|Pico Grande from Boca
Pico Serradinho Pico Grande
|Estimated net time||4-5 hours|
|Difficulty||Most of the off-path section to Pico Serradinho is cumbersome (bush, including black berry thorns) and requires the use of hands in several places. The final few metres to Pico Grande is supported by a couple of wires, but this is easy scrambling, even in wet conditions. But there is some exposure so make sure you don't slip.|
|Drinking water||No stable access to running water.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route (November 2014).|
|Parking||Room for several cars at trail head car park, and if full you can park along the road further down.|
|Start height||1230 metres|
|Vertical metres||990 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||9.8 km|
From Madeira's capital Funchal drive road VR1 a little west, to junction 5. Exit here, cross under the motorway, and follow signs for "Estreito C. Lobos". Drive a little less than 4 km uphill and follow signs for "Centro" (right) when you get to the village Estreito. Drive through the village centre and follow signs for "Jardim da Serra". 3.6 km from the "Centro" exit in Estreito turn right towards "Bocca de Corrida", and follow this road 3.2 km to its end. Park at the car park at the top of the road.
Start your hike by following the cobbled path uphill and a little right, above the car park. Walk 2.6 km, leave the path, and head uphill in cumbersome terrain to the small saddle south of Pico Serradinho. This section of the route is very rough, and you can expect to do some scrambling, and to cut your hands on black berry bushes. Once up in the saddle head left (north) and walk through slightly easier terrain to the unmarked summit. Return back down to the path by reversing your ascent route.
Back on the path continue another 800 metres and turn right where signed for "Relvinha". Walk another 50 metres and fork left, signed for "Pico". Follow this path, which has a slightly exposed section a little above 1300m, secured by a wire, all the way up to the foot of the summit pinnacle. From here follow the small orange dots of paint up to the wire supporting the exposed section a few metres below the summit, and then the few metres to Pico Grande's true summit.
Descend by reversing your ascent route, except the de-tour to Pico Serradinho.
18. November 2014
Another grey and wet day on Madeira, but we still decided to take on this planned hike to Pico Grande. I also made the de-tour to Pico Serradinho, while Elisabeth waited down on the path. The de-tour took me almost 40 minutes, and included some bush fighting, including bush with some nasty thorns.
After Pico Serradinho we continued towards Pico Grande, meeting and overtaking several other hikers. We asked those we met how the final few metres to the summit was, but it turned out none had been to the actual summit, and they all said it was too steep and dangerous given the wet and slippery conditions. But this didn't put us off and when we got to the foot of the final scramble we decided to have a go. This turned out to be pretty straight forward, and given the wire in the most exposed section there were really no dangers nor issues. Unfortunately the mist was very dense and we only had a few tens of metres of visibility.
From Pico Grande we walked straight back to the trail head, with very little improvements in the weather, and meeting/overtaking still more hikers.