Sunday, 29 May 2011

Climbing Roque del Conde

For visitors to the south of Tenerife, the prominent table-top summit of Roque del Conde is a familiar sight, even if they do not know it by name. Sitting just inland from the resorts of Los Cristianos, Playa de Las Americas and Costa Adeje, this 1,000 metre summit is visible for miles around. The mountain is the most prominent remaining peak of the Adeje Massif, the oldest part of the island and from the coast, the mountain looks almost unattainable but there is a good path from the village of Vento, near Arona, which can be followed to the saddle between Roque del Conde and Centinela. From here, the path crosses to the seaward side of the mountain giving stunning views to the coastal resorts and on a clear day, the summit of Teide. As you ascend the partially paved trail to the top you will see many old terraces and threshing circles, once used for threshing cereal crops. Arrival at the summit is a surprise to most as instead of the vertiginous ridge that most expect to find, a huge sloping plain is revealed and even this high up, there are abandoned terraces, long since fallen into disuse. It is worth spending time exploring the various paths on the summit as well as locating the plaque commemorating the Guanche mencey Ichasagua, who fought the invading Spanish from his stronghold on the mountain, the peak also being known by the alternative name of Roque de Ichasagua. 
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