Monday, February 19, 2018

British walker rescued after fall on treacherous path

Mountain rescue (Archive image)
A 70-year-old British woman had to be rescued by helicopter on Saturday afternoon after falling while walking in the Las Lecheras, El Guro, area of Valle Gran Rey. Emergency services say that they were called out at around 4pm after reports that the woman had lower leg injuries, and she was airlifted to San Sebastián and then taken by ambulance to the island’s Hospital Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe where her condition is said not to be serious.
The Las Lecheras path is one of the most treacherous in La Gomera and is officially closed as erosion and rockfalls have made it almost impassable and hard to find in places. There are some misleading goat paths in the area which add to the danger. This path and the dangerous path up (or down) the Argaga ravine are the two paths which are definitely best avoided and and often the cause for complicated rescue operations.


Bernd Hendel said...

Thanks for the important info.

I tried to find the path which leads through the area called "Las Lecheras". However, neither in the last edition (summer 2017) of my Rother Walking Guide nor in another walking map of La Gomera that area is mentioned or clearly indicated.

All I could find (app, for example) is a path called "Camino de Leche" forking off ftom the pathe from degallada del Cerillal to El Guro. Walk number 38 of the Rother Walking Guide refers to it as well as "Leche path": "The path is narrow but mostly distinct and waymarked with red dots ... with some narrow, precipitous stretches ... (always keep an eye out for the waymarkers, cairns and stepping stones, otherwise a "muddle`'is inevitable!"

I think it would be important to issue a clear description in order to help people to avoid that dangerous path.

Kind regards
Bernd Hendel

Cully Pettigrew said...

I wonder if this walker took a wrong turn when looking for the waterfall. Last year I climbed up the valley to the left of the waterfall route. I knew what I was doing and stopped when the track ascended steeply towards Last Americas Plateau. Good fun to be "off piste" but one has to know when to stop

La Gomera said...

@Cully: No, that treacherous 'La Lecheras' area is on the east side of El Guro, above the chapel, and not near the waterfall walk.
@ Bernd: Even most of the red dots are not clearly visible anymore, and don't be fooled by 'waymarkers' as some aren't marking a route, but borders of land and grazing rights. The Rother guide edition you have may be outdated as the path is not 'distinct' anymore. Maybe you should notify Rother that this path (leche this or that) is treacherous due to erosion, and should not be recommended. It never was a proper path, anyway, and locals don't like to see tourists there. There are lots of nicer paths, which are just as physically demanding without risking your life and possibly that of rescuers.