Monday, 31 March 2014

Mount Roraima the climb

So starting off from Santa Elena the group to headed to the mountain. The group consists of myself, Johannes, a German architect, Rose a girl from Taiwan and Beatrice a girl from Hong Kong, they meet each other online and are travelling for a year together. After driving for 90 mins we are at the point where we sign in with the park rangers and start the trek. Only a half day today, 12-14km till the first camp. Nice rolling hills and our first look at mount Roraima, it is quite impressive from a distance and it seemed that over each hill it was looking more impressive, especially in the lovely sunshine. The ground was really hard to sleep on but the tents were really good at keeping out the wind. Only issue is that we are supposed to keep the bags inside with us but the tents aren't all that roomy for 2 grown men plus two large bags, so we are just going to keep them outside but heavily wrapped in plastic.
Day 2 again this is just over half a day but starting the uphill climb with 2 rivers crossings which took some time to navigate. If there has been a lot rain on the top of the mountain then the rivers can be too dangerous to cross as the water is too fast and too high. Luck was with us and there had only been very light rain overnight. Second base camp had a great view and we can see the clouds coming over the mountain from where we are. There are a lot of small waterfalls that line the mountain, across from Roraima there is another table top mountain called kookinan and this has a 610 metre waterfall that you can see from the base camp, this water fall is not permanent and so does not count into the highest waterfalls, as sometimes its dry.
Day 3 the climb.
This started very steep and only got steeper, its not really fair to call it a hike but more scrambling or mountaineering, I really don't know how getting down is going to go. We had some luck in the fact it was not raining but I still got soaked because we have to go under 4 waterfalls, that seemed so lovely the day before from the base camp. Again if it had been raining we would have to wait for them to subside before being able to continue the climb. As we reached the top thick cloud came over the mountain and we cannot see a whole lot. We are now camped at a hotel on top of the mountain, which is just a rocky outcrop which should provide some shelter from the wind. However we cannot peg the tents in meaning mine and Johannes tent went flying off down the path, queue some choices words from the guide Alex :). Unfortunately because of the waterfalls and general cloud I didn't get my camera out on the climb but now I know what to expect I can get some much better photos on the way down, just after falling in the Amazon and somehow the camera surviving I didn't want to risk it with water again.