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Ascent of Loma Santa Cruz Chica on 2008-12-15

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Petter Bjorstad
Date:Monday, December 15, 2008
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Loma Santa Cruz Chica
    Location:Ecuador
    Elevation:3892 m / 12772 ft

Ascent Trip Report

Loma Santa Cruz Chica, 3889m, P199m

Route:
From the Cuello de Luna lodge, we walked N along a roughish track until it curved R around a re-entrant. It this point we forked L onto a track which followed the S side of the re-entrant, then through forestry. From here we found our way W to the ridgeline, and hiked N along the W edge of some pasture fields with a fairly deep wooded gorge to our L. After a few fences the vegetation became rougher, and eventually we reached a summit (3800m GPSr, P26). From here we could see the parent hill, and continued N, descending to a saddle, then following a narrow trail close to the ridgeline, leading to the summit. We returned the same way.

Summit:
Fairly compact with and a trig pillar, deep vegetation and a view W to the parent hill (Loma Santa Cruz). View W to Illinizas and NW across a nice valley, Cotopaxi would doubtless be seen well in early morning before the clouds form.

Trig point:
A 1.5m truncated pyramid. Top has a circular metal plaque with a central cruciform marking. No lettering. Marked on 1:250,000 IGM map with height 3889.

Notes:
We climbed this after breakfast as an "easy stroll" on a rest day between climbing Cotopaxi and Chimborazo. We were staying at Cuello de Luna mountain lodge (motel style). We had no map and the idea was to keep going (within reason) until we found a summit. There was a great view of Cotopaxi when we left: soon afterwards the clouds rolled up and obscured it. Beyond the 3800m / P26m summit we measured the saddle with our GPSs and debated the likely elevation of the key saddle of the main peak, which was to the W. We got back to our lodge just in time for lunch, having gone a bit farther than intended, but feeling refreshed after a nice steady hike. Next afternoon we travelled to the Chimborazo hut ready for our main trip objective.

A later visit to the IGM offices in Quito confirmed the summit height to be 3889m (our GPSr was 3905m, demonstrating the usual ~15m offest), and the saddle to be between 3680 and 3700m (1:25k map). The parent is Loma Santa Cruz, to the W, 3945m on the IGM 1:25k and 1:250k maps.

For guiding and trip logistics, see my Chimborazo report

There is a set of photographs on flickr.com

For further details and photographs, see trip reports by Petter Bjorstad www.ii.uib.no/~petter/mountains.html
also Adam Helman's trip report
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:831 m / 2733 ft
    Extra Gain:49 m / 164 ft
    Distance:15 km / 9.3 mi
    Route:S ridge
    Trailhead:Cuello de Lune  3159 m / 10367 ft
    Grade/Class:YDS 2+
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Warm and sunny
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:1 Hours 30 Minutes



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