PICO DUARTE – DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
The passion for climbing the Pico Duarte is born of a motivation … feeling that our steps left their mark on the highest peak of the insular Caribbean is an experience that is well worth living, one, two, three or many times life allows us to.
When we decided to materialize this dream, we are disturbed by a question: What should I do to live this experience to the fullest? From my own experience, I can assure you that it is vital to be in shape, to undertake group expeditions, with ecological guides that know how to give first aid and park rangers who know the route to follow.
During the journey, we will feel temperatures ranging between 10 and 5 degrees Celsius. For this reason, in our backpack, we must place the necessary objects to make the journey safely, such as a strong coat, clothing mountaineer, sleeping bag, a raincoat and lycra pants to wear under the jeans.
Oh! Whether the trip is organized by an agency or your group of friends, it is important to know that the mules will carry the luggage until the last stop indicated for the purposes. Another rule that must be fulfilled is the following: in this path, solidarity and fraternity are not put to the test; We all have the commitment to help each other.
What is the ideal time to climb it?
To climb the Pico Duarte our country offers several routes: Mata Grande, San José de las Matas; Constanza, and La Ciénaga, of Jarabacoa municipality, this last one is the most popular because, in addition to being the shortest way, it has a moderate level of difficulty.
For this reason, more than 4,000 Dominican and foreign hikers join the odyssey of climbing the Caribbean sky every year. But what is the best time to do it? There is a belief that January is the ideal month because it hardly rains; therefore, the land is in better conditions, it is also cold and does not sweat like in summer.
Others extend this period by including the months of December to February. With these instructions recorded and memorized, we are ready to make the feat a reality, which usually begins on a Friday with the arrival in Manabao, in Jarabacoa, where you spend the night in the booth of the Ministry of the Environment or in a humble dwelling community.
The next day, the cold seizes the body. However, before 6:00 in the morning, all the expeditionary have to stand, with their minds and hearts set on the 23 kilometers that lead us to “heaven”. Before leaving, have a good breakfast, since during the journey you will only drink water and eat small portions of chocolate. The purpose is to feel light because fatigue is less and progress is made faster.
The entrance to the J. Armando Bermúdez National Park is registered in the Environment booth. I assure you that at that moment it is good and valid to remember the historic phrase of the Spanish poet Antonio Machado “Walker, there is no road, the road is made by walking” … from there, the mission is to live the unexpected, of course, with a great smile and positive attitude.