Ascent of Monte Pirata on 2016-03-22

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Eric Rhodes
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Monte Pirata
    Location:Puerto Rico
    Elevation:286 m / 940 ft

Ascent Trip Report

A nice steep hike to scratch off another Carib Island HP. We rented a jeep which is essential for going all over the island and that is all you can rent there cuz some of the roads are pretty rough. Eric and I dropped the ladies off at the north west beach at a place called both Green Beach and the natives and the new US Fish and Wildlife Service signs call "Punta Arena" or essentially "Sand Point" in Spanish. We got there on the US F & W lands early before other beach goers. Near the entrance to the federal lands is the old road on the areal that goes to the summit. Unlike the other roads in the area it is paved and in decent shape. It goes nowhere so there was no traffic.

We parked at the intersection of this paved maintenance road and the US fish and Wildlife road called PR 994. Note, that the peak as shown currently in the database is wrong. I have asked Greg to move it to its correct location. If you check on the aerial the peak is at the end of the maintenance road and that is confirmed my the topo and 20 meter contours. Someone entered the location a long time ago and put it to the north on the side of the mountain. Do not go that coordinate it is way off. Hopefully it will be corrected soon. UPDATE 4-13-2016; Greg informed me by email today that the database for the virgin islands and PR have been corrected and the coordinates are now good!

One can park much closer to the peak but then you would not experience highpointing from sea level to the top and that is not my deal so I gladly parked another mile back from where I needed to get the full experience. The first mile of the hike is relatively flat gaining little elevation and passing several military bunkers on the right covered up in the weeds. Once the road the forks to the left the trip becomes quite a bit more challenging. The last mile is a straight up 1000 foot vertical hike on a very steep paved road.

The gate that other mention, is near the bottom of the steep part of the climb. There are not signs saying do not enter and no trespassing so we continued. The gate has bypass trails around it on both sides so we are not the first to walk the big hill. After many turns and steep climbs you are rewarded with nice views of the entire island and both coasts. We could see the beach we dropped the ladies off at in the far distance.

At the summit there is another gate about 20 to 30 feet below the actual tower fence. This gate too has easy bypass trails around the gate and does not prevent you from continuing. The final gated enclosure is at the actual summit on a flat square plot of land that you can completely walk around. The area inside the fence for all practical purposes is the same elevation as outside but the gate is locked. The best views are from the roadway along the hike not at the top.

On the way down, we explored a little horse trail off to the side that provided a little extra gain, but other than that and a few small road sags, the majority of the hike is straight up.

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:297 m / 975 ft
    Elevation Loss:297 m / 975 ft
    Distance:6.8 km / 4.2 mi
    Grade/Class:1, 1+
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country
    Weather:Hot, Breezy, Clear
Hot and windy 86F
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:288 m / 945 ft
    Extra Loss:3 m / 10 ft
    Distance:3.4 km / 2.1 mi
    Route:Old navy Maintenance Tower Road
    Trailhead:Maintenance Road intersection with Route  1 m / 5 ft
    Time Up:45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:294 m / 965 ft
    Extra Gain:9 m / 30 ft
    Distance:3.4 km / 2.1 mi
    Route:Old navy Maintenance Tower Road
    Trailhead:Maintenance Road intersection with Route  1 m / 5 ft
    Time Down:40 Minutes

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