Great post George @KX0R
I’ve only had one experience of anything anywhere near that altitude, and that was Pico del Teide EA8/TF-001. http://tomread.co.uk/el_teide_tf-001.htm
My sister-in-law was there a couple of weeks ago and went up on the cable car, but the summit path itself was closed due to snow, much to her disappointment (although I’m not sure if she had the required booked permit anyway). I was on Tenerife over the weekend for work, and the summit cone of Teide was still covered in snow, so presumably still off-limits for walkers. The snowline was creeping up higher each day though, so it will probably become accessible any day now.
As we were doing it as a day outing, from our holiday base down by the coast, we were well aware of the altitude acclimatisation dangers, and were very careful in both our planning, and execution. As it was, all went well, and no ill-effects - or indeed “summit brain”.
Geoff @G6MZX - yes that did look steep on the other side of Calf Top G/NP-022 from where I approached! http://tomread.co.uk/calf_top_np-022.htm
You’re right though - the “easier” way is a very long walk! Your story reminded me of when I first attempted Raw Head G/SP-016 back in 2002, with Jimmy and Liam when they were just 10 and 5 years old respectively. It was an all-round tale of inexperience, ill-preparation and rank stupidity!
I didn’t have a detailed OS Map for the area, so used my road atlas to drive to the approximate position then look around for what looked like a hill. We found one and set about climbing it. This quickly took us onto steep and tricky ground, and some muddy scrambling that we hadn’t bargained for! When we got to the ‘top’, you know what we found? Yeah - the road with the proper parking spot for Raw Head, and the start of the correct walking route. The hill we’d climbed was the wrong hill, and entirely unnecessary.
By this time, we were out of energy, spirit, and time - it was going dark. We went home, defeated.
Here’s some happier tales from a much-missed SOTA summit! http://tomread.co.uk/rawhead.htm