Photographer's Note

Teide is a volcano and mountain on Tenerife. At 3718 m above sea level and approximately 7000m above the adjacent sea bed, it is the highest mountain in Spain, and the third largest volcano on Earth. It is currently dormant, having last erupted in 1909 from the subsidiary vent of Chinyero on the west slope of Teide. The summit has a number of small active fumaroles emitting hot sulfur dioxide and other gases. Further eruptions are considered likely in the future, including a risk of highly dangerous pyroclastic flows similar to those on Mount Pelée and Mount Vesuvius.

In prehistoric times, about 150,000 years B.P., a much larger explosive eruption occurred, probably of Volcanic Explosivity Index 7, creating Las Cañadas, a large caldera at just over 2000 m altitude, 15 km across east-west and 10 km north-south. On the south side, the internal crater walls rise as almost sheer cliffs from 2100 m to 2715 m at Guajara. The 3717 m summit of Teide itself, and its subsidiary vent Pico Viejo (3134 m), both in the northern half of the caldera, derive from eruptions subsequent to this prehistoric explosion. You can see it at the middle of the photo.

The volcano and its surrounds, including the whole of the caldera, are protected in a national park, the Parque Nacional del Teide. Access is by a public road running across the caldera from northeast to southwest; a parador (hotel) is also within the National Park. A cable car (Teleférico Teide) goes from the roadside at 2356 m most of the way to the summit, reaching 3555 m.

I went up the mountain walking,from the roadside to the top; 4 hours more or less.

Teide is also noted for a large number of endemic plants, including Cytisus supranubius (Retama del Teide, a species of broom), Echium wildpretii (Taginaste rojo, a spectacular species of bugloss reaching 3 m tall), and Erysimum scoparium, a species of wallflower. Lower down, the middle slopes from 1000-2000 m are clothed with forests of Pinus canariensis (Pino Canario or Canary Island pine).

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Additional Photos by Pepito Grillo (kanzoo) Silver Note Writer [C: 6 W: 2 N: 83] (546)
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