“The Symbol” Video Update #3: Es Vedrà Trek

 Posted by at 2:48 pm on July 28, 2012
Jul 282012

Closeup of an Es Vedrà lizard. The combination of a deep blue body and yellow back is not found in any other population.

We visited dozens of islands during our month-long expedition to the Pityusic archipelago to photograph the endemic Ibiza Wall Lizard (Podarcis pityusesis). We photographed lizards clad in brilliant blue, green, and orange, cryptic shades of brown, and even black. But right from the start, we knew our expedition wouldn’t be complete until we climbed Es Vedrà. Es Vedrà is an island shrouded in mystery – it is visible throughout the archipelago, a monumental 1250-foot-high pinnacle of rock rising abruptly from the Mediterranean off the southwest coast of Ibiza. But Es Vedrà is uninhabited and off-limits to the public, so few people have a chance to explore it, and fewer still reach the summit. The island has inspired countless legends through the centuries. More importantly for us, Es Vedrà is home to what may be the most spectacular population of Ibiza Wall Lizards in the entire archipelago.

The most conspicuous terrestrial animals on Es Vedrà are wild goats, descended from domestic goats introduced to the island by humans centuries ago.

In the final week of our expedition, we finally had a chance to face Es Vedrà. This film chronicles our trek to the summit. Nate had reached the peak once before, so we had a rough idea of what lie ahead. Still, we knew we would encounter challenges along the way! Early on our hike, the pouch that held our wireless microphones got torn off my backpack as I pushed through some dense brush, and we didn’t realize the mics were missing until we reached the summit. Unfortunately, that meant that we couldn’t record our impressions when we were there. But in case the video leaves you with any doubt… it was SPECTACULAR!

We retraced our steps on the way down, and – miraculously – Nate managed to find the mics! What a relief!

Our other objective on Es Vedrà was to capture a high-resolution panorama from the summit, so that our friends and project backers could share our experience and get a sense of what we could see from the summit. You can explore the high-resolution panoramic image below, or use the cool full-screen interface at the Gigapan website, complete with annotated “snapshots” within the larger image.

Exhausted but happy, Nate, Amanda and I stand atop Es Vedrà!

  5 Responses to ““The Symbol” Video Update #3: Es Vedrà Trek”

  1. Wow, I am totally in awe of you. I spent half a day on the 29th July 2012 here and was totally mesmerised with it. Thank you for sharing this

  2. I climbed to the top of Es Vedra in 1969. A fishing boat dropped me off early morning and picked me up that evening. I was the only person on the island and being alone on the peak was the scariest experience,
    surrounded by swarms of seagulls who obviously resented my presence. An amazing experience.

  3. It is forbidden to walk on Es Vedra, please don’t do that

    • Hi Cesar,
      It’s true that Es Vedra is off-limits to the general public, but as the video says, we had special research permits from the national park and we visited Es Vedra 100% legally. Thanks for watching the video. Cheers,

      • Ok Neil, sorry for that, ¿can I suggest that you add that to the text? We just don’t want people thinking that they can come and walk on the island, we must protect it. Thanks for the pictures and congratulations for the journey

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