Mount Teide is a high volcanic mountain with a very harsh terrain, and this is the highest Spanish mountain. It is only 58 meters lower that Mt Fuji in Japan.
There are only two summit routes to El Teide, they are easy to find and orientation is never a problem when you are there. The mountain can be climbed in one day, and you definitely do not need a guide for this.
El Teide from my own experience
I have climbed Teide 8 times and the most important for this text is the first climb because of the following:
- I climbed it overnight because I wanted to be on the summit for the sunrise.
- I have never been there before, and I did not know the route at all.
But I managed it, and now you realize that my bold statement above makes sense. I started from the parking at 2:45 am, and I was on the summit at 7:45 am.
There are two possible options for this. The routes are roughly marked in the picture below.
One is Montana Blanca parking which at around 2350 m of elevation, so this is south-east side of the mountain, the yellow line in the picture above. The top picture given above shows this side of the mountain.
This may be more direct way if you have never been there. It is probably easier to follow this route if you plan to climb overnight. This was my first route.
The other approach is from the south-west side (the blue line) and here you go over Pico Viejo summit. There are at least two possible starting points for this approach (see the two red lines).
One is from Hotel Parador and the other is from the west side parking Mirador de las Narices del Teide. Both routes merge behind Pico Viejo crater and from there you have one route to the summit of Teide.
I have climbed them all so feel free to ask if you have questions, there is a comment box below. You can see more details in the interactive map below:
Can you climb Teide solo?
Obviously, climbing without a guide and climbing solo is not the same thing. So how about going solo?
The answer is as follows. My first three climbs were solo, and all of them were overnight. Then I climbed with a friend of mine, and also with a group. Later, I climbed it again solo twice.
So the answer is yes, El Teide can definitely be climbed solo. Then you can follow your own pace and do it as you wish. The mountain can be very crowded so you might not be solo at all. This is mainly so for the Montana Blanca approach.
Can you get altitude sickness on Mount Teide?
The short answer is yes, and there is no way to know if this will happen or not. I am talking from my own personal experience. In my 8 climbs, it was once (the fourth climb) that I hardly managed to get to the summit.
I did not vomit, but I had obvious symptoms of altitude sickness. Remember, this is a high mountain and you will be coming from the sea level. This is a perfect recipe to develop symptoms.
Teide permit issue
In my separate text here in the site, I discussed the Teide permit issue in detail so please follow the link, no need to repeat things.
But here I want to stress this. The only reason why you might want to take a guide for El Teide is the permit issue. It is very likely that they will be able to provide it for you, otherwise, the mountain is fully booked months in advance.
However, as discussed in my mentioned text, there are ways around it, and you can still manage without a guide.
So El Teide is a high mountain but its climbing routes are simple walks up. The direction is always obvious and anybody can do this.
But observe your body reaction, and if you develop altitude sickness, bear in mind it will not be better if you continue. However, you will be surprised how quickly your situation will improve if you are forced to give up and to turn back.
More details and answers to various questions asked about Teide, you can find in my text focused on the time needed to get to the summit. Note also that all my climbs of Teide are described in my mountaineering site. Thank you for reading.