Ascent of Pico de Jandía on 2009-11-30

Climber: Rob Woodall

Date:Monday, November 30, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Pico de Jandía
    Elevation:2664 ft / 811 m

Ascent Trip Report

Summit is Pico de la Zarza, N28 06 06, W14 21 20 (GPSr at summit). On IGN mapping it is shown as 807m at 1:200,000 but 812m at 1:25,000.

Trailhead for the normal route (SE ridge) is at N28 03 34, W14 19 42, elev 128m. Turn R off the FV-2 at roundabout (signposted Vinamar), N28 03 15, W14 19 20, turn L in 300m, then once above the hotel complex, fork R into a dead-end road. After 200m a dirt road forks R. Park on the tarmac road or beside the dirt road a short way up. With a 4x4 vehicle it is possible to drive most of the way to the summit; it may be possible to drive most of the distance in an ordinary car if you can negotiate the initial zig-zags. There are various parking places en route.

After summiting Pico de las Nieves (Gran Canaria) the previous day, I took a Binter Canarias flight across in the afternoon and picked up a hire car. I slept in the car at the trailhead: nice and quiet although I left the window slightly open and was entertained all night by small whining flies; a day later my arms were covered in bites, fortunately not particularly itchy.

I started at 06:40, about an hour before sunrise, to avoid the heat of the day and also to ensure I had sufficient time to climb the Betancuria HP before my afternoon flight. The dirt road continues, initially passing a large anonymous building (a water treatment plant, I have read), then zig-zags up to cross the shoulder of Talahijas (242m) then descends to a saddle (194m). The track continues at a steady gradient, eventually passing L of Degollada de Vinamar (565m) to a saddle. It had been fully light for a while and the sun now rose, painting the slopes of the next ridge, Morro del Cavadero in vivid colours. Anyone brave enough to drive a car this far had better park here as the last section is steep and loose: definitely 4x4 territory. The dirt road finally gives way to a narrower path which zig-zags up the NE spur to the summit. 100m below the summit a fence is crossed. This is supposedly to keep the goats off the summit vegetation but at the time of my visit the "gate" was trampled down.

The summit is a fine place: a cluster of boulders topped by a trig pillar, and a superb view west along the ridge, looking past Pico de la Palma (745m) to the shapely Fraile (686m) and Punta Pesebre at the extreme end of Fuerteventura. The view E is less dramatic, across nearby Pico de Mocan (801m) out along the S coast and (on a clearer day) along the NW coast to the Betancuria mountains. Highly impressive is the precipice, sweeping directly from the summit down to the sea at Playa de Cofete. Getting here just after sunrise when the light was at its best, was a privilege.

After 20 mins I jogged down. The sun was bright but the air still cool. The view W across the Barranco de Vinamar is compelling. Back at the 194m saddle I took the R fork to the summit of Talahijas (242m), a fine viewpoint for Morro Jable at the lighthouse. The lower cairn (208m) gives a nice view of the trailhead, then a narrow path leads down to rejoin the dirt road at a sign, and so back to the trailhead.

At a steady hillrunning pace the round trip took 2h 25m: websites suggest 5 hours is a reasonable allowance.

Just after I got down, a walker set off, a bit after 9 a.m. The morning was warm already. I have to admit to feeling a little smug... I can certainly recommend an early start.

I then drove about an hour E and N to Betancuria to climb the island's other P600m summit, Pico de la Atalaya, a nice scenic drive taking in the distinctive sandy landscape of Jandia peninsula then the colourful arid hills of the Betancuria Massif.

Pico de la Zarza photos

Pico de la Zarza ascent report

Pico de las Atalaya ascent report

Pico de las Nieves ascent report

Spanish IGN mapping
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2539 ft / 773 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2539 ft / 773 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.2 mi / 10 km
    Grade/Class:YDS 1
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2359 ft / 719 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2244 ft / 683 m; Extra: 115 ft / 35m
    Loss on way in:115 ft / 35 m
    Distance:3.1 mi / 5 km
    Route:SE ridge
    Start Trailhead:Vinamar  420 ft / 128 m
    Time:1 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2424 ft / 738 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2244 ft / 683 m; Extra: 180 ft / 54m
    Gain on way out:180 ft / 54 m
    Distance:3.1 mi / 5 km
    Route:SE ridge
    End Trailhead:Vinamar  420 ft / 128 m
    Time:50 Minutes

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