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.
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.
To get to the 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.
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.
From the sign at the trailhead, follow the well-marked trail up the mountain. After as short distance, the trail passes a house and begins climbing up the mountain. For the first few minutes the trail is easy, but it gets steeper after not very long. It is here that the endless series of log steps begins. Take care because some of the logs (as of December 31 2011) are getting quite rotten and are starting to disintegrate.
About 1/3 of the way up the mountain there are some slippery rock scrambles and the trail steepens. From here on the climb gets more and more difficult as you go higher.
Eventually the vegetation changes from rain forest to elfin cloud forest and the trees become more stunted. The cloud forest is almost always enshrouded in nearly perpetual mist. If you are lucky enough to have clear skies, the views are said to be spectacular.
One of the many slippery rock scrambles required to climb Trois Piton.
Some of the trail is overgrown and some of the vegetation is sharp and will cut bare legs, but the route is marked with ribbons and is never hard to find. After some tricky (at least if wet) rock scrambles (with few handholds), the route becomes even more challenging and you must climb up, over and through the roots of the kaklen trees. This is what is known as a jungle gym hike!
An overgrown section of the Trois Pitons trail. Some of the vegetation is sharp, so make sure to wear long pants.
The summit should be reached in about 2.5 or more hours. Enjoy either the fine views or the mythical mist.
It can take nearly as long to descend and descending is much more slippery. We took several tumbles in the torrential rain. Use extreme caution.
This is one of the easier sections of the route to Trois Piton.
Long pants and a strong sense of perseverance. The mountain is very wet, but it is debatable on whether or not you will get more or less wet with rain gear (because of sweating). It is recommended that you bring it anyway. It can be slightly chilly around the summit.
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.