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Ascent of Mount Sage on 2012-03-24

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Daniel Musser
Date:Saturday, March 24, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Taxicab
Peak:Mount Sage
    Location:British Virgin Islands
    Elevation:520 m / 1709 ft

Ascent Trip Report

Our BVI trip came to a screaching halt when Sasha was denied entry into BVI and Karen stayed behind with her in St John's while Daniel and I cleared customs at the West End of Tortola and then were off to start negotiating with the hotel and scuba folks at Jost Van Dyke in case the Chief of Immigration (Dennis Jennings) would not be able to resolve the issue. It was the weekend so we ended up separating. Apparently, Russian travelers require additional travel requirements and visas than the rest of us despite her passport and visa entry into the US and the US Virgins. After seeing some very sad faces, Daniel and I departed by taxi to the Mount Sage National Park thinking we were going to find a national park entrance with hiking trails and maps and a rigorous journey to the summit like we had on St. John's but - whoa were we in for second surprise of the day.

This was dissapointing as we thought we just paid a taxi 30 bucks to take us to a national park that would have a trail to the top not dump us at the top. I explained we were there to peakbag. Climb a mountain not drive to the top! It was about to rain, and we had lost our other family members so we decided what the heck - we will turn it into a hike by hiking the entire National Park and all of its rolling terrain and bag the peak and get out.

It was sad. We were told there was a restaurant at the top but it was not what it used to be. Tourists were not coming up to do this any more and all the freezers and coolers were empty. The weekend manager (an Englishman) was most friendly but desperate for business and was lucky to get but a handful of visitors a day and perhaps 2-3 lunches. There was not much selection of food either.

Daniel and I roamed around the trail system gaining and regaining several hundred feet of vertical to make it a hike but in reality the peak was probaly not more than 100 feet above the parking lot. We turned it in to an hour an half hike and got down just before it poured rain on us. I would have liked to hike it from the ocean like we did the other islands but it was all a winding road with no safe right of way and there was not time to start this over, the day had been a bust. There are no views on this hike either at the top. There are some nice views on the road up the hike but not at the summit. One overlook platform was constructed near the mahogany grove that affords one decent look but dissapointing for the height of this mountain above the sea and in a National Park.

The hike up Jost is far more rewarding and not up a road. This hike would be more interesting as a road hike, but i woudl plan it carefully and the time of day. During some hours of the day it would be very dangerous road hiking this in traffic like when we were there. The NP has some well maintained trails in it but only at the top portion of the mountain as the sides of the mountain are all privately owned so no legal trail access.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:139 m / 459 ft
    Elevation Loss:139 m / 459 ft
    Distance:7.2 km / 4.5 mi
    Grade/Class:1
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Raining, Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
sunny then rainy then pouring
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:139 m / 459 ft
    Extra Loss:106 m / 350 ft
    Distance:6.4 km / 4 mi
    Route:Parking to gate to Central Tr to Fig to North Tr.
    Trailhead:Upper parking lot  487 m / 1600 ft
    Time Up:1 Hours 10 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:33 m / 109 ft
    Distance:0.8 km / 0.5 mi
    Route:Summit to parking
    Trailhead:Upper parking lot  487 m / 1600 ft
    Time Down:20 Minutes



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