Ascent of Pico de Teide on 2020-07-13

Climber: Tom Milliard

Date:Monday, July 13, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Pico de Teide
    Elevation:12198 ft / 3717 m

Ascent Trip Report

Due to the Covid situation the cable car isn't running in Tenerife until at least the end of July, and probably until the end of the year. Additionally, the refuge at 3250m is closed for the same reasons. This gives a unique opportunity to climb this touristy peak in almost complete isolation. Also, you don't need the permit (I had it, but was over an hour earlier than my time slot so was grateful). It's almost eerie at the upper cable car station, totally deserted and not even a guard anywhere.
As for the route, parking at Montana Blanca (about 2.4km past the cable car parking) is small (10 places, free) and even in these conditions I was fortunate to sneak in at 0845. The first 4.5km follows a 4x4 road, is well marked and only climbs to 2720m, where there is a crossroads to Montana Blanca (I quickly bagged it on descent), and the trail proper. Now the path zig zags easily up to the refuge at 3250m. I passed a few early people heading back down, but very few in general. At the refuge at 1030ish, it was 15 degrees-perfect. The route heads up to the cable car station, where normally you would need to show your permit (free and available online), plus document to ascend the final 200m, with the other 50 or so people in your time window (mostly people from the cable car). This is the steepest section, but simple enough despite the thinner air. The top has no major markings, just a button on the highest rock. Great views, and only a Czech couple I met on the way up to join me. 45 minutes on the summit and not another person seen!
Descent I took easy, with a leisurely lunch on the closed refuges benches, where the temperature was now 25 degrees.. interestingly there were many more people ascending in the later, baking hot part of the afternoon, which seemed a strange decision for me,it must have been extremely warm work, and totally avoidable!
A lovely set of views all day, and a very different kind of Tenerife for sure
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4435 ft / 1351 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4435 ft / 1351 m
    Distance:12.7 mi / 20.4 km
    Start Trailhead:7763 ft / 2366 m
    Time:3 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 5 Minutes

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