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Abandoned lighthouse



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MCS AlexClimb rockclimbing courses in Tenerife

The true story about visiting the abandoned lighthouse in Tenerife, on the day off in our rockclimbing schedule

Huge ocean waves roared and foamed there - the western coast of the island is open to all winds, and nothing covers the land from the fury of the ocean. On the sharpest rocky cape, which is like a black arrow protruding into foamy ocean surf, there is an old lighthouse.

Tenerife island. Rockclimbing travel

If you approach by the road - it can be seen from far - like a lonely toy on an empty shelf, it catches the eye from a distance, captivates the mind with some kind of unreality. There is a strange contrast of an artificial structure surrounded by wild heaps of hardened lava and snow foam of the ocean surf... This place is very popular for tourists - parking lot next to the lighthouse is always packed with cars, people come here from all over the island to see, walk, immerse themselves in this incredible atmosphere of cosmic tranquility surrounding the lighthouse. The atmosphere, which is generally characteristic for all lighthouses, these lonely sleepless sentries on the edge of two eternally warring elements – land and ocean.

Tenerife island. Rockclimbing travel

This lighthouse has not been used for its intended purpose for a long time – so it was separated from the tourist area by a tall fence with gates locked on a rusty padlock. The tourists are content with distant views of the lighthouse and photographs at the gate.

Tenerife island. Rockclimbing travel

This place has some kind of mystical attraction. On those rare occasions when my internal compass points to a change in the magnetic background and the presence of an object of vague but persistent interest - no gates or fences present much of a problem. Definitely they don't, given 20 years of my continuous rockclimbing and mountaineering occupation.., especially if something got me interested! In general, if there is something interesting behind the fence, then being on the other side is a matter of a few seconds.

Tenerife island. Rockclimbing travel

And so it happened - the bystanders of this little hooliganism had no time to open their mouths in amazement, as I was already on the side of the fence.

A very strange feeling - the limit of the world in this place passed exactly along the line of that same fence. As soon as I was outside of it, I fully felt how far all this motley audience remained from me, preoccupied with the question of how to effectively photograph themselves against the background of whatever. The second feeling was peace. Nobody has been here for a very long time. Grass confidently made its way through the cracks in the old asphalt, traces of marine debris were visible around, brought here either by a storm, or just by the wind from the sea ... It did not look that untidy, rather, it was abandoned.

Tenerife island. Rockclimbing travel

The lighthouse obviously had not fulfilled its signaling duties for a long time, but retained a real military bearing, proudly and thoughtfully looked into the endless distance of the ocean. For some reason, people didn't use it anymore. Maybe navigation technologies have changed, maybe a more efficient and convenient lighthouse has been installed somewhere. That is unknown. But a strange atmosphere remained around the abandoned lighthouse, as if it links two worlds, not being a part of either of them ... Very strange feeling indeed.

Tenerife island. Rockclimbing travel

Maybe it was just the contrast of the passing from a popular tourist site to a territory where only ghosts and memories live... The door to the lighthouse building dangled on one hinge, the dusty, sandy steps were lost in the dusk of an abandoned house. Immersed in the reflection, befitting the place and setting, I wandered through the littered passages of the old lighthouse.

I looked through the muddy glasses, through which the distant silhouette of the horizon was faintly guessed, and tried to imagine the life of the caretaker of this lighthouse...

Tenerife island. Rockclimbing travel

Just some 50-60 years ago, there were no tourists, no roads, but there was complete loneliness and absolute power of the elements of the ocean. As now, the base of the tower trembled from the impact of the waves, and the light at the top was the only spark in thousands of kilometers of waves around - a spark that guards the lives of all the ships passing by...

Tenerife island. Rockclimbing travel

A narrow and dark spiral staircase led me under a semicircular dome, where once the very heart of the lighthouse was located - a lantern. Nothing remained of the equipment - only the remnants of the fastening of the rotary mechanism, eaten by sea salt, the age of which can only be judged by the huge and overgrown copper base plate. The wind blew through the broken glass panes. In the corner, on a pile of applied earth, a small tree grew.

Tenerife island. Rockclimbing travel

And on the dusty, miraculously intact glass of the dome, facing towards the ocean, among the chaos of spots and a thick layer of dust, there was an inscription. I did not immediately realize that this was written in my native Russian. At first, I tried to read the letters in Spanish, but something inside laughed softly at my surprise. Then suddenly, the letters formed into a simple word, so familiar and beloved since childhood - MIRACLE.

Tenerife island. Rockclimbing travel

The author of the text and photos - Alex Trubachev

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Our Principles

AlexClimb Rule #1 - Safety First

From the very beginning of our activity, here nearly 16 years, the first Principle of work of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb is the Safety Priority. On the basis of this Principle all process of training is based, all programs and rounds are developed and carried out only within this main principle. We consider that at professional approach to development of programs, at personal discipline and correctly put motivation - occupations by mountaineering and rock-climbing are COMPLETELY safe. And from the return - all troubles and accidents in our sport come from nonprofessionalism, from ignorance or neglect by elementary standards of safety, from irrational motivation, from revaluation of own forces and opportunities. All these prerequisites we COMPLETELY EXCLUDE in our work - ours Rock-climbing, Ice climbing and Mountaineering are based on one Principle - the Safety Priority. In rock-climbing, mountaineering and ice climbing, the Priority of Safety of MCS AlexClimb-is your personal security and comfort irrespective of, than we are engaged - we train muscles and we work technology of the movement in the sports hall and on the rock climbing wall, we make the way through snowstorm to top or we relax on golden sand of the Caribbean beach after hot day of trainings on rocks. The Safety priority - the main credo of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb.

AlexClimb Rule #2 - Leave No Trace

Closely interacting with Nature, working with the active programs in mountains, woods, lakes and rivers, we perfectly understand the importance of carefull and respectfull bahavior towards the Nature, for its resources. From the very beginning of our outdoor-activity we adopted rules of  Leave No Trace technique - the standard of behavior of the person accepted in all the civilized world in relation to environment and especially - to the wild nature. After all on the relation of people to the nature near which they exist, itself can draw dalekoidushchy conclusions on the relation of these people to... Where and as we didn't travel - we don't reserve any garbage, we try to reduce whenever possible our influence on environment to a minimum. We clear earlier zagryazyonny tourist parking of the left garbage, we take out and we take out to utilization places that to us other people left there. We consider that only thus, at personal individual consciousness of each citizen, each tourist, climber or autotraveller, we will be able to keep the nature surrounding us in its state, natural, suitable for life, - in it pledge of the healthy future for ourselves and our children.

AlexClimb Rule #3 - Sober Concious

The position of AlexClimb Mountain and rockclimbing School regarding healthy lifestyle is quite clear - we consider that only sober consciousness is capable to fill sincere emotions,  to sympathize, to enjoy life in all its variety. Bright various enjoyable life is possible only on condition of keeping the absolute sobriety and purity of consciousness. Any way of obscuring our perception of reality is intended to do harm to our consciousness and bring harm to our physical health, to replace the true values by false ones, to destroy us physically - to turn us into flabby, weak, senseless, gray herd with empty hazy eyes. We don't force anybody to our point of view, everyone has a God's gift of making his own choice and to destroy himself if that is what he wants... But in AlexCilimb Mountain Climbing School we accept quite certain and very simple set of rules: neither alcohol, nor drugs.