Ascent of Mamey Peak on 2012-03-23

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Karen Musser
Daniel Musser <1846> Sasha Fominskya
Date:Friday, March 23, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Boat
Peak:Mamey Peak
    Location:U.S. Virgin Islands
    Elevation:1147 ft / 349 m

Ascent Trip Report

Arrived from FL on St Thomas and took taxi to Red Hook; then ferried to St John and arrived at Cruz Bay; then took taxi cab to the Cinnamon Bay Campground within the Virgin Islands National Park where we spent night in a platform tent site.

Walking to camp site at night we saw the largest ghost crab (terrestrial giant) we have ever seen. Awoke to a herd of deer and some donkeys outside out tent. Hiked along the North Shore road passing the ruins and the Cinnamon Bay Trail as we were told that it would dump us out on another paved road that was dangerous to walk due to winding blind curves and no safe place to get out of the way of the trucks.

There is a wonderful overlook of Mayo and Cinnamon Bay at America Point and then you wind down a steep hairpin and the unmarked trail is found at the side of a drainage curb in the hairpin. There are a few white blazes to get you going in the right direction and then it was all up hill along the mountain side.

Enjoyed the ruins and made the paved road intersection at the ridge crest. Hiked along the road a short distance and found the delapidated paved sort of road with a chain to private lands? There was no signs saying no tresspassing so we ventured up the road and it turned out to be a former subdivision that was lotted but foreclosed before any apparent lots were developed. The road is steep and nearly half overgrown with shrubs and thorny vines as the jungle reclaims the development. Near the top where the paved road ends there is a crane truck so we thought we might actually see a person. But the truck was rusted thru and unservable. The cleared R/W then turns to grassy trails with briars and headed right and up to the summit where there stands a tower with posted warning from the US government. Summit has no views but according to my review of the National Geographic contour map it is the third highest peak on St. John's. On the way down there are some nice views back to the paved roadway.

Then we took the Maria Hope Trail from Mayo Bay up and across Centerline Road across the mountain pass through the ruins to the other side of the island using the Reef Bay Trail. We were treated to the backside of the island which is drier with succlants, cacti, and it was humid and hot. The trail veers left on to the Lameshur Bay Trail which then ascends a saddle with a 467 survey shot, which makes you regain another 400 feet before descending onto a picturesque view of the bays below. There is some nice ruins overlooking the water at Little Lameshur Bay. We took out our snorkeling gear and checked out the reef in the bay, ate lunch then got rained on and decided to head back. This summit was done but on the way back we were to take the Bordeaux Mountain trail and summit the tallest peak on the island making a 10 plus mile journey.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1637 ft / 498 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1637 ft / 498 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.5 mi / 8.9 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:Raining, Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Sunny and Rain caribean spring
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1237 ft / 377 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1147 ft / 349 m; Extra: 90 ft / 27m
    Loss on way in:90 ft / 27 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:No. Shore Rd to Maria Hope Trail to Centerline Rd
    Start Trailhead:Cinnamon Bay  0 ft / 0 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1547 ft / 471 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1147 ft / 349 m; Extra: 400 ft / 121m
    Gain on way out:400 ft / 121 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Route:Reef Bay Tr to Lameshur Bay Tr.
    End Trailhead:Little Lameshur Bay  0 ft / 0 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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