Solo late afternoon hike up the Kamikaze Route of Mount Tenerife. I have heard how difficult this trail is, so of course, having sumitted most if not all the peaks on the I90 corridor, and many of the HC 100, I decided to attempt this route as a trainer for a solo Enchantments through hike. I have been up Tenerife a couple of times, and outside of this route, and maybe connecting Blowdown, Crater Lake, or Dixie, the mountain no longer has much appeal.
The trail up towards the falls, is the usual restored former logging road – boring. Finally, some switchbacks emerge to help traverse a talus field, all the way up to several lookouts for the falls. Sadly the falls were bone dry today, and the rest of the trail was steep, and there are no water sources remaining on this route – FYI – so be prepared. Once the steep, rooty, rocky switchbacks yielded to a rocky ridge, you emerge on a rocky point with a great view and appreciation of the ongoing uphill ridge to climb. The route has you going up a few rocky bits for a few hundred feet, and then yields to forested paths, with ever-emerging daylight as the trees on each side of the ridge thin out as you gain altitude. The trail is mostly easy to follow and noticeable until you get to a few forested parts where there appear to be several routes – stay on the ridgeline and you will regain the trail if you lose it.
Post 4000 feet, a clearing emerges with mostly bracken fern and fireweed, and the trail becomes an exposed dirt path. This ascends to a rock formation you need to ascend – easy scrambling, and finally, the path joins the main trail and you ascent the final rocky summit. There is a brass summit marker placed in what looks like 1983 with an altitude of what looks like 4530.
Summitpost lists the peak at 4788 and my Suunto showed 4754 and AT 4793. So to answer the question of how hard was it – pretty hard. You can see my split times, I’m not the fastest, but for mountaineering a pace of 1000 feet/hr is good. Think of it as a mix at the steep sections like MBP and other Alpine Lake peaks with boot path summit trails – Bandera and others where it goes straight vertical vs. a trail.