Ascent of Bordeaux Mountain on 2012-03-23

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Karen Musser
Daniel Musser <1846> and Sasha Fominskya
Date:Friday, March 23, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Bordeaux Mountain
    Location:U.S. Virgin Islands
    Elevation:1286 ft / 391 m

Ascent Trip Report

After snorkeling at Little Lameshur Bay and then getting rained on, we dryed ourselves off and repacked for the long journey across the mountain range and back to Cinnamon Bay. On this route back we were to highpoint the tallest peak on the island.

First we took photos at the ruins overlooking the Bay then headed up the mountain. This was Sasha's first real day of hiking with our family and we promised our Russian foreign exchange student that she would understand our passion for peakbagging and hiking by the end of the trip. She performed well, having completed around 3,000 feet of total vertical gain and over ten miles. During her snorkeling in the Bay, however, she developed cramps from the hiking and was in fairly deep water so i had to help her with the diver's footpull to get the cramps out as we had a lot of scuba diving to do in the next few days as well.

The summit is not easy to find without the correct map. It is not at the radio tower as other's have suggested in their reports. Finding a good map is hard and the actual summit trail is NOT shown on the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map. Some tourists gave me their map that they got from the friends of the NP called "The Trail Bandit 2010" and it showed this small unmarked summit trail. It is a near a very steep double back curve in the road near the tower and would be easy to miss. It is not marked and looks more like a goat trail than anything. It stands up from the road in a cut in the clay-rock about three feet so you have to climb up to the herd trail. It may not look like a trail and it is not like the other well defined NP trails but it winds up the last 100 feet of vertical to a large pile of rocks marking the summit. There is NO view from the true summit. There was a half dozen hermit crabs, however, all huddled around the rocks at the highest point on the island some 1200 feet above sea level. Hmmmm? makes me wonder do they continue to hike up to peakbag? follow some instinct to get higher? or where they placed by previous hikers? Sounds like a good research paper.

On the hike down we used the same rugged trail to avoid the dangerous paved road near the saddle as the trucks do bear down on you and it is a bit sketchy. The ladies went back to camp tired from their adventure and Danny and I decided to grab one more peak on the way as we had been eyeballing the big red ruins on the top of America Hill. We saw you could take the Cinnamon Bay trail to another side trail so we went off to segment three of our 13 mile hike.

The entire trip including other peaks (see full trip report) started at 9:30 AM and got back at 4 PM (including lunch and snorkeling)
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1486 ft / 452 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1436 ft / 437 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Grade/Class:1 and some 2
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Stream Ford
    Gear Used:
Hut Camp
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
moslty sunny and warm
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1306 ft / 398 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1286 ft / 391 m; Extra: 20 ft / 6m
    Loss on way in:20 ft / 6 m
    Distance:2.8 mi / 4.5 km
    Route:Mount Bordeaux Trail to Bordeaux Mtn Rd.
    Start Trailhead:Little Lameshur Bay  0 ft / 0 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1416 ft / 431 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1236 ft / 376 m; Extra: 180 ft / 54m
    Gain on way out:180 ft / 54 m
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Route:Bordeaux Mtn Rd to trail to No. shore Rd.
    End Trailhead:No. Shore Rd. & Cinnamon Bay Tr.  50 ft / 15 m
Ascent Part of Trip: USVI-St John Bordeaux

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mamey Peak2012-03-23 a1637 ft / 499 m
2Bordeaux Mountain2012-03-23 b1486 ft / 453 m
3America Hill2012-03-23 c430 ft / 131 m
Total Trip Gain: 3553 ft / 1083 m    Total Trip Loss: 3553 ft / 1083 m

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