps marking a boundary. We should have stuck to the channel, as from the left of it a path went across the barranco on the left and then another brance of the barranco. We then followed cairns up a slope till we reached a well-worn path. However, when we looked from above we saw another path which stayed on the right bank of the second barranco until reaching a dark cliff which the water channel disappears into, where it crosses in front of the cliff to join the path we had joined lower down.
We were now in the valley to the western side of the Sombrero, and we began to see the occasional flowers, mainly Malpica del cumbre (Carlina xeranthemoides), with a few Flor de malpais (Tolpis webbii). Higher up we saw some of the Teide knapweed (Cheirolophus teydis). All of these are Canarian endemics, so great treasures, even though common in the area.
We continued up the valley past the Sombrero and on up to the edge of the caldera where we got a great view of Mt Teide and Las Canadas for an excellent lunch stop. We then made our way to National park path no. 31 which descends a little west of the way we came up, and followed that path down as that comes out on the main road near to Las Lajas. It is a pleasant walk through pine woods, going gently downhill.
As we came nearer the road we found ourselves walking through an area of pine forest affected by the fire in July. However, the fire had clearly swept through quickly, burning the pine-needle carpet (pinoche) and singeing the trees but not damaging them badly. The undergrowth shrubs such as the sticky broom (Adenocarpus viscosus) and the Escobon (Chamaecytisus proliferus) had been burnt and killed where the fire had hit them, but others a few metres away had been missed by the fire. We had noticed higher up some more severe damage to trees high up next to the rocky crags of the caldera rim. There the fire had lingered and burned rather than rushing through, and some of those pines will not revive.
Arriving at the Las Lajas barbeque park, we were able to take the car down to the other one parked below. It would have been possible to walk this part to make a circle, but we tend to like a shorter walk on Saturdays. The walk took us 3.5 hrs, was 8.63 km / 5.39 ml and involved 550m / 1806ft of climbing.
Posted on September 17, 2012, in South Tenerife, Teide National Park, Walks in Tenerife and tagged Boca de Tauce, Carlina xeranthemoides, Cheirolophus teydis, hiking, nature, Parque recreativa Las Lajas, Sombrero de Chasna, Teide knapweed, Tenerife, Tenerife forest fire, Tolpis webbii, Vilaflor, walking. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.