We started our ascent of Mt Teide from the car park, at 1.30am. We walked the flat lands for about an hour and a half (we weren't really watching the time) and could see the shapes of the Teide eggs etc. The path was wide, and easy to see, although half way along, the path splits and we nearly took the wrong one without noticing the correct branch that went left. Luckily my partner spotted it just in time.
We took head torches, and we were glad of them from the moment the steep section started. I'd read that in full moon you can see your way clearly, however we were very glad we had torches because the path is the gravelly, scree, lumpy, rocky, uneven path you would expect for a mountain.
We are young 30's and have a natural level of fitness, enjoy rambling and hill (hill not mountain) walking regularly. We found Teide challenging. We had read that there was a refuge half way up, and before we'd reached it we were in serious doubt as to whether we'd make the summit because it was such tough going. The altitude definitely does take it's toll, and we were very very tired when we reached the refuge at 4am.
We'd read that the refuge is very basic, but when we arrived there were hot showers, kitchen, comfortable bunk rooms etc. We did wonder if we should have set out the day before and made a night of it there. As it was, when we got there everyone else was leaving. We stopped for a hot chocolate and then set out again.
The 2nd half of the ascent was pretty tough. The refuger's were powering on past us, while we pushed our tired bodies over volcanic rocks and scree. We lost the path at one point, but regained it not long after, having experienced dancing over a volcanic wasteland.
At 6.15 we saw the sky lightening and realised we would not make it to the top in time for the sunrise. We could see people flashing lights from above us, and realised that it was too far to reach in time. We settled into a nook, out of the chilling wind, and enjoyed watching the sun change the landscape over and over again for 30 minutes.
Then we picked ourselves up, and pushed for another hour and reached the summit before the cable car opened. We had it completely to ourselves, having missed the sunrise rush, and the first cable car. Although it was very cold and blowing up there, the views were absolutely stunning. I'm pretty glad we didn't reach the top for sunrise though, it was narrow and precarious, and very very cold, and would probably have been pretty busy (I'd estimate from the people descending as we were still climbing, that there would have been 25 or so people up there). I suspect we wouldn't have enjoyed the sunrise as much as our little nook out of the wind.
We started descending at about 7.30am, with the way down being a fascinating revelation of what we'd climbed in the dark. By day it is hard to believe that we managed to loose the path. The refuge was closed by the time we reached it, and there was no access even to use a loo.
The walk down took us much longer than we anticipated. The flat lands seemed to go on forever. Luckily we'd brought a lot of water with us. We finally reached our car at 12.30.
An amazing experience, I'm proud of the achievement, and the sunrise was beautiful. I would recommend to anyone with the fitness to do it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC