Ascent of Petit Piton in 2001-04

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Guide only
Date:April, 2001
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Petit Piton
    Location:Saint Lucia
    Elevation:2415 ft / 736 m

Ascent Trip Report

On a couples trip in St. Lucia with a hired sailing boat just chillin' and the ladies had us all stay at the Ladera. That was one amazing hotel - very expensive and very unforgetable. No fourth wall - just open air looking through the living room at the plunge pool that had a plexiglass wall to keep you from falling over the cliff down the hill overlooking the crystal blue water in the harbor some 500 feet below us and gaurded by two of the most unique geologic features I have ever seen. The pitons! Staring at this amazing volcanic cone (see picture that is me!) I told my party sorry - you guys go play in the rainforest I have to find a guide and climb that thing.

The hotel hooked me up with a native guide (think his name was 'Ja') whose name meant "One with God" or something like that in his rasta language. The cab dropped me off at humble house in the countryside with a billion chickens running around and he greeted me in flipflops and said "ready to go mon?"....hmmm I thought - he is not dressed to take me up this very steep volcanic cone that anchors the harbor. But we left - he wanted $50 which I paid him in cash and man was that feature steep. How he found a non technical route up it - I dunno, but the trip was amazing. The native knew the only class 3 route up that would not require Class 5 gear. A wild dog began to attack us half way up and guide beat him back with stick but seemed to know him by name.

Took all day to summit and return but the views were amazing. Very steep scrambling most of the entire way. I gave him a 100% tip ($50) and he was quite happy. As was I - $100 for an entire day? He took few people up a season. Later I read in Outdoor Magazine that it was one of those Top 10 secret cool eco things to do that nobody ever does and I just happened to stumble upon it.

Then back to fancy dining and laid back vacation.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2405 ft / 733 m
    Grade/Class:class 2+ 3 and 4
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2405 ft / 733 m
    Start Trailhead:Guides house  10 ft / 3 m
Descent Statistics
    End Trailhead:2415 ft / 736 m

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