Teneriffic!

Second Group Shot
Zeusdaddy photo used with permission, please respect all copyrights

Special Thanks to Guest Trip Reporter Ewb:

When is a trail Not a Trail? When it’s ajar! Ahahaha! Oh, wait, that’s a door. In this case, it’s Not a Trail when it’s an Adventure, which is what you always get with TNAB on Teneriffe.

It was the second of now two exceptional weather TNABs. W00t!!1! The sunny skies and moderate temps were glorious and most welcome, but may have worked against us a bit by luring away potential TNABers to more exotic and less punishing destinations. Still, it was a solid turn-out with 11 hikers and 5 pooches spread out along 1 mountain.

The lower half of the trail seemed to fly by. Conversations with Weimar Steve and ZeusDaddy helped pass the time on the over-long road walk. We slipped in with the Alti-Gang as we left the road and soon caught up with GQHiker and his companion, Miss C. Occasional encounters with the creek lent the way some real beauty. Before long we arrived at the falls to the spray and roar of fast melting snow crashing on rocks.

No rest for the weary. Without pausing we turned up, even more steeply now, and aimed for the ridge, with Weimar Steve out front. This part of the trail has received some not so welcome attention since our last visit and is now covered in grapefruit sized rocks, making the going a bit precarious (there were even some “Rock!” calls coming down). Before long we gained the ridge, ankles intact. Not quite an hour since leaving the cars.

From here it was a scenic and quiet trudge up Teneriffe’s unique wooded ridge. We encountered snow where the ridge fattens, before the first couple of open areas. The way was deeply covered then with nicely packed snow pocked with plenty of fine steps. There was an occasional step collapse and later a bit of post-holing, but nothing too bad. Gaiters helped keep the snow out.

After leaving the dark trees for the shiny goodness of the open face below the cliffy bit, we learned the answer to “Where’s Josh?” And then just below the summit we caught Dan. One at a time we reached the top, where we added layers and snacks (thanks to Josh for sharing his fine PB crackers!) and hung out, safely below the still very large cornice, gawking in wonder at the blue skies, sinking sun, and long snow-capped views. Nice as it was, the stiff wind was very cold. So after waiting a while we snapped a group shot, packed up, and separately began down.

Before getting far, though, we saw folks returning to the top with AltiBabe and AltiDude in tow. Yay! And just behind them came SeattleHikerToo. Yay! With all of us back on the summit, we waited a bit more and took a new group shot and began packing up and heading down for good. Just below the summit we met WxMan, and just a bit further GQHiker and Miss C. No turning around this time, but it was nice to know that everyone made the top, even if we didn’t all get to enjoy it together.

Back in the woods and out of the wind things warmed up quickly. There were a number of stops to drop layers and add headlamps, the latter of which came on just above the falls. Just below the falls, Weimar Steve, ZeusDaddy, Dan, and I regrouped and began a most incredible descent behind ZeusDaddy who led us down along the creek in narrow beams of dancing light in non-stop zigs and zags over roots and rocks at a dizzying pace that required every bit of everyone’s attention all the way to the bottom. Crashing out onto the road together we took a collective breath as our minds caught up with our feet and we slowly grasped what we’d done. It was an epic rush. Dan, who tapped some curiously strong mojo to do this sans poles, declared it “an old school TNAB descent,” which was about as fine an accolade as one could wish for.

The long slow road walk back to the cars was made less dull with endless games of Astro fetch and conversations ranging from glacier travel training to inappropriate man-taquito relations. We finally reached the cars and made our way to the Pour House where the beer flowed freely and the magiquitos sang sweetly. Folks trickled in slowly as others finished up and left, providing a continuous stream of new faces and stories. Unexpectedly, the last few PH stragglers were treated to a generous gift by SeattleHikerToo (thank you!), before we finally retired to the parking lot, watched Alti-Row pretend to drive for a while (ha!), and then headed our separate ways. A quick sweep of the trailhead to make sure everyone was down, then off to bed to make that descent again, and again, and again.

Trail details, NOAA weather, driving directions, maps and past trip reports can be found here: Mt Teneriffe Info

2 Responses to “Teneriffic!”

  1. spikedfuel says on :

    Just did that trail last Wednesday figured I’d give some heads-up that there is still a ton of snow from the ridge line up to the summit. (last 1/2 mile or so). Gaiters were very very useful as you are knee deep for most of it. Also the cornice at the summit is getting quite precarious for those walking around up there at dusk.

    Bring a camera, the falls are incredible right now with all the snow melt.

    Enjoy!

  2. ewb says on :

    Spikedfuel, I didn’t notice your comment yesterday, but your heads-up proved spot-on. It was a most excellent evening!