UK Mountains Walking, Mountaineering and Equipment Reviews
Teide Summiting
Canary IslandsHighest Peak
Teide - The Summit

The alarm was set for 5am and I was out of bed at 5:01am. A quick breakfast and off. All I had to do was to pick up my lunch, rucsac and boots and I was off.


I parked up at 6:40am and began walking at 6:45am. I had my torch but didn't need it as the path was obvious and the pre-dawn gloom enough to see by. By 7:00am it was light enough.

I got to the bottom of the big climb after an hours walk which I was happy with. Before I started up I decided I didn't need my jacket anymore so stashed that leaving just my thermal and T shirt.

The GPS route

The climb up is a tough one being quite steep, very rocky and of course gaining altitude all the time. The bottom of the climb is at about 2,600m which means that the effects of altitude started to have an effect and I felt a little light headed. Drinking plenty of water and slowing the pace helps a lot.

I arrived at the Refugio Altavista hut (3,260m) after another hour which was my target time and gave me confidence as I had thought I had been going a bit slower than planned. I took a 10 minute rest for a banana and drink and then set off for the next target which was the top path at 3,500m. My planned time was 45 minutes which I pretty much managed (50 minutes).

The route goes left to the cable car station and suddenly gets a lot busier with the tourist walkers going to and from the view point. As I walked on I passed my previous high point from last year and it with mixed feelings that I discovered I had been just 10 minutes from the cable car! Mixed because last time the weather was awful but if I had known it was only 10 minutes to the final climb I might have been tempted which would have been unwise.

The Climb

I finally got to the check point at about 10:20am but my permit was not valid until 11:00am. The park Rangers were fine with me going early so off I went. The climb is far from over at this point. It is 650m and about 150m of climbing to the summit but I had to stop a couple of times to rest. Finally I arrived at the top at 3,718m, the highest point in Spain, and with a short walk around the perimeter I got to the very highest point at 10:45am, exactly 4 hours after setting off. A celebratory JD and a few photos and I set off down again, this time I detoured to the view point at Mirador Fortaleza.

Teide Summit

For the return journey I used my poles to help with balance and general knee strain. The downhill journey is quicker than uphill but not by much as it requires care, especially on the loose rocky sections below the hut. I had promised myself I would get to the bottom of the big climb before stopping for lunch which took some will power as my legs were complaining bitterly but I did it. Lunch never tasted so good!

Stripping to shorts I quickly dispatched the final hours walk, getting back to the car 3 hours after leaving the summit. I had done it!

UK Mountains

All photos and content Copyright © Mick Peakman 2018 -

Website design Copyright © UK Mountains UK Mountains Peaky Pilot