(As sung to the tune of MXC’s “Don’t. Get. Eliminated!” High-five to all those that understand the early 2000’s poor TV reference) …
OneLens plays a game of “Where’s. The. Trail!” And if you’ve followed my blog before, you’ll recognize the ethos of “Solo travel means I’m adventurous, not an idiot!” On a few spots (mainly while straddle/walking up two boulders with a 12 foot crevasse between my legs, hanging onto a weathered rope tied to a tree-branch with nothing behind my back but 700 meters down to the Caribbean Sea, I might have began to question its’ validity.
Let us start with the payoff, and work our way backwards down the sheer slopes of Petit Piton.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, I CAN NOT safely, or in clear conscious recommend this hike to anyone not in good physical health (you don’t have to be a diehard CrossF*t fan or able to squat a bear or run ultramarathons, but being able to run three miles, or have any resemblance of upper body strength, or have sturdy ankles from jumping rope, or at the very least, some mental resilience, is a HUGE PLUS. A patience guide (Demascus!!! Insert smilely-face emoticon here) with both first aid and rock climbing experience helps too!
Helpful hint #2 (yes, this is a disjointed list. Point one was probably listed three or four posts ago) Bring a water bottle. Or three. Bring a granola bar and some munchies. Enough to share with your guide. To be eaten during your 30 minutes of rest at the summit. Your guide has earned this small token of thanks after successfully not losing you off the sheer face of the side of the mountain. (Note to those afraid of heights–you’re not going to do well on the parts of the “trail” that are narrower than half-a-doorframe)
Ok, Final point on my Petit Piton climb. If I had a dollar for every St. Lucian who commented “Oh no, you mean Gros Piton!” after I stated that I had climbed Petit Piton, I could have paid for my cab ride to the airport! (Slight over exaggeration, but attention-grabbing since I’m trying to make a point). Follow-up statement: No, No, I in fact, do mean Petit (insert pointing gesture here, with vigorous head-nodding and a confirmation that, yes, it WAS HARD). St. Lucian follow-up statement: I’ve lived here my whole life and never climbed Petit. You’re brave.