Another trek to Le Pouce Mountain, this time with some fellow tweeps. That was on last Sunday, the 31st July.
It was only 3 weeks before that I had climbed Le Pouce, hence the experience was still fresh in my mind. But this time I was better prepared, so climbing it should be a cinch. I mean, how hard can it be?
Once again, as it turned out, it was very hard. The mountain, the trail, the weather, the views - in a number of ways, it was exactly the same as the last climb, except for one thing...
So here we were, ready to conquer the 811m of Mt. Le Pouce.
It was a perfect day. Plenty of sunshine, few clouds in sight & not a single drop of rain, unlike the previous 5 days.
Dew on the plant leaves.
After a brief walk through the sugarcane fields, we reached the base of the mountain.
Hmm... that doesn't look good, does it?
Time on my watch: 10:21. In less than 2h, we would be on the summit. Should be quick ascent.
Except it wasn't. While I was familiar with the climb, the terrain conditions had changed drastically.
A new adversary had surfaced - mud. Loads of it.
The pass few days of rainfall had done its job, turning the trail into a swamp.
Flowing water, treacherous rocks & the slippery mud.
My battered shoe soles had practically no grip, which meant most of my climbing was done clinging to the leaves & branches.
We reached the first viewpoint where we rested for a while.
A closer look on Guiby Peak.
When we reached the rocky flank of the Le Pouce (the Z part), there was a tiny rivulet going down it.
Looking back at the road to Le Pouce.
Once we crossed to the other side of Le Pouce, the sun appeared & the trail became less muddy.
But not less difficult.
We took another pause under the watchful eye of Le Pouce.
The view from the flank.
A short video...
Araucaria trees growing in the wild. Now, that's something you don't see everyday.
The ascent before we reached the base of the summit.
A short rest before attacking the summit.
The visibility was slightly better as we could practically see up to Ile Plate.
The final climb was slightly harder because of the moist earth. Fortunately, it wasn’t too windy so it was less cold.
Finally we reached the summit at exactly 12:00. Despite all the obstacles, it took us only 1h 40 mins to climb Le Pouce. Impressive.
Needless to describe how the view from above was...
Champs de Mars & the harbour.
& the video.
We spent 45 mins on the summit before we set off for the journey home.
This was the part I was dreading because climbing down on a muddy slope isn't exactly easy...
Made it to the base unscathed.
Going down the flank.
A last look at the summit with this underground stream coming out of the rocks.
In around 30 mins, we had already reached the other side of the mountain.
The tiny rivulet on the rock ledge had turned into a torrent… which meant my shoes were completely soaked.
St Pierre. Should be there in a couple of minutes.
The descent wasn't so bad after all. The mud looked dry, right?
I was wrong.
As it happened, on that day Le Pouce was pretty crowded with even a gang of bikers making the climb. Unfortunately, that meant the trail had turned into a path of sludge.
A natural toboggan, the likes of which I hadn't seen since Black River Gorges.
It was a nightmare, because the mud has finally triumphed over my shoes. All the glue had dissolved, the soles had come off & I was slipping consistently, only the branches were keeping me from falling over.
Oh yes, the trail was coming to an end...
But before that there was this marsh.
How do you cross this? Just like what I've been doing all day, powering through the plants on the side.
Finally the ordeal was over!
Jeans & shoes. Utterly ruined.
After a brief rest, we went through the sugarcane fields until…
Civilisation, at last!
It felt so good walking through land that wasn’t sloping up or down, that didn’t have rocks &, most importantly, didn’t have mud that was trying to topple you over.
So, Le Pouce... Twice I climbed it. & both times, it was a totally different experience.
Despite all the adversities, the mud, my ruined shoes, the hot weather, the rocks... mountain-climbing is still fun. :)
The trek map. Gpx of trail can be downloaded here.
- My first visit to Le Pouce - Le Pouce
- Climbing Le Pouce Mountain by Gaia Eos
- Aerial view of Le Pouce by Yann Arthus-Bertrand
- YouTube - View from Le Pouce by trojanGirlAgain
- YouTube - Le Pouce Mauritius by NiveshPagooah
- YouTube - Hiking Le Pouce by saseless
- YouTube - Adventure at Le Pouce by Xaviersama016
- Le Mauricien - BOTANIQUE: Bonnes et mauvaises surprises sur la montagne du Pouce.