December 2019. In Tenerife island, we had, in addition to diving, one desirable thing — climbing to the top of the Teide Volcano, 3,718 meters above sea level. In order to accomplish this, it is necessary to obtain permission and pre-book a visit, but there is one difficulty: no more than 200 people can visit the peak every day (more info you can find here). Many people book the climb in three months, but we didn’t have enough time and everything was already taken for our dates. Therefore, we had to go the other way. At an altitude of 3260 meters the Altavista Refuge is located, where you can spend the night and climb to the top before dawn without getting permission and not entering the number of 200 people. The main thing is to go down from the top of Mount Teide to 9:00, when the cable car station opens for visitors.

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We were going to climb Teide in an easy way and bought tickets to the cable car, the upper station of which, La Rambleta, is at an altitude of 3,555 meters, very close to the final destination. To spend the night at the refuge, we would have to go down 300 meters of height, and then again climb up completely to the peak in the morning of the next day.

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But we did not think at all that the cable car would not work on December 25, Catholic Christmas (in Russia it is celebrated on January 7), and there was no warning about this on the site, because for Europe, this goes without saying. We didn’t hurry much, because in the morning we saw a message that Teide had bad weather, everything was closed, including trails, and thought that a refund would not be a problem, since the weather didn’t let to go and the cable car was not working.

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But our confidence was dispelled at the lower cable car station (there is also an observation deck and this is the highest place where you can reach by car), where only a souvenir shop worked. The cable car itself didn't not work, but a mountain shelter Altavista Refuge awaited us. So we had a little problem — we had to go there on foot. 6.4 km uphill, 918 meters climb. We decided to move on, but there was the second little problem. We went out at 16:00, and the sunset was at 18:00. The forecasted rise time of 3.5-4 hours, a half of the way was to go in the dark.

Let's go ahead! So, all the photos of this post relate to climbing the Montaña Blanca trail to the Altavista Refuge and actually climbing to the top of Teide.

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Here, at an altitude of 2000+ meters, snow is already in places. In Moscow at that moment it was absolutely dry, and as we saw on social networks, many people wanted snow. But I'm ready to live without it)

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We rise higher, unexploded volcanic bombs lie around. Teide threw them during the eruption. I would not want to be here at the moment when these boulders landed.

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The sun slowly disappears beyond the peak, and we decide to stop to launch the drone and look at the surroundings from above, before it gets dark. Here on the slope you can see impressive streams of solidified lava and a piece of the path along which we have to go further.

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And this is the very beginning of the path — the road through the national park, a small parking is visible, where we left the car, and the path upstairs.

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Wonderful shaping. But when passing by it below, nothing so remarkable can be seen. The view from the heights is often more interesting.

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The triangular shadow of the volcano, including for the sake of it we wanted to climb on Teide. And below you can see the coast of the island.

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The last rays of the sun illuminated the horizon, painted a strip of clouds, and then darkness fell.

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We arrived at the Refugio de Altavista mountain shelter at 19:35. We went inside and were surprised at the number of people in the dining room. Someone even brought wine and beer upstairs. And we brought only instant noodles and jamon with parmesan, and for some reason only 3 tea bags.

Non-potable water flows from the tap, there is a kitchen, an electric kettle and dishes. And three vending machines in the lobby — with drinking water, chocolate bars and coffee / cocoa. Water costs 3 euros per liter, coffee 2 euros, bars 3 euros. WIFI is free and with a good speed. Rarity in the mountains. I took a photograph when everyone had already gone to their bedrooms.

And here is one of the bedrooms. For an overnight stay they give a one-off pillowcase and a sheet, which with all your garbage must be taken down with you. The blanket, of course, is also given, but without a cover)

We leave the refuge and go on the trail to the top at 6 in the morning. We must go down until 9 a.m. and not to get caught by the rangers of the park: we don’t have special climbing equipment, it turns out that it is officially forbidden to climb without it now — because it is believed that because of the winter here they have an ice and it is dangerous. We hoped that they would not catch us and that we would not fall from a height. But everything worked out and, frankly speaking, I do not understand why any special equipment would be needed there then. There was ice, but not much, and almost always it was possible to get around without leaving the path. We used only trekking poles.

Photo of me and @kibela on top. I did not launch the drone there — the wind was too strong there at dawn. The views were gorgeous, even though the dawn was not particularly bright, and basically the whole sky was cloudy.

Here the sun somewhere behind the clouds rose, and we moved down.

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This is how the panorama of the crater of the sleeping Teide volcano (the highest point in Spain!) looks like. I'm glad that we still managed to climb to the very top! :)

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Camera: OLYMPUS E-M1 MarkII and DJI Mavic 2 Pro


P.S.One small but important note. Because this post was made for the TravelFeed.io project through its interface, it seems to me that all links may work correctly only when viewing through TravelFeed.io interface. This applies to both text links and high-resolution image links. So, if some links don't work, but you are interested in them — follow the links at the beginning or at the end of the post and wathc the post on TravelFeed.io.

You can also see my photos in my blog on LJ and in my profile on NatGeo