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This cache will lead you up to the craters edge of the active strato volcano Soufriere on St. Vincent. The well maintained trail will lead you continuously upward through the surrounding rain forest. There is a rich flora and great views to admire on your way before reaching the edge of the volcanic crater at the given coordinates.
The trail is about 4km long (one way) from the parking coordinate to the crater edge with a height difference of about 600m. The hike is quite steep all the time, so you should have good physical condition and some experience in mountain hiking, however special climbing equipment (besides suitable foot wear) is not needed.
Please note the following requirements and rules to use this trail:
The trail should be included on up-to-date OSM maps, for your information you can find a track of this trail here:
- All foreign visitors not in the company of Vincentian nationals must be accompanied onto the trail by a certified tour guide. Guides should be organised in beforehand through the National Park Authority of St. Vincent and the Grenadines .
If you visit St. Vincent on a cruise ship there might be organized tours availble from your cruise ship agency, which include a guide and transportation to the trail start.
- Opening hours are (usually) 7am to 3pm.
- Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints!
- No glass bottles, no smoking and no loud music are permitted on the trail.
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This is a geocache with a high terrain rating, so please note the following:
- The trail is rather steep and requires good footwear and fitness.
- Take a lot of water with you to keep hydrated.
- Take warm clothes and a rain jacket with you as while the trail starts in warm climate, it will be cold, very windy and maybe rainy at the summit.
- There is no fence or anything alike at the craters edge. You will be standing at a steep cliff edge. Keep distance from the edge and be aware of the strong wind gusts and bad visibility due to clouds in this area.
- Location absolutely not suitable for kids.
- Always follow the advise of your local guide
Geological background for this cache:
You will be walking up an active volcano (last outbrake: 1979) giving you the opportunity to learn more about these geological highlights. Here is some background information on volcanoes in general and the Soufriere in special:
The Soufriere volcano is an active stratovolcano.
A stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano, is a conical volcano built up by many layers (strata) of hardened lava, tephra, pumice, and volcanic ash. Unlike shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes are characterized by a steep profile and periodic explosive eruptions and effusive eruptions, although some have collapsed craters called calderas. The lava flowing from stratovolcanoes typically cools and hardens before spreading far due to high viscosity. The magma forming this lava is often felsic, having high-to-intermediate levels of silica (as in rhyolite, dacite, or andesite), with lesser amounts of less-viscous mafic magma.
Stratovolcanoes are sometimes called "composite volcanoes" because of their composite layered structure built up from sequential outpourings of eruptive materials. They are among the most common types of volcanoes, in contrast to the less common shield volcanoes.
The Soufriere volcano:
La Soufrière (Vincentian Creole: Soufray) ("The Sulfurer") or Soufrière Saint Vincent is an active volcano on the island of Saint Vincent in the Windward Islands of the Caribbean. Many volcanoes in the Caribbean are named Soufrière (French: "sulphur outlet"). These include Soufrière Hills on Montserrat and La Grande Soufrière on Guadeloupe.
At 1234 m (4049 ft), La Soufrière is the highest peak on Saint Vincent as well as the highest point in the island country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Soufrière is a stratovolcano with a crater lake and is the island's youngest and northernmost volcano.
La Soufrière violently erupted in 1718, 1812, 1902, 1971, and 1979. The Saint Vincent eruption of 6 May 1902, just hours before the eruption of Mount Pelée on Martinique, killed 1,680 people. The death zone, where almost all persons were killed, was close to entirely Carib. The last recorded eruption was in April 1979; due to advance warning there were no casualties.
In order to log this cache please answer the following questions:
Please send your answer to me using the geocaching.com contact form.
- 1. Looking at the information panel at stage 1, which two continental plates collide here causing the volcanic activity?
- 2. While walking up/down the trail you will come along two geological interesting sites (stage 2 and 3). Describe what you see and what could be the origin of it? (The information panel on stage 1 might provide helpful information)
- 3. Estimate the depth of the crater (from edge where you are standing to the bottom of the crater)?
- 4. Can you see any water accumulating in the crater?
- 5. Can you see any sign of volcanic activity in the crater (If yes, describe it)?
- 6. Photos of you at the craters edge are very welcome and may also help to proof you physically visited the site, but are not obligatory.
You do not need to wait for a log permission afterwards. In case of problems I will contact you. Therefore please enable the visibility of your mail address in the contact form.
Feel free to drop a favorite point if you lked it... and of course lots of pictures! :)
Additional information about St. Vincent and the Soufriere volcano can be found here:
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