Mount Roraima – Venezuela - The Traveller


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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Mount Roraima – Venezuela

Mount Roraima – Venezuela

Mount Roraima – Highest Tepuy on Triple Border of Venezuela/Brazil/Guyana

Mount Roraima is the highest tepuy which is Spanish name for Table Mountain, on the triple border of Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana and lies on the Guiana Shield towards the south-eastern corner of Venezuela’s’ 30,000 square km Canaima National Park forming one of the highest peak of Guyana’s Highland Range.

It is one of the most extraordinary natural geological formations in the world, dating back to around 2 billion years ago in the Precambrian,the highest of the Pakaraima mountain chain in South America. Mount Roraimas’ 31 square kilometre summit areasare defined by 400 meter tall cliff which is on all sides of Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela.

The triple border point is at 5°12’08”N60°44’07”W though the highest mountain point is Maverick Rock which is 2,810 metres, towards the south end of the plateau and totally within Venezuela. The name has been derived from Rorai-ma which means `big blue green’ in Permon and the only way to ascend this mountain is to climb from the Gran Sabana side in Venezuela.

Sir EverardimThurn – First to Climb the Tepug

Sir Everard im Thurn was the first person to climb the tepug in 1884, the top of which consist of quartzite and sandstones, which appear to be black due to the added organic matter like fungi and moss accumulated over the years.
Erosion has created ponds and pol with clear crystal rain water. Besides this there are also some areas with pink sand which has an amazing landscape feeling. Most of the species that are found on Roraima are unique and plants like pitcher plants – Heliamphora, bellflower – Campanula and rare Rapatea heather are found on the escarpment and the summit and rainfall occurs almost every day of the year.

The entire surface of the summit is bare sandstone with only some bushes and algae present while bristling and low scanty vegetation is found in the small sandy marshes which intersperse the rocky summit, creating a unique ecosystem which include many endemic species inclusive of the unique carnivorous pitcher plant.

One of the Highest Waterfalls in the World

The species are considered as vulnerable and tourists need to be educated to bring about awareness on the importance of not handling these wild animals with close population that needs to be monitored since the species are known only from a single location.Due to the rainfall, most of the nutrients which are in the soil tend to get washed away by torrents that flow over the edge, forming some of the highest waterfall in the world.

The steep sides of the tepuy around the rainforest and altitude at the summit creates a unique climatic atmosphere which is known for its changes and the moist air which rises from the surrounding rainforest in the tropical heat gives rise to heavy rain clouds which billow up and across the top of Roraima resulting in frequent showers.

During the nights, the summits are cool due to the altitude. One may experience frequent showers while ascending or descending the cliff and if the rainfall is heavy one would also have to wait at river crossings till the level of the river recedes down. Guides are available to direct the tourist.

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