Failed Attempt to Climb Volcano

Frank all wet

Frank all wet

Another prime tourist site on Réunion is the active volcano called “Piton de la Fournaise”. If you can catch it without clouds, the views are supposed to be pretty nice around the volcano, but there is also the trail that leads you up to the active crater. It’s reportedly not nearly as active as Tanna in Vanuatu, but still impressive. Our friend Gina on s/v Solace went up a few weeks ago and managed the trail and back in 4.5 hours, and she said the clouds briefly parted for 10 minutes while she was at the top. Well, my trip was not so lucky, I got there to find a lot of mist and cold. I had warm pants, a sweater, hiking boots, wool socks, and a windbreaker (not waterproof) to wear. But, that would prove not to be enough.

I climbed down the large crater wall surrounding the central peak, then followed the trail markers across the big crater base towards the peak. The rain kind of stopped during the crossing, but it turns out I managed to get on the wrong trail (blame it on the fog and rain). I navigated my way back to the trail, but the rains picked up and I was getting drenched. I was not going to make it back before lunch, if I made it to the top, and there was little hope for a view. Besides, I was getting wet and starting to get cold. So, I made the hard decision to abort and just walk back. It turns out it is really hard to climb when your jeans are soaked and your boots are filling up with water. My legs were killing me by the time I got back up the wall. The selfie picture above shows what I looked like after I got back to the top. And the picture below shows what the terrain looked like on the crater base in the mist and rain. Pretty miserable looking huh?

Terrain in Volcano

Terrain in Volcano

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4 Responses to Failed Attempt to Climb Volcano

  1. Hugh says:

    Good on you for trying…at least it didn’t send lava with the rain….

  2. Paul Gilster says:

    Well it does look pretty miserable, Frank. I’d say make yourself a cup of hot coffee or something to warm up!

  3. Tomaz says:

    Miserable look, but amazing view for pictures. I would have spent hours with a camera there!

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