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Morne Trois Pitons
Mountain/Rock

Morne Trois Pitons

 
Morne Trois Pitons

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Dominica, North America

Lat/Lon: 15.36491°N / 61.32708°W

Object Title: Morne Trois Pitons

Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Scrambling

Season: Spring, Winter

Elevation: 4551 ft / 1387 m

 

Page By: Scott

Created/Edited: Jan 10, 2012 / Dec 4, 2012

Object ID: 770386

Hits: 2332 

Page Score: 81.18%  - 13 Votes 

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Overview

Morne Trois Pitons is located on the tiny island country of Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic). The island is very mountainous and very little flat ground exists. The mountain is one of the most exciting climbs on the island and perhaps one of the more scenic as well.

Although some sources say that Diablotin is the toughest climb in Dominica (probably referring only to the trailed summits on the island), we found Morne Trois Pitons to be more difficult. Morne Trois Pitons, the second highest mountain in Dominica, is a spectacular mountain, but it’s usually shrouded in mist.

Morne Trois Pitons is none technical via its standard route, but it’s still a pretty challenging climb. Once on the summit and if the weather is clear (which is a rare occurrence) you will be treated with some fine views over the island of Dominica. More than likely you will be enshrouded in mist while on the summit, but the rainforest on the mountain is very pristine and the summit area is almost mystical.

The mountain is probably most often viewed from Boeri Lake on the south, but the mountain is very difficult to climb from that direction and the trailhead for the standard route is actually from the north and Pont Casse which is a long way by road from the Boeri Lake Trailhead.

The mountain is a volcano, but it has been highly eroded and doesn’t have the classic conical appearance of one. According to the Global Volcanism Program the mountain had its last eruption 920 AD +/- 50 years. Other sources say the volcano may have erupted in 1060 AD.

Trois Pitons
The slopes of Trois Pitons as seen from Boeri Lake. Boeri Lake is the highest lake in Dominica.

Getting There

To get to the standard trailhead, first you must make your way to Pont Casse (Pond Casse on the road signs). From Roseau, buses leave for Pont Casse (on their way to other places such as Mellville Hall, Rosalie, etc.) from the bridges on the north side of the town. Buses in the opposite direction can also be caught at the above mentioned locations, but I don’t know where the bus stops are.

At Pont Casse (which has no services and is more of a roadside stop with a few houses than a town), there is a four way junction in the road. You want the road heading northeast (right if coming from Roseau) to locations such as Castle Bruce, Emerald Pool and Rosalie.

Walk (or drive if you have rented a car) along the highway for less than one kilometer/0.5 miles) to the signed trailhead on the south side of the road.

Trailhead
This is the trailhead for Trois Pitons. Be aware that while many of the trailheads have signs stating time needed for a climb, we were able to beat most of the times. Not so for Trois Pitons. It took us much longer than two hours each way.

Routes Overview

The standard route up Morne Trois Pitons begins just northeast of Pont Casse. Other routes are almost never climbed or even attempted.

Luckily a trail does reach the summit of Morne Trois Pitons from near Pont Casse, but the trail is quite challenging due to slippery log steps (which are getting more rotten as time goes on), slippery rock scrambles and one section of the route where you must climb above the ground on roots of trees. It can be a fun climb, but caution on the descent is advised because some of the logs are so slippery. Parts of the route are a little overgrown as well and some of the vegetation is sharp. I wore shorts on this one and my legs were pretty bloody by the time the climb was finished. Long pants are advised on this one.

See the Route Page for details.

Descending
Shaylee descending Trois Piton on December 31 2011. Trois Piton turned out to be the most difficult mountain that we climbed on our trip to Dominica.


Rock Scramble
One of the many slippery rock scrambles required to climb Trois Piton.

Red Tape

To do this hike you are supposed to have a National Park Site Pass which is available for purchase in many locations in Roseau, Portsmouth and Laudat. The cost is $5 US for one day or $12 US for a week and is good for Morne Diablotin, Morne Trois Piton, Boeri Lake, Boiling Lake, Emerald Pool, Middleham Falls and Trafalgar Falls.

Vegetation
You must obtain a site pass to climb Morne Trois Piton and to see all it's nice scenery.

Camping and Where to Stay

Other than a few private campgrounds (one of which is in Laudat), camping is not allowed on Dominica. You can get a list of places to stay below:

Where to Stay in Dominica

When to Climb

There are no real dry seasons in this region, but some seasons are certainly wetter still than others. Needless to say, this region is very wet and heavy rains are possible at any time.

On average, February, March and April are the driest months, followed by December and January. June through November are very wet. From about mid-December through early May is the best time to climb, but even in the driest seasons, it rains almost every day up high.

Pouring rain
Shaylee climbing Trois Piton in torrential rains on December 31 2011. We had rain gear with us, but since most of the route is steeper than in the photo we found that we got just as wet (from sweat) wearing the raingear as we did without it.

Mountain Conditions

A supposed weather forecast is below, but it seems to be based on Roseau which is a much drier and warmer location:

Weather Forecast

In reality, expect rain (sometimes heavy) almost every day.

Weather averages for the Camp Jacob (Guadeloupe) at an elevation of 1750 feet/533 meters are below. Information is from the book World Weather Guide, page 323. Although Camp Jacob is on Guadeloupe, weather conditions at Camp Jacob are more representative of Trois Pitons than the weather station at Roseau on Dominica. Expect cooler and even wetter conditions near the summit of Trois Pitons than at Camp Jacob.

Month High (° F ) High (° C) Low (° F ) Low (° C) in. Rain mm Rain Rain Days
Jan 77 25 64 18 9.2 234 23
Feb 76 24 63 17 6.1 155 18
Mar 77 25 63 17 8.1 206 20
Apr 79 26 65 18 7.3 185 20
May 80 27 67 19 11.5 292 23
Jun 80 27 69 21 14.1 358 25
Jul 81 27 68 20 17.6 447 27
Aug 82 28 69 21 15.3 389 26
Sep 82 28 69 21 16.4 417 23
Oct 81 27 68 20 12.4 315 24
Nov 80 27 67 19 12.3 312 22
Dec 78 26 65 18 10.1 257 23

Descending in the Rain
Shaylee descending Trois Piton in the rain.

Images

VegetationBoeri LakeTrois PitonsDescendingTrailheadRock ScramblePouring rain
Easy section of trailOvergrownDescending in the Rain