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driving in La Palma at Janvuary and weather in mountains

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driving in La Palma at Janvuary and weather in mountains

Hello!

I'm visiting La Palma next week. I'm hiring a car for a week. I come from northern country so driving in snow is not a problem for me. But I'm curios do they put winter tires on cars and how weather may be at 2000+ altitude or around observatory? I mean driving on snow with summer tires in mountains sounds like suicide.

What is normal temperature at observatory now?

Also I'm pretty curious is it possible to see stars or planets through telescope at the observatory? Some kind of tour. It seems it is impossible :(

Is it possibility to enjoy sun at Princess hotel? It seems cloudy all week but it was same for Madeira but in the end you could see sun like 60% of time.

5 replies to this topic
Blackpool, England
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1. Re: driving in La Palma at Janvuary and weather in mountains

You will not see any snow until you get up to the observatories El Roque de Los Muchachos. The roads are kept clear, just take care and drive slowly at the top. No need for snow tyres. Temperature at the top can be a few degrees each side of zero so wrap up.

Down at sea level it is likely to be warm usually low to mid 20’s centigrade. You may get the odd cloudy day and occasional rain but the majority of time it will be warm and sunny. Take a sweater or light jacket for night time as cools significantly after the sun goes down (usually about 14 decrees C).

See astrolapalma.com/en/content/visits-observato… for observatory visits (mornings only). It cannot vouch for quality as I have not done this.

Edited: 10 January 2018, 10:15
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2. Re: driving in La Palma at Janvuary and weather in mountains

Worslesr, thanks for information. Yeah, I was hoping there is some chance to see stars at night through big telescope :D Naive.

Brussels, Belgium
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3. Re: driving in La Palma at Janvuary and weather in mountains

I think some enthousiasts go star gazing up there at night, even camping there (it is possible to ask a camping permit in advance). Outsidr, i mean, not at an observatory.

Edited: 11 January 2018, 08:56
La Palma
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4. Re: driving in La Palma at Janvuary and weather in mountains

Hello there,

For weather in real-time, check out the weather webcam at the observatory: www.not.iac.es/weather/index.php?v=webcam2

We don't get that many days of snow up at the Roque de Muchachos, (I'm only talking about winter of course) but if there is a possibility that the snow might cause any difficulty with driving, the road is closed. You'll see a 'Closed' sign at the start of the road going up there.

Having said that, it was very icy up there on Monday and not at all good for cars. But for whatever reason, the road wasn't signed as closed.

The observatory visits are very good and worth doing, but as you've realised, this is during the day and not visits for star-gazing by night. The observatory is for scientists only at night as viewing time is so valuable. In fact, you can't even drive up up to the Roque de Muchachos at night because of the light pollution of car lights.

As far as I know, you can't camp up there and wild camping is prohibited. Not to say that people don't do it.

For star-gazing, look at the link for Astro Tour that Worsler has kindly given, go to Events and you can read about their 'sky watching evenings. '

Hope, Maine
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5. Re: driving in La Palma at Janvuary and weather in mountains

I drove up to Roque de los Muchachos two days ago and hiked the portion of the GR131 along the caldera rim in shorts and T-shirt. No snow or ice. It sure didn't feel like winter to me. Then yesterday I started towards El Pilar and the temp dropped 10 degrees and the wind was blowing cold. Mostly I've been in shorts everywhere. But I come from the NE of the US.

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