A trek to the summit of the Canary Islands- demanding but also unique

Located in the centre of the island of Tenerife, Teide National Park can be visited using one of the many paths, including that which takes you to the summit of the volcano. Starting at Montaña Blanca, this highly difficult trek due to a progressive change in altitude, (from 1,367 to 3,718metres) takes about six hours to reach the Altavista shelter. You can stay the night if you get a permit and await the morning to face the final stretch of the ascent which to the very crater of the Teide. When we have been in Tenerife this route was unfortunately closed due to bad weather conditions.

We decided to take a lift to the altitude of 3550 m (we booked a guided tour to be able to climb the top. Permits can be requested at: http://www.reservasparquesnacionales.es but we were too late so that was only an option to get to the top. Permission is subject to the existence of places and to whether or not the park administration has closed the path.

Trail to the Summit of Mt. Teide: Telesforo Bravo Trail

Start: La Rambleta (3,550 m) Finish: Peak of Mt Teide (3,718 m) Duration: (40 minutes) Length: 614 m

Difficulty: High Maximum difference in height: 159 m climb

To ensure visitor safety and the preservation of the area, restrictive measures have been established, forbidding access from La Rambleta (3,550 m) to the summit (3,718 m) unless in possession of a special permit. A permit is required to gain access from La Rambleta to the summit along the Telesforo Bravo trail, the only path leading to the top.

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Not enough for us- extreme experience

Straight from El Teide we took a path to Pico Viejo – the old peak – is the second highest mountain of Tenerife and thus of all the Islas Canarias. It would probably not qualify as a separate mountain by UIAA standards since it is “only” an outpost on the mighty bulk of Teide. Still it is an impressive sight and on most listings of Spanish mountain it finds its proper place.

Path nr 9-Mt Teide-Pico Viejo-main road TF-38 Start: La Rambleta (3,500 m, Mirador de Pico Viejo-vantage point) Finish: Km 3.2 of main road TF-38 (Mirador de Las Narices del Teide-vantage point)

Duration: 8 hours Length: 9.3 Km Difficulty: Extreme difficulty Maximum difference in height: 1,500 m descent

Connections: Trails 7, (10), (11) and (12)

Description: This tough trail descends over black lava, with the spectacular crater of Pico Viejo in full view for the first section, until it reaches Degollada de Chahorra where lava turns to volcanic gravel. The path then skirts Pico Viejo on the south side, below the edge of the crater, and quickly drops down to Narices del Teide. It then continues towards Lomo de Chío and on to the main road TF-38. It is an extremely tough route as it mainly crosses lava flows and very loose terrain.

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Beautiful experience

In total we climbed 20 km, where 200 m up and 1700 down. It was extreme but for sure unforgettable. When you are in good shape definitely try to do the same. It was the craziest I ever did during one day at this altitude.

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