PICO Island - Pico volcano mountain

Climbing Pico mountain at another season that summer is not so easy.. The weather change so fast in Pico island, that you can be suddenly trapped in the frog of the clouds, and as the trail is a very natural rough, and not so well indicated one, you really need a full day to make it to the top. I actually didn't make it to the crateria.. arrived too late and been stuck in the frog for a while.

Hiking trails are available and the ascent to the summit can be made in around three to four hours from the trailhead depending on weather which can be quite treacherous especially in winter months.

Mount Pico is part of the Madalena Volcanic Complex, one of three volcanological units that comprise the island of Pico, associated with three historic eruptions in 1562, 1718 and 1720. Current morphology suggests an age dating to the Holocene age, confirmed by radiocarbon dates younger than 6000 years. Structurally, this complex can be subdivided into two other sections: the Pico Volcano and the East Fissural Zone.

Pico is a stratovolcano, with a pit crater on its summit. Pico Alto the round crater about 500 meters (1,600 ft) in diameter and 30 meters deep tops the volcano, with Piquinho (Pico Pequeno) a small volcanic cone rising 70 meters within it to form the true summit. Meanwhile, the East Fissural Zone comprises several alignments of Hawaiian/Strombolian scoria cones and associated lava flows, which overflowed many of the cliffs, cut in older units and originated lava deltas (Portuguese: fajãs).

 The tectonic structure is characterized by two fault systems. The main WNW-ESE structures are the dextral faults of Laoga do Capitão and Topo, that merge to the east, forming a narrow shallow graben. To the west, the graben is completely covered by the Pico stratovolcano occurring less than 10,000 years ago, and infilled by lava flows and cones of the Eastern Fissural zone, that includes many of the volcanic alignments and scarps. The second fault zone, running NNW-SSE, are markedly less in number and includes normal left lateral, oblique slip faults responsible for the main volcanic eruptions: the Lomba de Fogo-São João fault (basis of the 1718 eruption)and the Santo António volcanic alignment.

(c) Chavanitas