Pico da Vara

  • Pico da Vara
  • 1103 m
  • Primary factor 1103 meter
  • Location: North 37.80961, West 025.21127 (GPS at the summit)
  • Sao Miguel, Azores
  • Difficulty: (YDS) class 1
  • Climbed July 29. 2014.


How to get there:
Here is a quick summary of my climbs in the Azores islands.

Take the nice Hwy. from Ponta Delgada direction Ribeira Seca, before getting there continue in the direction of Nordeste. This Hwy. is quite nice and relatively new (not on my map in 2014). Continue past the exit for Achada, the n take the next exit signed Algarvia. Immediately, in the first traffic circle, take the road that heads uphill. Stay on this road until it forks in a Y with big signs and the trail going up (in wooden stairs) straight in the middle. Park here, this is the trailhead.
Route description:
The distance to the summit is about 3.5 kilometer. The first part runs uphill in the nice forest, often with steps in the trail. Very shortly after the trail exits the forest, it will reach the main crest and a signed trailfork. Turn left here. From now, the trail essentially follows the main ridge to the summit. First, you pass a memorial for a French airplane disaster. Then the trail climbs across a false summit, continues a bit on the left side of the crest before making a final U-turn and head back to the highest point. There is a typical Portugese summit marker and a pretty flat summit platau.
Arriving in Ponta Delgado on a somewaht delayed flight yesterday, I started out after breakfast. The trailhead was easy to find and I started hiking at 1040. The weather was ok, but the ridge was in the clouds, so basically fog.
Along the entire trail there were most likely on the order of one hundred small sections of open pipe, well secured to a peg on either side. I did carefully look inside one of these, but there was nothing inside. One would think that this could be some sort of trap to catch something? Any reader that knows what this is, please send me an email! (petter@ii.uib.no).
I arrived at the summit at 1130 and stayed there until 1150. The return hike was easy and I was back at my car by 1230.
Additional info, added in April 2018.
On March 16. 2018, I received an email from Mr. Ricardo Ceia about my question posted almost 4 years ago. He wrote:
I'm writting you because I came along with the description of your climb to Pico da Vara in São Miguel, Azores ([1]https://www.ii.uib.no/~petter/mountains/1000mtn/vara.html). In that text you asked for information about "small sections of open pipe" placed along the trail. It was part of a rodent monitoring action in the SPA Pico da Vara/ Ribeira do Guilherme carried out in the project LIFE Terras do Priolo. You can find more information here: [2]http://life-terrasdopriolo.spea.pt/en/.
Warm thanks to Ricardo for providing this information.