Teide climber airlifted to safety after feeling unwell at altitude

Emergency services say that a man had to be flown to safety after feeling very unwell while climbing the peak of Teide yesterday. A search and rescue helicopter was dispatched to the scene and crew transferred the man to a health centre where he is said not to be in danger.  The National Park’s Guardas Rurales have released the video below of the GES helicopter airlifting the man to safety.

With a busy season upon us, and with visitors understandably wanting the magical experience of going from a hot sunny beach to (ideally) a snow-covered mountain within an hour or so’s drive, it’s worth reiterating that Teide is a staggering 3,718m high, making it the highest point in Spain and the third highest volcano in the world. For comparison, the highest point in the whole of the UK, Ben Nevis, is 1,344 metres high, barely over just a third of the height of Teide! Indeed Ben Nevis isn’t even as high as the caldera and the national park generally, where the average altitude is over 2,000m – the lower Teleférico station is at an altitude of 2,356m.

Atmospheric changes start at around 2,500m, and can cause altitude sickness, in particular giving problems for those with heart and lung conditions who can actually begin to suffer repercussions even 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. And for those in full health, the advice is to go up in full awareness of the potential for problems, and start to descend the minute any symptoms are experienced – these include dizziness, light-headedness, fatigue, headache, nausea, rapid pulse and shortness of breath.

1 Comment

  1. As an asthma sufferer, I found to my consternation that going up Teide above the Parador was a no go! Please remember to take your inhaler with you too!

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