Monday, May 2, 2011

Up, Up, and Away!

Mount Roraima possesses a spectacular array of beautiful flora and unique fauna. Each level of Roraima contains a distinct vegetative zone with its own collection of flora that adapted to survive to the appropriate type of soil and climate. Mount Roraima's lush tropical rainforest causes light to be sporadic. Insectivorous plants have adjusted perfectly to life at the summit due to the poor, acidic soil located there. Likewise, the base of the mountain serves as a home to a plentiful amount of carnivorous plants. Hummingbirds as colorful as jewels and tiny, black frogs so unevolved that they neither swim or hop live peacefully on the tepuis. Incomparable and rich are the only ways to describe Roraima's biogeography.

This black frog may be small, but it is strong enough to survive on Mount Roraima. Photo from:

Insectivorous, but magnficent sundew plants are abundant on Roraima. Photo from:

Mount Roraima has a fluvial landscape. Streams are perennial due to the lack of a dry season. These meandering streams flow all year long. Streams on Mount Roraima may appear calm, but they do have a high velocity and wading through them can make for quite a challenge. Fluvial erosion on Roraima has led to uniquely shaped valleys. Mount Roraima's streams can easily reach equilibrium with the aid of Angel Falls. Since the waterfall is so tall, a large break in slope occurs and knickpoints are readily removed. The vast supply of flora and fauna found on Mount Roraima exists nowhere else in the entire world. Incredible scientific advancements have been made due to this fact. Botanists and biologists travel to the mountain to gain a better understanding of the evolution of these species. There are some plants on Roraima that are descendants of extinct breeds. This breathtaking mountain also made an impact in the entertainment world. Mount Roraima was the inspiration for Academy Award winning movie Up's Paradise Falls.

Looks are deceiving: One of Mount Roraima's streams only appears calm. Photo from:

Going Up... The main characters of Up stand proudly on the real Paradise Falls. Photo from:

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Roraima: Always On Cloud Nine

Dramatic clouds, heavy rains, and misty fog combine to create a climatic environment unlike anywhere else on Earth. Adiabatic cooling on Mount Roraima causes the formation of cirrostratus clouds and frequent rain. As moist air rises and multiplies, it cools and allows for the production of these specific clouds. The adiabatic process claims sole responsibility for the extraordinary cloud formations and numerous rain showers. Roraima's moist air rises, swells, and cools as it reaches the dew point. The ground gives birth to an eerie radiation fog when the rain ceases to fall.

High clouds and fog engulf the mountain top. Photo from

The mist sets in on Roraima. Photo from

Roraima has an equatorial and tropical climate type. Average temperatures are 24 degrees Celsius to 26 degrees Celsius. On the summit, temperatures can drop as low as 4 or 5 degrees Celsius. On account of the large amount of moisture existing in the air, humidity levels can reach a staggering 90%. Humidity, rain, and fog cause a physical struggle for the hiker. Proper gear is paramount if you desire to climb this mountain.

The steady rainfall makes for a much more arduous hike. Photo from

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

An Angelic Experience

Mount Roraima unveils an environment that encompasses cryptic caves and a breathtaking waterfall. Weathering produced the breaking down of rock formations and as a result, created massive boulders. Weathering also caused the bathing pools to form in the breakdown of rocks. The caves of Mount Roraima are two billion years old. Due to weathering, elongated, carrot shaped formations evolved.

Photo from
Standing at 3,212 feet, Angel Falls takes the prize for the highest waterfall in the world. This waterfall is also properly named, as it exudes resplendence. The Caroni River in southeastern Venezuela actually starts its water flow from Roraima's slopes. An effluent stream leading to the waterfall carries the flow of water over the slope. This overland flow continues into another stream on the ground. Due to the high volume of sedimentary rocks, the groundwater is exceptionally porous. On Mount Roraima, the streams and Angel Falls work in perfect harmony to develop a hydrologic cycle. Explorers and scientists flock to view the incomparable grandeur of Angel Falls.  The Venezuelan park service strongly suggests hiring the indigenous Pemon Indians as guides, for this is their only source of income.

A gorgeous cascade of water: Angel Falls  Photo from

Adventurous trekkers make their way through a stream with huge boulders.
Photo from


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Roraima: A Real-Life Hidden Gem

Steep cliffs, a wide plateau, towering chasms, crystal pools, and small caves categorize the raw beauty that is Mount Roraima. Mount Roraima is the tallest mountain in Venezuela at 9,200 feet and there have been a few reports from climbers that have experienced light-headedness. At times, the trek can get quite arduous due to the steep cliffs, so the climb requires the climber to have a certain level of endurance. And you definitely don't want to forget the bug repellant! The sandstone rock began as sediment over 1.6 billion years ago. Mount Roraima is an extremely high, remote plateau. Quartzite has contributed to the formation of the plateau. Thousands of eroded quartz crystals are scattered throughout the bedrock. This metamorphic non-foliated rock is usually a light pink hue. Part of the plateau rim contains towering chasms. These chasms have deep cracks caused by years of erosion. The layer on top of the mesa is more resistant than the soft underneath layers.  Under the plateau, there is a jungle drenched in thick foliage with angular slopes. Above the jungle are rugged, steep cliffs. Blackened rock formations are enncased on the cliffs. These formations were caused by the remains of billion year old layers of eroded sediments from the Precambrian era. As a result of this accumulation of sediment, the mesa has come to resemble the qualities of a sedimentary rock. Embedded in these cliffs are several strands of colored materials called strata. Roraima has many diverse geographical elements that are both pleasing to the eye and help make the mountain even more unique. It is easy to see that Roraima has so much more to offer than just a strenuous climb.

A climber looks out onto Roraima's massive chasms. Picture from
Looking down into one of the mountain's gorgeous pools. Photo from

A map of Mount Roraima. Photo from

Friday, January 21, 2011


                                               A view from the top: Mount Roraima
                                 Photo from:

My name is Sloane Solomon. I chose Mount Roraima, which is a mountain in Venezuela. It is eternally encased in billowy mounds of clouds, giving it an otherwordly appearance. I chose Mount Roraima, because I have always been fascinated with mountains. I love to read about their early beginnings on Earth and the enormous risks people often take climbing them. I have not been to Mount Roraima...yet. Although, I imagine it would be a once in a lifetime experience. Join me on this exciting adventure as we discover all the uniqueness and splendour Mount Roraima has to offer!