Scheduled Date: Tuesday 30th May, 2017
El Cerro Del Aripo (3085ft or 940m) located along the main ridge of the Northern Range between the villages of Brasso Seco to the north and Aripo to the south is Trinidad’s tallest peak. There are two routes to access the summit the easiest is from Lalaja Trace on the Arima Blanchisseuse Road while the more challenging way is from Paria/Brasso Seco Village on the Madamas Road. The climb from Brasso takes approximately 3-4 hours or depending on one’s fitness it can vary. A panoramic view of the peak is not visible because of its perplex location enclosed by a series of ridges.
The first part of the expedition is a 1-hour trek to the centre point of the watershed (650m). This area is a crossroad where forest trails lead to various destinations and divide the two communities. Facing north, the track to Brasso Seco descends northwest while the one to Lalaja declines southwest. A path on the left ascends westward to another high peak Mt.Bleu, and the one to the right escalates eastward to El Cerro Del Aripo. The vegetation at this level is lower montane forest but as the altitude raises the flora changes to Elfin Woodland.
From this point, it takes a further two hours to reach the summit. There are seven up and down peaks to ascend, which seem like a constant seesaw. The most challenging are number two and seven. Along the ridge, nothing visible through the dense mountain mangrove Clusia Intertexta but the revitalizing breeze and the excitement of getting there causes one to push forward. On peak No2 a large Bois Bande tree stands prominently to the left of the trail and a variety of palms Manac, Gri –gri Bactris, Prestoea and Anare Geonoma (used for stick fighting) decorate the route. Occasionally appearing through the bushes, a faint view of the Guanapo Quarry and the majestic Paria Countryside.
The area around the summit is flat and breezy however views of the surrounding landscape blocked by shrub. Noticeable on the trees and rocks are crustlike epiphytes, along with lichen and moss formed by the damp coldness of the rain forest. Growing on the stem and branches of the trees are large bromeliads, which provide a home to the golden tree frog. There is a landmark concrete trig which is a good spot to take pictures and celebrate the triumph of conquering the country’s highest peak.
On Saturday 3rd June 2017, Fitness Walkers explores the summit of El Cerro Del Aripo.
Assembly: 7.00am Corner of O’meara Road and Churchill Roosevelt Highway Arima. Depart by 7.45am.
Rating: 6 challenging
Hiking time one-way: 3-4 hours
Bring along at least a litre of water, and a good hiking boot is essential.
For details contact Mario749-2956, Michael 719-3368 Marcia 490-2421 or visit islandhikers.com
Phone: (868) 749-2956,
email :islandhikers @gmail.com
Marcia 490-2421,Michael 719-3368,
Jamal 761-1889,Robin 681-1389,
Camille 620-314, Michelle 726-5195,
,Petronilla 342-1072, Pooran 764-2041
Dennis 678-2768, Adrian 349-9316,
Bob 685-5355, Pedro 346-3460
Ian 682-6177, Danny 372-7798