Nicholas approached me with a novel idea. Instead of getting drunk like everyone else to usher in the New Year why not hike 2,438ft to sit on top of a volcanoes to watch the fireworks explode below in Soufriere?
for more technical info on the Pitons go here http://www.mountaineers.org/climbing/news_events/CN203_Piton.html
I agreed, I am always a sucker for doing something different.
A few things that Nicholas assured me:
1. He knew how to get to the top.
2. We would get tents and tarps from Michael the Souf volunteer.
Well here is picture that shows how Nick had no idea where the path was, we spent 1-2hours bouldering these rocks until by blind luck we found the path.
I would like to take a moment to point out that my buddy Nick lost the path at LEAST 5 times thankfully I found it and kept us on the right way.
The hike is basically at a 35 degree angle. Multiple times we encountered parts that could only be crossed by using hanging ropes. It was wild!
Nick what did you get me into buddy?
PS did i mention we passed through a rain forest to get to the top.
With our excellent climbing ability and timing we managed to still find ourselves climbing at night. I was pretty exhausted at this point, but I have to say I was having a good time.
We sumitted, time to break out the Champagne to summon in the new year.
Notice the pinky finger!
Well that night was something else, we had no tents, and no tarps. I laid on the ground covered by a sheet and Nick slept in his bag. It was bizarre night, we would watch terrible dark storm clouds head towards our volcano and at the last minute they would break apart at the last minute before reaching us on the peak. We saw the fireworks below, but to be honest we were to high up to really appreciate them. Well our luck went south after the fireworks, we were repeatedly soaked through the night. At one point I was doing jumping jack at two AM drinking a choice beverage just to warm myself up. I prayed for daylight and it did finally come.
Here is the view in the morning.
Souf in the morning mist.
We loving referred to this part as the birth canal, we passed through this in night so we had no picture, I can say that it is painful to slide down between a tight rock passage holding onto a rough rope. Honestly if I had not been caving in Budapest before I may have panicked when I became stuck. Both of our cell phones died painful deaths being crushed in our pockets passing through this part.
We made it to the bottom, after this we went straight to the mineral springs to soak out the sprains and sore muscles.
After reflection we can both say every minute was worth it. If it had not been for Nick I would not have done it, so props to him. We had a great time, sure we had a lack of planning but for guys that just adds to the fun of it.