Picachos El Centinela

  • Picachos El Centinela
  • 3130 m
  • Primary factor 1660 m
  • Mexico
  • Location: North 25.13599, West 103.23038 (GPS at the summit)
  • Difficulty: YDS class 1
  • Climbed November 17. 2018.


How to get there:
Locate the city of Torreón north of the mountain. Go south on Hwy. 40 and continue south on Hwy. 80 running west of the peak.
Turn off the road (to the left) onto a small dirtroad among some scattered houses. This location is at N25.10352, W103.33034. Follow this dirtroad (high clearance recommended) to a fork at location N25.11402, W103.30423. Take the right fork and continue until you are right next to a fenced in white structure. This is at loction N25.12344, W103.29444, elevation about 1440 meter. Park here, this is the trailhead.

Route description:
From the trailhead, walk a few meter across grass to enter a wash. Follow this wash only 15 meter, then exit on a trail that forks right. Follow this trail as it climbs to a saddle, N25.13019, W103.27579, elevation about 2080 meter, then descends 100 meter into a new valley. Enter a wash and follow this upstream a bit more than 2 kilometer to location N25.13701, W103.25139, elevation about 2210 meter. This point is marked with a cairn and there are markes on two trees on your right.
Exit the wash at this location and follow a vague trail that starts between the two trees. The trail will soon be more distinct and easy to follow, you should turn left shortly after leaving the wash.
I did this climb with my friend Adam. We arrived at the trailhead shortly after 1300 on Friday and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon, then dinner and early to bed in our tent. Up at 0500, breakfast and getting ready to walk by 0545.
We made good time and daylight came just before we crossed the first ridge. From here, we could see our mountain. We continued down to the wash and followed it up to the point where the trail (well marked) exits right. Here we had a good rest before starting up towards the small ridge. Another rest above 2700 meter before arriving at the summit at 1020. The summit area is cluttered with old remains from various antennas, not exactly a nice view.
We headed back down at 1045, making a stop upon reaching the wash. The day stayed nice and we returned to the car at 1350, a total trip time of about 8 hours. We now had time to start our drive west and decided to stop for dinner and sleep in the city of Durango.
The next day was mainly a driving day. We first drov e to the ferry at Topolobampo in order to figure out how to get tickets. No ferry that day, but we managed to buy the tickets for the next day, leaving at midnight. This was actually quite a complicated process as one first had to locate an official weigh-station to get a certificate stating the weight of the car. Next, at a different location, a similar certificate stating the length of the car. First with these two documents in hand, we could buy a ticket for the car and a cabin with two beds for ourselves.
We next drove to the old town of Alamos. The idea was to climb a prominent peak, on the list of Mexico's top 50, but not an ultra, while waiting for our ferry departure. It was hard to find a vacant hotel room, this turned out to be (as I found out the next day) because of Novemnber 19th. also a Sunday coming up the next day. This was a day for parades and celebration of the revolution. I managed to run on a city cobblestone street in the evening and take a big fall, hitting the street with my hand, my head and a left knee. Not good. All hiking plans for the next day got cancelled as my knee almost doubled in size. Adam did successfully climb the peak while I rested my banged up body and in partiucular, the knee. We drove in the afternoon back to Topolobampo and caught the ferry according to plan.