Pico Ruivo from Bocca da Encumeada

A São Vicente (Madeira) walk posted on 05/05/15 by Netra. Update : 25/09/16

Climb to the highest point of the island of Madeira, and by the road less travelled. A long and demanding hike in diverse environments. Beautiful viewpoints on the route and, at the top, a beautiful 360° view.
N.B. Due to the steep crags of Madeira, the displayed altitude difference is overestimated and, therefore, so is the estimate of the time. Expect the elevation to be more in the order of 1,200 m in both directions.

Technical sheet
Calculated time Calculated time: 11h55[?]
Distance Distance : 19.44km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 2655m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 2646m
Highest point Highest point : 1847m
Lowest point Lowest point : 994m
Very difficult Difficulty : Very difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : São Vicente (Madeira)
Starting point Starting point : N 32.754304° / W 17.018643°
Download : -

Description

Starting point at Bocca da Encumeada (pass). Access is via the road through the island across its width between Sao Vicente and Ribeira Brava in the north to the south.

Red and Yellow markings (route No. 1.3).

(S) From the pass, take the path called "Vereda da Encumeada" which heads south-east. After a few hundred metres the path becomes steeper and then gives way to stone steps leading up a winding path. The road heads north-east and passes near Pico da Encumeada.

(1) The path heads south-east and remains high up by alternating short climbs and short descents. The slope changes to climb Pico do Jorge.

(2) Continue down east to reach Bocca das Torrinhas a pass and a crossroads with a nice view.

(3) Cross the route No. 2 with its north-south orientation (approximately) and go uphill to the north east. Around the 1,500 m elevation mark, the slope becomes more gentle momentarily before again becoming steeper. Veer to the south-east to head round the Pico do Coelho, then continue uphill to the east to the Pico Ruivo.

(4) Turn right (south) to climb in loops to the summit.

(5) The descent is along the same path as on the way out.

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. km 0
1 : km 2.02 - alt. km 2.02 - Near the Pico Encuemeada
2 : km 4.3 - alt. km 4.3 - Pico do Jorge
3 : km 5.32 - alt. km 5.32 - Bocca das Torrinhas
4 : km 9.5 - alt. km 9.5 - Split in the path at the foot of Pico Ruivo
5 : km 9.73 - alt. km 9.73 - Pico Ruivo - Summit
D/A : km 19.44 - alt. km 19.44

Useful Information

The trail is laid out in places: paving or stone steps, cable rails on the sides. Nevertheless, good hiking shoes are essential.

The climate is changeable, it is recommended to start this long hike early. Despite the latitude, warm clothing is recommended.

No water or supplies available on the trail: plan accordingly.

Variants

With two cars, you can park one at Bocca Encumeada (S) and another in Achada do Teixeira in the car park located at the end of the EN-101-5 road from Santana. In this case, after coming down from the summit and arriving at the point (4), instead of retracing your steps to the west, take the east route no. 1.2 to Achada do Teixeira. Allow about 1.5 hours for the walk at least but at least 1 hour to Achado do Teixeira and Bocca Encumeada by car.

Still with two cars, the hike can be walked in the opposite direction (east to west), which significantly reduces the ascent.

Another option (not tested) is to spend a night in the Poussada do Ruivo (shelter), located a few hundred metres east of point (4).

Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

From the summit there is a 360° view of the island of Madeira and the ocean.

On the way, the environment varies greatly: it starts in a wooded environment, the vegetation gradually becomes less dense and, at the first summit, it is essentially a open rock.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.