Man in serious condition after collapsing while walking Teide route

A 59-year-old walker is in hospital this afternoon after collapsing this morning on Sendero 18, the Chavao route for hikers on Teide often chosen to see the flowering tajinaste. Emergency services say that they were called out around 11am with reports that the man had collapsed, and after he was attended by paramedics, he was taken by bomberos to a helicopter which transferred him to Candelaria Hospital where he was admitted in serious condition.

Chavao is fairly standard in terms of Teide senderos, being a non-strenuous 3.5km walk of low difficulty (see HERE). The entire route, however, is at an altitude of over 2,000m and it seems that this incident was one where that altitude was a contributing or causal factor. As I say elsewhere on this website, Teide is a staggering 3,718m high, making it the highest point in Spain and the third highest volcano in the world. The caldera, and indeed the national park generally, has an average altitude of over 2,000m.

Please note that atmospheric changes start at an altitude of around 2,500m. This can cause altitude sickness, but more specifically, can cause problems for people especially those with heart and lung conditions, who can also begin to suffer repercussions at lower altitudes. The official advice for anyone with such vulnerabilities is not to go above the level of the caldera, let alone go up in the cable car, or try to ascend the peak of Teide itself.

1 Comment

  1. Poor man,I hope he recovers well. I went up on the cable car with my now husband on our first date. I collapsed when I was walking back to the car. Please don’t underestimate the danger of altitude sickness. I should have known as I was very sick after going to the top of Monte Torro in Menorca years ago.

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