Miranda Larbi is a journalist who writes for The Sun and Metro.co.uk. Read about her August 2018 climb to Nevis Peak with Sunrise Tours.
Tell anyone in the UK that you’re visiting Nevis and they automatically think that you’ve planned a week in Scotland.
So when I told my pals that I’d just come back from climbing the giant, omnipresent mountain in the middle of the island, you can understand why they might have thought I was schlepping up Ben Nevis.
But rather than scaling up a very cold and icy mound in the highlands, I was in fact clambering my way through lush and vertiginous forest in the West Indies.
Wherever you are on Nevis, the mountain is always in the background; no visit to the island would be complete without finally conquering the climb and viewing the area from above.
I went up with a mountain guide from Sunrise Tours, who was an absolute expert. He knew every part of the climb (sometimes having been up and down three times in one day), so I was confident that I was in safe hands.
The hardest part is the bottom third because it’s warm and steep and it’s more hiking than climbing. Get past that, however, and you’re into thick, moist greenery and clay grounds. There are ropes on which to pull yourself up, as well as sturdy tree roots conveniently hooked for stepping on or grabbing hold of.
Every part of the climb offers new and breathtaking beauty; it’s just so dense and fresh, the air filled with the sounds of crickets and birds chattering away. Nevis itself is a tropical paradise but the bush is an oasis of fauna and flora like no other.
The higher you go, the cooler it becomes so it’s actually a very pleasant climb. And once you reach the top, well, you couldn’t find a better view if you tried.
Just below the summit, we had the perfect picture of neighbouring islands St Kitts, Antigua and Montserrat. By the time we reached the very top, the view was a little obscured by fog – but it was stunning nonetheless. How many people can say that they’ve literally climbed above the clouds?
It took us around 2.5 hours all-in-all and my one piece of advice would be to not wear bright white trainers as I did (they’re now an attractive shade of reddish brown).
While it’s definitely a challenge (more so coming down, for your tired quads!), it’s so, so worth it. Heck, a number of people told me of church parties taking parishioners aged from 10 to 70 up the mountain – so if they can do it, you can to.
And you’d be mad to miss an opportunity to see the island from arguably its best vista.
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