Going to see volcano El Teide was our ultimate goal on Tenerife.
El Teide is an active volcano, and it’s the highest mountain in Spain, with its 3,718 meters. It’s the third largest volcano in the world (measured from its base). Its last eruption was in 1909.
Initially we had thought of taking the cable up (see second image), which goes all the way up to about 200 meters under the summit. The last bit should be done on foot.
I got it in my head to want to shoot the sunrise from the summit, though, and the cable didn’t start to go until 9am. That meant we had to go either really early in the morning (sunrise was at about 7.30am, and the walk was said to take anywhere from 3,5-5,5 hours, depending on the hiker’s health and condition and packing), or go the day before and stay overnight.
There’s a refuge, El Refugio de Altavista, on 3,270 meters where hikers can stay overnight, provided they have reserved a spot. From there the last 500 meters up to the summit can be walked early the next morning in the dark.
So that’s what we set out to do.
We managed to reserve two places for an overnight stay in the refuge from an office in Santa Cruz the Tenerife, where no one spoke a word of English. I ended up drawing a mountain with a little hut on the side and a rising sun in the background to explain what we wanted.
And a few days later we drove to the beginning of the trail and set out on our quest.