illustration by eva hjeltel at

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Heights.

Clockwise: Mom and me at the top looking into the crater, aerial picture of Mount Liamuiga,  mom and O'Neill,  the slope of the crater 

Over the 4th of July, my family high-tailed it to St. Kitts in celebration of my parent’s 30th wedding anniversary.  Upon the lovely island of St. Kitts  sits  Mount Liamuiga, a 3,792 foot tall volcano.  Not being much of a hiker (or outdoorsy person in general), I don’t know what in my right mind had me determined to climb this monster.  At first I thought I would have to do it alone, but my mom decided to join for the adventure as well.  What about my brother and dad? Well, they decided to leave this to the ladies.  Boy, did they miss out!

Prior to making our hiking reservation we were warned multiple times that this was a “strenuous” activity.  About a two hour hike up and two hour hike down, if we were moving at a good pace.  O’Neill, our guide, was a 65 year old local who had been doing this hike since he was 19.  This man had the kindest heart, but he sure didn’t care for slow hikers.  Nor did he sweat a drop.  It was just the three of us, my mom, O’Neill and myself on the hike.

The entire way up he would tell us these stories of people who thought they were physically fit (had a personal trainer, would go to the gym, etc) and they would never make it to the top because they were so winded and exhausted (insert him laughing here). Or people who would get lost trying to take pictures which caused O’Neill to hike for over 8 hours trying to find them.  He enjoyed adding in at the end that one of the lost souls, “was cryin’ like a baby” when he found him.  

This hike was 4 straight hours of hipster lunges on the tall box at Lithe Method.  As we got closer to the top, it got extremely steep and we were basically climbing up the side of rocks. O’Neill kept telling me to “put your foot where your hand is” and he also remarked that my legs were short since I had to stand on my toes to do so.  My mom and I drank as much water as my backpack could hold and I could carry, but didn’t have to take a ‘washroom break’ the whole hike since we were sweating buckets.

I was expecting the top to be similar to a little flat area with maybe a picnic table for us to eat the lunch and snacks we brought. WRONG.  You had to perch yourself on a rock and hope that your feet didn’t slip out from under you as you nibbled on some local banana bread and sipped on fruit juice. But, the view from the top was breathtaking. And the sense of accomplishment knowing that it was your two feet that took you up that high in the sky, was so worth it. Not only that but witnessing my 58 year old mother determined to get to the top still gives me goosebumps. 


  1. What a great post. Felt like I was reliving it all over again!!

  2. Reminds of lithe escape - fall 2010 - xoxoxo