Fuerteventura, Jan 1 2017

A great start to the new year…

Peaks visited:

Peak Height PF Municipality
Cuchillo de la Entallada 285m 167m Fuerteventura
Piedras Caidas 187m 138m Fuerteventura
Carbon 608m 231m Fuerteventura
Morro del Medio de la Caldera 563m 184m Fuerteventura
Cuchillo de la Lapa 304m 185m Fuerteventura
La Lapa 294m 50m Fuerteventura
Risco de los Colinos 371m 285m Fuerteventura
Marisma 171m 119m Fuerteventura

GPX files, zipped: fuerteventura_010117

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Eurasian Buzzard on La Lapa

The first day in 2017 was also our last full day on Fuerteventura, and this day would be all about one thing only – bag as many new tops as possible. I have an annual goal of visiting at least 100 new peaks every year, and this is gradually getting harder by the year, as there are hardly any nearby peaks that I still haven’t been to. Fuerteventura would surely give me a good start to the new year. The only question was how long I would endure before getting bored.

I had breakfast with Anne, and as she would be engaged with activities at the Las Playitas Sports and Fitness Resort, I could take the rental car.

CUCHILLO DE LA ENTALLADA (285m)

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Cuchillo de la Entallada

I had been “saving” some nearby easy tops for this day, and first one out was the ridge stretching between the Faro de Entallada lighthouse and Las Playitas. I drove the paved road up to the lighthouse and started hiking (off-trail) along the ridge.

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The ridge to the high point

It was only 1,5km along an eroded ridge before I reached the high point. I realized I could get accustomed to sunny weather over a longer period of time…

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Summit view. Las Playitas to the right.

Like every day we had been on the island, the wind was strong. According to the locals, the winds were unusually strong, but for us who live on the northwest coastline of Norway, this was just business as usual.

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Faro de Entallada lighthouse – my trailhead

Very happy about my 1/1/17 project being well on the way, I returned the same way I came and was back at the car 50 minutes after leaving it.

Pictures from the hike:

PIEDRAS CAIDAS (187m)

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Piedras Caidas and Gran Tarajal

My next target was the high point on the mountain between Las Playitas and Gran Tarajal. I drove to a small village just north of Gran Tarajal. I knew about the trail, as I had hiked from here to Las Playitas a few days earlier.

I followed the path up to the ridge, turned right (south) and followed the path up to the high point.

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Summit view from Piedras Caidas. View is north/northeast.

I didn’t remember which of the tops was the highest, so I also visited the next top before returning back to the car along the same route I came up. This hike took me 40 minutes. The time was 10:20am, and I was “two tops down”, and hungry for more…

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Happy goats on Piedras Caidas

Pictures from the hike:

 

CARBON (608m), MORRO DEL MEDIO DE LA CALDERA (563m)

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Carbon

Next, I took FV-520 towards Tuineje an dthen FV-30 towards Toto. In the mountain pass between the two towns, I parked on the Municipio de Pajara / Tuineje border.

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My trailhead for both tops

I headed up Carbon’s north ridge (off-trail) and this was a straightforward route to the top.

From the summit, I could see over to Gran Montana, which we visited earlier in the week. And of course – Cardon – which I visited the day before.

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Morro del Medio de la Caldera seen from Carbon

I headed back down, crossed the road and headed up Morro del Medio de la Caldera’s southwest ridge. There was a small shelter on top, but even if the wind had been horrific, I would not have been tempted to seek shelter in there…

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View from Morro del Medio de la Caldera. Carbon to the left.

I took a slightly different route back down to the road. These two hikes took 1h:20m. It was noon, and I had 4 new tops. I felt a slightly bored from driving back and forth, hiking up and down eroded ridges, constantly on the alert for nearby dogs. My initial goal had been 5 new tops, so it was just a matter of getting to my next destination.

Pictures from the hike:

 

CUCHILLO DE LA LAPA (304m)

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Cuchillo de la Lapa

I drove back to the coastal region and along FV-520, I found a paved road that took me down to Playa del Aceituno. In the first roundabout, I went right and drove up to something that resembled a large parking area. The odd thing that there were no nearby houses. Most likely, this part of the village is under development.

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Playa del Aceituno. The parking (trailhead) to the left.

I went up the nearest ridge and topped out on the high ridge after a while. From here, it wasn’t a long walk to the high point.

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The La Lapa high point

A bird of prey was circling above me. At first, I didn’t know what it was. Well, actually – I still don’t know what it was, but the more I looked, the more I was convinced it was a Eurasian Buzzard. In Norway, we call this bird “Musvåk“. After a while, I could see another one. Probably a pair, protecting a nearby nest. I’ve been attacked by them a couple of times before.

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The Buzzard

After reaching the summit, I didn’t stay for long. I felt I knew this region like I know my pockets, after extensive hiking for 5 days. I headed down the ridge, all the way to the La Lapa top (294m). At least, I got a nice ocean view from here. Then I took the shortest route back to the car. I was quite tired by off-trail hiking on eroded ground by now.

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View from the high point. Risco de los Colinos dominates the view.

This hike took 1 hour and now I had reached my 5-top goal. Now what? Call it a day and enjoy a cold beer on the hotel balcony? Or – get an even better start to the new year? The answer was obvious. The beer would stay cold in any case…

Pictures from the hike:

 

RISCO DE LOS COLINOS (371m)

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Risco de los Colinos

This was a top I really wanted to visit. The only problem was that there were so many houses near the obvious routes, and houses meant dogs. Possibly loose dogs. But eventually, I found my route – straight up from FV-2 and along the north ridge. The route looked steep, but I assumed it looked steeper than it actually was.

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Up the north ridge

The ascent up to the first top went OK, but I made mental note about taking it easy on the way down. All it takes is to step on a loose rock and … here comes the pain.

Once up on the ridge, I could see the main top ahead of me. The ridge looked fun, but I didn’t think that there would be any fun challenges.

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The high point comes into view

As I got closer to the top, I could see the Buzzard pair from Lapa sitting on the summit. Eventually, they lifted before I got a chance to get some good pictures.

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The Buzzard pair

I reached the top, fairly certain about this being my last top for the day. I took a few pictures, then jogged down the ridge and descended with great caution from the north top.

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Summit view. Caracol to the left.

The hike took 55 minutes, and the picture of me on the balcony with a cold beer popped up again. But on my way along FV-520, I realized that I had now done all the coastal ridges near Las Playitas, except one – Marisma.

Pictures from the hike:

 

MARISMA (171m)

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Marisma (left)

Once again, I drove the road towards Playa del Aceituno and parked just west of the top. The distance to the top was less than 0,6km and the vertical gain only 120m. Candy shop!

When I reached the top, dogs at every house in the valley above Gran Tarajal started barking. I don’t have anything against dogs. I even have one of my own. But this is a different culture. I don’t know how these ones are raised. So, better be on the safe side. We’ve had some scary encounters with dogs in southern Europe.

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Summit view from Marisma

A round of pictures, and I was on my way down. The hike up and down took 15 minutes, and with 7 new tops, I was definitely calling it a day!

I was a very happy man when I returned to the hotel, my girlfriend and the fridge…

Pictures from the hike:

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