Pico Duarte Trip Report (#8248)
- Signed By: Victor Velez Rizzo
- Date submitted: May 18, 2003
Nice hike, beautiful experience like any mountain trek. Although I'm used to high altitude climbing in South America, this hike was more demanding than anticipated, due to the total distance covered in short time and the style we used. I started from la Ciénaga friday at around 9:00am with my guide César Canela Capellán ("manos a la obra dijo Daniel Ventura!!!") we did not use any mulas and carried a heavy load. All the way untill La Laguna we walked fast, from there to Aguita Fr'a the trail becomes steep in parts and I think it's the hardest part of this route. From there to La Compartición rained heavily the entire 2hrs., We got to the camp soaking wet and very cold, set up the tent outside (there was a group of about 10 people that had set up 5-6 tents on the floor inside the refuge house crowding it to the point that there was not a spot free ???????? ) changed to dry clothes, warm up, hung around with the friendly people of the other group, ate next to the fire and went to sleep at about 8:00pm. Cold night, I suspect below 5 degrees but slept well. I got up at 4:00am and started going up to the summit, we got to Valle De Lilis a little early (we did not have any load) so stayed there untill dawn and then continued on. Got to the summit at around 6:00am to see a beautiful, clear sunrise. Took a few pictures and filmed a little and started descending right away to La Compartición where we ate breakfast and headed down. When we where descending the steepest part the legs began to fail, by now they were really beaten up and every impact was very hard on the knees due to the weight, and was easy lo slip and fall. Gradually the trail got less steep and finally arrived to La Cienaga at 2:30pm saturday totally exhausted. The pain and exhaustion go away quickly but the sensitive memories, the sense of acomplishment stay forever. I want to say hello to the wonderful and humble people from the office in the park, from La Ciénaga, Jarabacoa and mi guide César.