It’s an amazing opportunity to climb the majestic Petit Piton, a more difficult ascent than taller Gros Piton. As first timers, we didn’t know what to really expect . . .
Bear in mind that it’s advisable to climb the Pitons early in the day, when the sun doesn’t make you feel like you’re about to catch fire. We set off a few hours after dawn and, having paid the entrance fee of US$5, our team of five, including the guide, hit the trail.
Though we were eager to reach the top – at an elevation of 739 meters (2,425 feet), we commenced at a moderate pace. None of us was out of shape but the first fifteen minutes on a steep incline had us gasping and questioning ‘Why?’ We pushed on and, as we adjusted to the ascent, the hike became less strenuous but never easy. It helped our bodies and spirits that we stopped every now and again to drink our bottled water and take in the view.
Another point to remember is that the weather in Saint Lucia can change quickly. We experienced rain, thunder and lightning, making this journey not only cooler but unforgettable!
The fun certainly began when we had to use ropes to haul ourselves up the steepest parts. The adrenaline kicked in when we had to pull ourselves up on a rope hanging between two bulldozer-sized rocks. That was also a sign that we were half way there – Yay!!
After two hours of physical effort we reached the peak. Our instant reward: the astounding view! It was as if we had hiked up to another world. Looking down over the landscape – the hills, fields villages, rivers, coastline – and out across the Caribbean Sea, we appreciated how high we had climbed and how much the struggle had been worth it. The strong winds felt more than stimulating; they were much needed! Thankfully, the weather was then kind to us: it stopped raining so we got some great photo opportunities.
In total the climb took four hours – descending was as tough as going up. At the bottom we cracked open bottles of ice-cold Piton beer; it went down smoothly and was super refreshing (Piton beer is always best when icy, icy cold!)