To The Stump Of The World Tree – Mount Roraima

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Mount Roraima
It all happened the moment I heard gossip about a magical spot in South America. For years I have been hearing this calling to go there. And every year when the calling is so strong I start collecting information on the spot from travelers, wise-man and ancient tomes on it. Planning this next great expedition.  To the top of the old world – Mount Roraima.

The Legend

I have found in the old scripts that according to the Pemon and Kapon legends there was once a might Tree of Life  (Wazaca) that had all the fruits and crops in the world growing on its branches. However one day a mystical trickster Makunaima took his mighty ace and chopped off the tree.  Unleashing a terrible flood and leaving a huge stump in its wake. The stump I am talking about is Mount Roraima.

Now from what I understood the top of the mountain is still viewed with religious significance. Since the ancient spirits preside there. Thus utmost respect is mandatory.

From the few adventurers that dare to go to the top of the mountain, I heard stories that almost everyone has some kind of strange out of this world experiences. Some tell stories of experiencing altered states or intense feelings of reverie promiscuity or bizarre dreams.

The Route

Mount Roraima Trail

Mount Roraima and the mighty mesas were created 2 billion years ago, when South America, Australia, and Africa were still joined as the super-continent Gondwana.

Access to the top of the mountain was found only 200 years ago. Until then it has been thought to be an extremely difficult mountain to scale. Now, however, the route is fairly easy.

The trail starts at the remote Pemon village of Paraitepuy a bumpy 30km road from the Tran Amazonian highway. From here it takes 2 or 3 days to reach the summit and then makes two days to trek back down.   The main challenge in this hike is the leafy roots and fingers of the forests that pull you back. Squelchy red clay sucks at your feet and the numerous and hungry sand-flies biting your flesh. Furthermore, the summit of Mount Roraima also sees rain almost every day. Even in the dry season.

The top of the mountain painted by the few wanderers I have talked looks and feels like a maze with canyons of crystals and freezing quartz lined pools. Stark rocks, hanging gardens, and stream-lets. They say the ultimate view is from La Ventana (the window).

 

There is only one small thing. You have to bring a guide to the top of the mountain. For two main reasons as I am told:

  1. The guide must be local so he could appease the spirits
  2. The top of the mountain is like a maze easy to get lost.

Key Information

  • Length – Average 5-6 days
  • Difficulty – Moderate/strenuous – steep; humid and rainy; biting flies.  (Bring head protection from flies)
  • Best Months – Nov-Apr
  • Arrange the tour/guide from Brazil. It is a safer option these days knowing what is happening in Venezuela.  The political and economic situation in Venezuela is just too complicated right now and might be unsafe. Make sure they take care of everything – equipment, food, porters, security, crossing and etc.
  • Water directly from the mountain. If you feel like bring your own filters. And a 1L water bottle.
  • Clothes – bring enough socks and underwear. Plus fast-drying pants and T-shirts. It rains a lot.
  • Top tip – Independent climbs not permitted. A guide is mandatory.

Downloadable Map

Image

Mountain Roraima Trail Map

Authors

Simonas Radkevicius – https://www.instagram.com/sim_rad/

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