The upper part of this pyramid is still covered with the original polished coating of marble, to the distance of 140 feet from the top towards the base, which makes the ascent extremely difficult and dangerous. Mr. Wilde, in his "Narrative of a Voyage to Madeira, Teneriffe, and along the shore of the Mediterranean," published in 1840, made the ascent to the top, and thus describes the adventure:

"I engaged two Arabs to conduct me to the summit of the pyramid—one an old man, and the other about forty, both of a mould, which for combination of strength and agility, I never saw surpassed. We soon turned to the north, and finally reached the outer casing on the west side. All this was very laborious to be sure, though not very dangerous; but here was an obstacle that I knew not how the Arabs themselves could surmount, much less how I could possibly master—for above our heads jutted out, like an eave or coping, the lower stones of the coating, which still remain and retain a smooth, polished surface. As considerable precaution was necessary, the men made me take off my hat, coat, and shoes at this place; the younger then placed his raised and extended hands against the projecting edge of the lower stone, which reached above his chin; and the elder, taking me up in his arms as I would a child, placed my feet on the other's shoulders, and my body flat on the smooth surface of the stone. In this position, we formed an angle with each other; and here I remained for upwards of two minutes, till the older man went round, and by some other means, contrived to get over the projection, when, creeping along the line of junction of the casing, he took my hands, drew me up to where he was above me, and then letting down his girdle, assisted to mount up the younger, but less daring and less active of the two. We then proceeded much as follows. One of them got on the shoulders of the other, and so gained the joining of the stone above. The upper man then helped me in a similar action, while the lower pushed me up by the feet. Having gained this row, we had after to creep to some distance along the joining, to where another opportunity of ascending was offered. In this way we proceeded to the summit; and some idea may be formed of my feelings, when it is recollected that all of these stones of such a span are highly polished, are set on an angle of little less than 45°, and that the places we had to grip with our hands and feet were often not more than two inches wide, and their height above the ground more than 400 feet. A single slip of the foot, and we all three must have been dashed to atoms long before we reached the bottom. (This actually happened to an English traveler in 1850.) On gaining the top, my guides gave vent to sundry demonstrations of satisfaction, clapping me on the back, patting me on the head, and kissing my hands. From this I began to suspect that something wonderful had been achieved; and some idea of my perilous situation broke upon me, when I saw some of my friends beneath, waving their handkerchiefs and looking up with astonishment, as we sat perched upon the top, which is not more than six feet square. The apex stone is off, and it now consists of four outer slabs, and one in the centre, which is raised up on the end and leans to the eastward. I do not think human hands could have raised it from its bed, on account of its size, and the confined space they would have to work in. I am inclined to think the top was struck by lightning, and the position of the stone thus altered by it. The three of us had just room to sit upon the place. The descent, as might be expected, was much more dangerous, though not so difficult. The guides tied a long sash under my arms, and so let me slide down from course to course of these coverings of stones, which are of a yellowish limestone, somewhat different from the material of which the steps are composed, and totally distinct from the rock at the base, or the coating of the passages."