Sunday, May 04, 2014

Another death in Argaga ravine

With the help of mountain rescue teams, volunteers and two helicopters the body of a 75-year-old German tourist was recovered in the treacherous Argaga ravine this morning. The man had been reported missing yesterday when he failed to return to his accommodation after a planned hike through the most dangerous gorge on the island. Apparently he didn't bring a mobile phone, but there is no reception in parts of the ravine anyway. A post-mortem is being carried out to establish the exact cause of his death, but it is believed he suffered a fall. The area where his body was recovered is infamous for its dangers such as very frequent rockfalls, very steep unstable mountainsides, misleading goat tracks and eroded or collapsed parts of the former path leading through it. Officially the track has been closed for years, but it still features in many older guide books and despite all the warnings many tourists still attempt hiking there, not only risking their own lives but potentially the lives of their rescuers, too. Several people have lost their lives over the years in what for me is the least attractive area of the whole island. It has an eerie, spooky feel to it and you often you hear rocks crashing down in and around the ravine. Every time locals hear the rescue helicopter approaching Valle Gran Rey they shrug and say: ''Ah, probably Argaga again''. Even the most experienced hiker can get into trouble there, so please do stay away from it. There are lots of safer but spectacular tracks and paths to choose from if you need a challenge.

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