Monday, 12 July 2010

Roque Del Conde

Recently, I climbed the prominent southern peak of Roque Del Conde. This table-topped peak is very visible in the southern resorts and one I have climbed many times via the usual route from the small village of Vento, near Arona. Some time ago however, I climbed it from the Degollada De Los Frailitos on the north side of the peak. This is not the usual route that is followed by most walkers from Vento in the east but is a difficult and fairly dangerous route involving scrambling up cliffs. As I reached the summit, I came across a plaque fixed to the rocks 'To Ichasagua - Free People's Mencey'. Having visited the summit many times before along the usual route, I had never seen this plaque before and I became intrigued by the person and events that it commemorated. I was also aware of the existence of a mural painted on the wall of a ruined building below the peak showing a Ichasagua holding a club with the mountain in the background. After a little research, I discovered that Roque Del Conde is also known as Roque De Ichasagua, which is a reference to Guanche Mencey (king) Ichasagua, who led a guerrilla war against the Spanish in 1502. Ichasagua was the Mencey of Adeje and led Guanche rebels against the Spanish after retreating to the highlands from the conquest in 1496. The conquistador Fernandez De Lugo landed his troops at Los Cristianos but the guerilla warfare skills of Ichasagua held them at bay for many months. Changing tactics, the conquistadors, used sympathetic Guanche nobles to negotiate a meeting with Ichasagua close to Roque Ichasagua, but he was betrayed and De Lugo and his troops were lying in wait. Realising he had been betrayed he killed himself by plunging a dagger into his chest to avoid being taken captive.

The walk along the traditional route from Arona via Vento to the summit of this impressive peak is now available from Cyberhiker Walks including full route instructions, photos, map and points of interest. Cyberhiker Walks
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