Photo: In Tenerife.
Updated 23 October: The Tenerife Cabildo said yesterday that works are progressing well and that it is planned to reopen the barranco next sumer. Insular environment councillor Isabel García said that one always had to bear unforeseen developments in mind given the terrain and multiple competencies – the little jetty, for example, is under Costas jurisdiction, and this must be fully operational before any of the walk can be returned to the public domain. When access is restored, it is likely that there will be a procedure for advance reservations for walkers, a measure approved by the Cabildo on 8 October just past, and García said that there will be a central facility to allow reservations to be made to permit orderly transit through the protected zone.
Updated 22 February 2019: I’ve had increasing enquiries over the past month or so about Masca barranco, and whether the works are now finished and the paths reopened, and today the Cabildo has announced the latest situation. This is that its environment department has recently visited the works, which are under its jurisdiction, for the adaptation, signalling and improvements for walkers’ security and the environment of Masca barranco generally. The budget for the works is €1m and includes the refurbishment of the visitor centre and a regulatory procedure for visits. Environment councillor José Antonio Valbuena said that the measures were intended “to guarantee the maximum possible security and avoid incidents in the area caused by the type of terrain. Valbuena explained that works were coming on well, and so far consisted of the consolidation of the main track, control points, and increased security measures. No confirmed date has been provided for the barranco to be reopened to walkers.
Updated 7 May 2018: In February, eight youths had a night to remember on their holiday after they had to stay in the gorge because the jetty was broken and they were unable to climb back up as night fell. The Guardia Civil had also said that access was impracticable and that a rescue on foot would be dangerous for rescuers. At the time, Buenavista del Norte Ayuntamiento closed the barranco, and subsequently, after further rescues in the area and yet another death, the Cabildo announced wide-ranging security measures and structural improvements in the general area for safety reasons involving an investment amounting to some €3m.
Now, today, the Cabildo has announced that works to repair the 30-year-old jetty started today, and are expected to take a month. The Cabildo says that the works are required after the central pillar of the gangway collapsed, making the jetty unusable for safety reasons.
The Cabildo stresses that although the works are planned to be completed by mid-June, it is impossible to give a firm date because sea conditions might make work impossible on some currently planned days. Even when it is finished, however, it does not automatically mean the reopening of the barranco, which remains closed until further notice.
Original post 26 February: In the wake of the forced rescue of eight young holidaymakers who intended to spend the day at Masca beach and then walk back up the barranco in the teeth of an orange alert for stormy weather, Buenavista del Norte Ayuntamiento has closed the gorge to walkers until further notice. The council says that this is an open-ended measure taken because the weather system that is currently with us has damaged a pilly of the jetty leaving it inoperative. Bomberos and the mountain rescue unit of the Guardia Civil have also advised the council that access to the barranco is impracticable. Clearly the actions of some irresponsible youngsters will now have an impact on anyone who hoped to see the barranco sensibly. The council says it will advise when Masca barranco is again to be opened to the public. To be clear: Masca barranco is closed to walkers and the council has banned the jetty from being used by boats.