St. Lucia, Mt. Pimard from Rodney Bay

Mt. Pimard, Rodney Bay, St. Lucia

This is a great hike that offers challenge, adventure and a good work out, with spectacular views at the top. This is a great hike to do from your boat, it takes about two hours from the JQ mall dinghy dock to go up and return. It should be avoided after rain as the trail becomes very slippery.

Mt Pimard lies on the south side of Rodney Bay, smaller sister to Mt Flambeau which lies to its west with the pretty little bay Trou Gascon between them. It has an elevation of about 660 feet. I heard a few years ago that there was a trail to the top, then covid hit, so it seemed impossible till this year. My guide, King, told me there has been a trail to the summit for 13 years, but the trail was rerouted into its present form a few years ago. I had no idea, or I would have been up there years ago. My first attempt I did with a friend, but it is a moderately difficult hike and when we got to the series of rock ascent using ropes, she climbed a couple and got uneasy, so at that point we returned. This is important to know, because while many hike this every day on their own, a guide is a great help, because they can assuage the doubts of any less gung-ho members of your group and are invaluable at giving you guidance on using the ropes safely if you are not used to that kind of climbing. They also know all about the history and nature along the trail, and are generally great people, helpful companions, and worth supporting.

If you tie to the JQ mall dinghy dock, turn right on the main road. If you are going with a guide the Lucian Style Experience office it is on the right hand side of the road after you turn the corner. If you are going on your own continue till you get to the main hotel road and turn left at the junction. Continue till you get to a road on the right that goes to the beach. Walk to the end of the beach and look for the old dirt road that heads to the west. Follow the road till it winds round the hill and comes to a gazebo with a view of Trou Gascon. Various paths will take you up here, for simplicity take the big one with handrails, which takes you up to a deep fishpond under the cliffs. Continue till you get to the rocks and ropes. There are about four of these rocky ascents to make. The rocks are pretty smooth with just a few foot holds. The easiest way up entails leaning well back on the rope and working from foot hold to foot hold figuring out which foot you will need for the next step. You can avoid one rock climb but taking a little path to the right which does a detour around it. After that it is a well-marked trail which is steep and can be slippery. Luckily there are many trees you can grab onto to help you up, some even in the middle of the trail. You need to look for suitable footholds. When you reach the summit, you get a good view as the immediate trees have been cut back so you can see right down into Rodney Bay lagoon and Reduit Beach, out to Pigeon Island, and south down the coast towards the Pitons.
I really enjoyed the company and help of my guide King, who is enthusiastic about the outdoors and nature, and who told me much about the history and knew any trees I had questions about. He quite enjoyed having an 80-year-old to get up for the first time, as this was an upgrade on his previous oldest at 76, and he could not have been more helpful. Having walked the old road many times you see all kinds of partial bunkers from the second world war. King told me that during this war the top of the mountain had been cleared with a road all the way up. I had not realized this.
If you want a guide, the place to contact is Lucian Style Experience. 758 452 8300/8100 I can vouch for King, but judging by the reports, all the guides are great. They charge $50 US per person, and they will go with one person.