Ascent of Volcán Irazú on 2016-12-25

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Adrian Rayner
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, December 25, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Volcán Irazú
    Location:Costa Rica
    Elevation:3432 m / 11260 ft

Ascent Trip Report

A short hike and a minor access issue. Admission $15/person plus $2 parking. We had stayed at Hotel Brumas (Ortago) the previous night. The park opens at 0800 and closes around 1500/1530.

From upper car park, road signposted Punta mas alto, rough but drivable by 4x4, motor cycle (or 2WD with care), leads to summit area. Highest point is to west, grassy mound 1m inside garden of the man that looks after the comms mast. We just climbed over the low fence. 100m to east, is the tourist summit, c3m lower according to my sighting level, with a fine view down on the upper crater. Arriving soon after 0800 we have clear views.

East of the car park is a summit c40m lower, with a few comms masts, out of bounds - we have no reason to go there. Further east is Volcan Turrialba, currently very active and pouring out dense smoke to intermittently engulf the summit itself. The current activity started in 2006 we're told; in Sept its ash cloud closed the airport for a few days. We noticed the road which leads to it from west, looking like moderate quality dirt at the point where it leaves the Irazu road - may well need 4x4 - it's quite a distance.

We drove down to the lower car park and took the walkway to a viewpoint for a view of the more impressive lower craters. We then drove south for Chirripo, stopping en route for the easy Cerro Buenavista. The drive is easy but quite slow on the Panamerican Highway due to a few slow vehicles, as it's single carriageway. Arrived San Gerardo ranger station well before the office closed.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:103 m / 335 ft
    Distance:2 km / 1.2 mi
    Trailhead:3329 m / 10925 ft
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:15 Minutes

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