Snow has fallen on the island of Madeira for the second time since I arrived last year. Just like last time, I didn’t let the opportunity pass and headed on up into the mountains to explore the snowcapped peaks of Madeira. With roads closed, you have to make up your own trail and that is often by walking on the snow-covered roads to reach the trailhead for popular hikes.
I headed up into the mountains twice in two days. On the first trip, we went to Pico do Arieiro on a 20-kilometer round trip with over 1000 meters of vertical gain. We battled through rain and a snowstorm to reach the empty station at the top of the route. We decided to continue down the Pico to Pico path and explored all the way to Ninho da Manta. It was incredible to see this trail covered in snow and a sight we will never forget.
While at the viewpoint, it began snowing very heavily. However, I decided to throw the drone up and see if it would survive long enough for me to capture some rare aerial footage of Madeira’s highest peaks covered in snow. The drone survived and the footage turned out quite well considering the conditions.
The next day we decided to take a different route up into the mountains and attempted to make it up to Pico Ruivo, which is the highest peak on Madeira Island. It was an 16-kilometer round trip with another 1000 meters of vertical gain in some very deep snow. The snowstorm was quite brutal at times with heavy winds but when we reached the mountain hut at the summit we were in for a surprise. It was open!
Inside was the owner of the hut who served us coffee and chocolates. More importantly than the food, he had the fire going, which was a great morale booster for us. For a few moments, we forgot that our toes were frozen. It was truly a winter wonderland up at Pico Ruivo and despite the cold, I am glad my adventurous spirit and curiosity drove me up into the mountains.
I’ve added both vlogs below so you can check out the journeys. I didn’t take too many photos as I was busy filming the vlogs and just surviving the cold. I hope you all had a great week and got 24 hours closer to your goals.