Photo by RDEgrowroe
|Best months for climbing:||Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, Nov, Dec|
|Nearest major airport:||Bradshaw Airport (Basseterre)|
|Convenient Center:||Bassterre - Capital|
Thanks to Jason Froats for adding this peak.
Mt. Liamuiga (formerly known as Mt. Misery) is an incredibly beautiful, dormant (as of 1843) volcano on the island of St. Kitts. It is your perfectly shaped, conical volcano that lies in the lush and humid rainforest of this green tropical island. This climb is simply a must if you have taken the time and made the effort to travel to St. Kitts.
Specifically, it is an andesitic stratovolcano 10 km in diameter with an open summit crater about 1 km in diameter, within which there is a group of active fumeroles and a small seasonal crater lake. The crater rim is about 1 km above sea level and is partially breached to the west. It is the youngest of three NW-migrating volcanic centers on St. Kitts.
For the novice climber, the climb should be attempted with a guide. The well-beaten path up her NW slopes are easily navigated, however, can be extremely confusing at night or late in the day when the overhead rainforest canopy makes it difficult to see. Those planning to attempt this walk-up/scramble climb do not need technical equipment - however a good pair of hiking boots, lots of water/snacks and - without question - a flashlight, in case you get caught in the dark. On average the climb will take you 2.5 to 3 hours to the rim. Spectacular views are experienced at this location - especially if you venture higher on the outcrop of rock to the right side of the ascent path. The rim sits at cloud levell and one can see currounding clouds being 'sucked' into the crater bowl - an awsome site.
For those that are less timid, there is the decent down into the crater. The decent down this 400' drop sits at a 45 to 60 degree angle from horizontal. Climbing ropes affixed to conveniently exposed roots are present, though it would be advised to bring your own, as many are worn and in disrepair. A fall along any part of this decent could easily result in severe injury or worse if near the final drop into the crater. The final drop (approx. 100') is straight down. There are also ropes that hang down this face, however, again it is advised to bring your own. For the average rock climber, this face is easily decended with the right equipment (strong rope, descender, etc...).
Once in the crater, the feeling of being inside a volcano is unimaginable. One's view is being surrounded completely by a mountain range, while the occasional whiff of sulphur reminds you where you are. There is sometimes a crater lake present (in the rainy months), which is only 1-2' deep and covers only an eighth (approx.) of the entire crater floor. There are apparently sulpher vents present which are essentially openings to the underbelly of the volcano. Tread carefully in overgrown areas, as one could easily fall into one of these holes an could be injured and/or have great difficulty getting out. Generally, these vents are seen as small hills in the crater bowl.
Enjoy this incredibly verdant, peaceful and stunning mountain. It is truly an un-touched gem that the average tourist has yet to find.
Thanks to Jason Froats for this description.