Climbing up Mount Teide

Author: Lisa
Date: 12.11.2018

Silence, complete silence, when the first rays broke above the mountains of Gran Canaria.
It was the 9th of November, 6:30 am, when we were sitting high above the clouds on the top of Pico del Teide, an incredible and breathtaking volcano. However, let us start with the beginning of our unbelievable two-days trip to the highest mountain of Spain…

Two days earlier:
Full of sweat, desperate and stressed faces all over the ship. The last preparations for our hiking-tour to Mount Teide are taking place. That means packing all the necessary stuff, like warm clothes, food, camera equipment and organising the plan of the following days…
After finishing our preparations we drove up to the starting point of our hike by bus and listened to Ben‘s explanations about his presentation on vegetation zones by showing it through what was outside the windows. Watching the quick change of the vegetation zones was super interesting. We started at sea level with the wide blue ocean, palms and the city. Afterwards we saw the „Kandelaber-Wolfsmilchfederbuschhalbwüste“ and with it the first endemits, which are special sort of plants or animals that can only be found in particular areas. After that we came to the „region in the clouds“ and were able to look at an area with a huge biodiversity. This was because there was a lot of moisture, so there were for example laurel trees, pine trees and a lot of moss. As we reached a height of 2000m above sea level we were not able to see any trees or something like that anymore, so we looked at shrubs, moss and lichens. Reaching this altitude meant also trying on the hiking shoes and putting on the huge and heavy backpacks. From this time on we were just a few people in an incredible and big volcano-landscape which made us feel like being on the moon or anywhere else, but not on our earth. So we started climbing…
At the beginning we were hiking pretty slowly to get used to the high altitude and so we had to check out our heart-rate nearly at every half an hour. After round about 1000 high meters the first ones reached the aim of the day, a little house on a height of 3216m, which looked more like a lonely hut in a moon-landscape with a bathroom, a kitchen and round about four rooms full of beds As fast as they had reached the top they went down to the others and helped them by carrying their backpacks. This was one of many other actions which proved our social cohesion and great teamwork. In the late afternoon everbody got to the hut, full of sweat, exhausted, but all in all super happy.
We decided to prepare our dinner really early that evening, because we all wanted to reach the top of Pico del Teide in the morning to see the first sunrays of the day. The last actions of the long but amazing day were brushing our teeth and preparing the backpacks for the following day…

4:00 in the morning:
We were woken by a song of Alexander Markus and that meant to get up as fast as possible. Putting on the headlamps and trying on many warm clothes were the last things we did and so we could start our climb up to the summit at 4:30am. All the way up nearly nobody was speaking, because we all were enjoying the silence, the stars and the fresh air. After two hours of hiking we finally reached the top, the top of Pico del Teide, the top of the highest mountain of Spain, the top of our journey.
It was an incredible, breathtaking and unbelievable feeling to see the first broken sunrays above the clouds and the mountains of Gran Canaria. We all were so happy and also a little bit proud, because we managed the hard and long way up. This was our climbing up to Pico del Teide, a mountain and volcano, which will always stay in our minds!

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