Photo: Tenerife Cabildo.
Updated 27 February: The Tenerife Cabildo’s Environment Department has announced that agreement was reached this morning in a governing council meeting to invest a further million Euros specifically for improvements in security in Masca barranco. Once the project for the detail is approved, the works will be put out to public consultation and then to tender, with the Cabildo expecting the works to be carried out and completed before the end of 2018.
The principal object is to reduce the current risky parts of the trail used by hikers, to ensure adequate maintenance thereafter, and to help control visitors. This will mean various lines of action, including recovering and incorporating additional paths from ancient tracks used by the area’s pastoral communities in the past. There will also be better signposting and security measures, with three specific control stations at the top, midway, and at the bottom pier.
Original post 27 January: There have been some dreadful accidents in the Masca area lately. On 1 October, a 57-year-old Norwegian walker died after falling while walking in the barranco, a tragedy followed just over a fortnight later by the death of a 56-year-old German walker, again in a fall while walking in the barranco. Just this month, a 72-year-old man died while trying to walk back up the barranco, and there are such frequent accidents that various rescue and environmental services gathered in Masca back in October to study how it might be possible to reduce the number of accidents suffered by walkers.
Now, the Tenerife Cabildo’s Environment Department has announced an investment of some €2m this year to carry out improvements to the Teno Rural Park and its infrastructure. Insular Medio Ambiente councillor José Antonio Valbuena said that the objective was to preserve ecological and environmental values and to facilitate visitor access. Among the planned works are the improvement of the Los Dornajos and Los Partidos tracks, the reorganization of waste water treatment in Los Bailaderos and Las Lagunetas, the provision of escape routes and firebreaks at various points in the park, and the improvement and maintenance of recreational areas and paths.
In addition, there will also be new parking as a means of regulating the Punta de Teno area where there will also be new security and information services, and the Cabildo will continue to work to control the invasion of exotic species, particularly rabo de gato, an invasive fountain grass said to be among the most dangerous for the park’s natural ecosystems. The works will complement those carried out last year for domestic water supplies in El Palmar, the restoration of paths in Masca, improvements to El Calvario’s access, recuperation of the Los Carrizales track, and general works carried out in Las Portelas and Teno Alto.