Location: North 25.13599, West 103.23038 (GPS at the summit)
Difficulty: YDS class 1
Climbed November 21. 2018.
How to get there:
This peak is located far south on the Baja California penisula.
Drive south from La Paz on Hwy. 1, then continue south towards Todos Santos on
Hwy. 15. Drive the bypass road east of Todos Santos and locate
the turn-off (left) onto a dirt road is at N23.42586 W110.20595.
Follow this dirt road (quite nice) and ignore smaller side roads until
you arrive on top of a somewhat steeper downhill with a gate near the top.
If this gate is unlocked, then continue down the hill, check that your
car will be capable of driving back up what may be quite loose sand/gravel.
Continue about 3 kilometer where you will observe a building on your
immediate left (the "restaurant"),
park directly ahead. This location is
N23.50694, W110.04656, elevation about 490 meter.
It seems that local people ask for a 200 pesos payment for driving from the
gate to the parking, pretty consistently across several years.
First, continue along a jeep road, running close to the river. The trail
forks directly left and uphill very near this river, there are signs and the
fork is pretty obvious. The trail immediately climbs
across local hills, making
its way uphill, the highest
point on the horizon will eventually be reached.
Before then, there are a few smaller drainages that must be crossed, that is,
the trail will loose some elevation.
The trail continues steady and mostly uphill
to a local col near 1400 meter at
location N23.54585, W110.02114. From here, turning
more right, the uphill continues
to location N23.54550, W110.00732, elevation slightly above 1800 meter. From here,
a short stretch along the top, passing a highest point near 1870 meter before
descending to an area suitable for camping near location N23.55173, W109.99192 with
an elevation near 1800 meter.
After crossing a final section with trees, the trail now descends more and enters open
grass land - "the ranch". There
are more designated campgrounds and people collecting
money from hikers. The fee (250 pesos per person!) for
crossing the land is actually rather expensive by
Mexican standards, perhaps they do differentiate between Mexicans and foreigners?
Continue across the open fields heading for the hills at the other side. There are
smaller trails and some minor creeks that must be crossed.
The hill will start a bit beyond location N23.54606, W109.97269, elevation abvout 1740
meter, one should be able to pick up a clear trail heading uphill from near this location.
Climb the hill following this trail, as the terrain becomes more level with smaller local
hills, one may consider visiting a competing summit point at location
N23.53504, W109.95788, this is a short bushwack up to the right from the trail. A summit
rock defines the highest point, but it is pretty certain that this point is 5-10 meter
lower than the recognized summit. The final section of trail to the summit is less
distinct, traverse some terrain in order to find a clear hill jup front. This hill
has a lookout tower (closed) and some other traces from old construction.
Adam and I had taken the ferry from Topolobampo to La Paz. The scheduled arrival time
was 0700, thus we had planned to get a reasonably early start and complete this hike
in the late afternoon or early evening. What we had not expected was a pretty massive
buraucracy related to driving our car ashore. Several delays and two different checkpoints,
we were really not leaving the ferry area before 1000. The drive took longer as well and we
did not arrive at the trailhead before 1300. Our plan needed a revision, but how? I had taken
a bad fall and injured my knee while running (at night) in the town of Alamos, only two days
earlier. How things would work was uncertain. Adam strongly preferred a single car-summit-car
hike. I argued that my knee would definitely prefer to split this hike into two shorter
days spending a night on the route. Adam accepted my preference, but with only one backpack
capable of holding any cargo, 2 sleeping bags as well as the tent were squeezed into my pack.
I finally got started at 1330, Adam should follow about 5 minutes behind. First thing
that happened, a big bull blocking the trail ahead. He gave me a nasty look, then added
a deep voice warning. I looked back and decided to use my experience with bears in Malaysia,
talk back in their own language. I tried my best to immitate the bull and sent a deep
voice greeting back. This worked, the bull stepped out of my way.
I later learned that Adam ran into the same problem, he tried to talk to the bull
in polite English, this did not work at all.
It was a warm afternoon, but not really hot. My knee did not complain much and I seemed to
keep up with Adam what regards our general progress up the hill.
We had planned to hike to the campground. Without too much prior research this turned out
to be quite a bit longer, also more elevation gain
than anticipated. We finally arrived
at 1720, shortly before it got dark. We pitched the tent and slept without much delay.
With most work behind us, the next day was nice and easy.
We started at 0700 and arrived on the first (lower) summit in 1:20. Arriving at the
official summit by 0845, we decided that a 30 minute rest was well deserved.
On the return hike, Adam showed me some cactus fruit
growing in the transition area
betwwen the hill and the grass land.
Very delicious indeed.
Back at camp by 1030, then about 30 minutes to pack up aand prepare for hiking out.
The hike out was also very nice and never hot, we were back at the car by 1350.