Mont O’Reilly Excursion

On April 5th, I took a trip past Hope Estate in an attempt to climb up Mont O’Reilly. From the bottom, it looked like the North face would be a pretty easy hike, with a grassy slope going three-quarters of the way up the mountain. As it turns out, though, the grass wasn’t the ankle-high scrub of the goat and cow grazed areas, but thick, chest-high grass that concealed an uneven terrain covered with large rocks.

After getting up a couple hundred meters – close to the tree line – I headed east to see if the terrain was any different. I eventually came to a dry gully that cut a canyon 30 feet deep in the side of the mountain. Looking out towards Mont Careta, I also spied what looked like a cave in a rock formation. With a new goal, I headed down Mont O’Reilly and up Mont Careta, using the photos I took from Mont O’Reilly to navigate to the cave, which I couldn’t see above me through the thick forest.

Unfortunately, the “cave” was just a hole created by a pile of large boulders, as you can see below. For my return, I traversed the dry gully, largely hopping from boulder to boulder. This was considerably easier than both the tall grass and the forest. I ended up back at Hope Estate, near the base of the mining operations. Overall, the excursion may have been more trouble than it was worth. Next time I’m in the area, I will probably take the dirt road around Mont Careta, which is also marked as a hiking trail.

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