Picacho San Onofre

  • Picacho San Onofre
  • 3550 m
  • Primary factor 1650 m
  • Mexico
  • Location: North 23.80056, West 099.84670 (GPS at the summit)
  • Difficulty: YDS class 1
  • Climbed November 13. 2018.


How to get there:
The local town from where to start is named Doctor Arroyo. One can drive there by going east from the town of Matehuala located on the major north-south Hwy. 57. Go east on Hwy. 29 turning into Hwy. 61. Doctor Arroyo is a pretty large town with hotels and restaurants etc. Continue (north-east) on Hwy. 61 about 8 kilometer, then go right (east) on Hwy. 120. When Hwy. 120 turns more south (after approximately 10 kilometer), continue east on smaller roads. There is a small community, then the road continues (rougher dirt road<) uphill and into a canyon/valley. Continue (north-east) on this road until location N23.83104, W099.86753, elevation about 2720 meter. A forest road forks right at this point. Park here, this is the trailhead.
Route description:
Follow the forest road uphill, you will cross a gate, then two fences (may be opened). Higher up, you enter a flat area and pass a few buildings. Next, the road heads uphill and makes a sharp turn right. About 100 meter after this turn, is a good place to leave the road (left) and head directly uphill to the summit. The slope is gentle and one may walk almost anywhere between the trees. The highest point is near a building and an old stump from what must have been a pretty large tree.
I did this climb with Adam Walker. The plan for the day was to climb Fraile, also with Rob Woodall. To our great surprise, the forecast called for about -10 Centigrade and it had snowed during the night. The mountain was quite white as we approached. We were at the trailhead around 0700. After a short evaluation of the conditions, a very important decision was taken Adam and I would turn this miserable day into mostly driving, hopefully being able to make a late afternoon or early evening ascent of Onofre. Rob had climbed this peak years ago, thus he would head west to try Centinela, a peak that Adam and I would need to schedule while driving west towards Baja California later in the trip.
The drive went well and we drove the long dirt road approach well before the end of the day. Thus, we were ready to hike at 1415. The route follows a forest road until quite near the summit. Here, we left the road and headed more or less straight uphill among the trees on a gentle slope and without brush, so good walking. We arrived on top at 1630, a well rounded top with some structures. After a few pictures and a short rest, we headed down at 1645. The summit was a bit cold and did not invite to a long break. There was also a slight chance of getting back down before it got really dark. We carried head torches assuming that they would be needed. Getting back down at 1820, we made it without using our lights, however it was quite dark among the trees for the last 5 minutes.