The Teide Challenge is not for the fainthearted. It’s a physical feat perfect for anyone with a love of mountaineering, incredible views as well as physical and mental challenges. Some volunteers that come over to us at the AWF already fund raise to take part in the Teide challenge, as part of their planned stay. Others however choose to take on the challenge when they arrive, and we do ask you to try and fund-raise for this in the week/weeks leading up to it.
Mount Teide is the third highest volcanic structure on earth, and most voluminous in the world. After Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea in Hawaii. It is the highest peak on the Canary Islands and in the whole of Spain. So, to climb this monumental volcano is quite the achievement.
You will be supplied transport for the climb, as well as given preparation time to get supplies and rest up.The climb takes place overnight, to protect you from the sun, and you then get to watch the sunrise from the highest point on the island. According to the people here that have completed the challenge its apparently the most incredible sunrise you could ever see! Once you have reached the summit, you are then presented with two options. Either you can walk back down to base camp, or the choose the more popular Cable Car back down to the bottom, open daily from 9am.
Here is what some of our volunteers had to say about the experience on completing the challenge;
‘It definitely is a challenge! The climb starts easy but gets harder and harder-like levelling up on a game! Not only do you have to be determined and have a positive attitude but you must push yourself physically and mentally! However, you feel a sense of real achievement and the view is just stunning! “My batteries exhausted, just like me” I said as I reached the summit’.
‘Climbing Teide was one of the hardest and most rewarding things I have ever done. I was sceptical of climbing it at first but I am so glad that I did! The walk itself is not too hard, however it really shows you how good your mental health is. I climbed it with some amazing people who gave me a lot of support to push through. I would recommend the experience to anyone’.
There are many local legends and history surrounding Mount Teide. The Guanche people, who are the aboriginal people of the Canary Islands. They believe that Guayota, the devil himself and the king of evil inhabited Teide. It was told that he kidnapped the god Magec, the God of light and sun, and he took him down inside the heart of Teide.
The Guanche people asked their supreme god Achamán for mercy, and the story goes that he defeated Guayota and rescued Magec from the heart of Teide, and plugged up the crater. It is thought that the white crown at the summit of Teide is the plug that Achamán put in place.
This challenge is open to all our volunteers and coordinators here at the AWF, and it is incredibly popular. We hope to give as many people possible the experience of climbing the third highest volcano in the world, and if it’s something you’re interested in doing as well as volunteering here with us, please get in touch!
Thank you for reading 😊
-Jess, AWF Coordinator