September 28, 2023

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La Soufrière is as beautiful as it is dangerous.  Hence safety instructions and access to the dome is prohibited

La Soufrière is as beautiful as it is dangerous. Hence safety instructions and access to the dome is prohibited

The climb to the top of La Soufrière is not easy. It deserves it. According to the Governor’s Order of January 14, 2019, visitors must be in good physical condition, properly equipped, and no one should violate the ban on going around the dome. 1976 is the anniversary of the explosion.

For a good cause, teams from the National Gendarmerie and Guadalupe National Park (PNG) faced the slopes of La Soufrière this Saturday, July 8, 2023. On this year’s anniversary of the 1976 eruption, officials pass on visitors that a protective perimeter has been erected around the site and crater.

The summit of Soufrière de Guadeloupe is accessible to everyone, but due to the dangers of the area around the crater, only authorized experts are allowed.


The zone thus divided shall come under the Governor’s Ordinance with effect from January 14, 2019; Entry into it is forbidden on pain of punishment. It is a question of safety for walkers as there is a risk of steam release and landslides beyond 1467 meters.

To climb Soufrière, the public must follow several safety measures. It is also a good idea to check the weather before climbing.


So, gray, rain and a constant wind, three environmental inspectors and seven gendarmes from the park went there, for the operation to control the area where access to the Soufrière dome is prohibited. Objective: To check that instructions are followed.
With bad weather, some went there and luckily, never went over the markup.
Good for today. But the prevention message should still be communicated:

(…) It is true that today it is raining and there are no expected visitors. But, we are in the holiday season; That will change in the next few days. So, we can get this message: we have an area where a lot of fumaroles have been reactivated for a few months, so it’s everyone’s “benefit” to not be there (…)

Patrice Secretier, a sports and nature technician in PNG, mentions the volcano

Patrice Secretier, a sports and nature technician in PNG, mentions the volcano

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©Mickaël Bastide and Bruno Pansiot-Villon – Guadeloupe The 1st

A group from Guadeloupe La 1Time He also performed the climb this Saturday with the regulators. Here are some pictures that Bruno Pansiot-Villon brought back. In view, we understand that hiking is not accessible to the general public, especially in weather like this:

Defense forces attacking Soufriere in bad weather



©Bruno Pansiot-Villon – Guadeloupe The 1st

Some walkers, under the pretense of being unaware of the restrictions, defy the barriers despite the dangers; This, despite many scenarios.

It should be noted that the area beyond the barriers can only be accessed with a certified mountain guide and regulatory equipment, especially a gas mask, which can filter the acidity in the air. , released by fumaroles.

The temptation to approach the site saying “I was not informed” (…) is real.

Felix Bastarout is an environmental researcher in PNG

Felix Bastarout is an environmental researcher in PNG



©Mickaël Bastide and Bruno Pansiot-Villon – Guadeloupe The 1st

In the restricted access zone, around the La Soufrière crater, a gas mask is mandatory for people authorized to go there.


In the event of an incident, rescue workers are forced to put themselves at risk in order to find and rescue those in trouble. Another reason not to put yourself at risk.

And, no matter what, you should remember to bring something to drink, a snack, something to keep warm and signal (a whistle) before challenging “”.Big lady“, the nickname of Soufrière in Guadeloupe.

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