Ascent of Picacho Peak on 2019-01-02

Climber: Dennis Stewart

Others in Party:Geri Stewart
Date:Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Picacho Peak
    Elevation:3370 ft / 1027 m

Ascent Trip Report

Viewed from a distance on I-10, you will not believe it is possible to climb Picacho Peak without a great deal of experience and protection. Upon visiting the state park, however, my wife, Geri, and I learned there was a non-technical trail all the way to the top. I must admit, though, it is not an easy climb and there are a few short sections of exposure, but there are a series of anchored cables in the dicey areas that greatly reduce the need for your own protection. I would advise, however, against bringing young children past the saddle on this peak. There are several places beyond the saddle where short arms and limited upper body strength would be a huge handicap in ascending this highpoint and make it quite dangerous. It took me 2 hours and 40 minutes to reach the summit, but I did stop to take a lot of photos in the clear weather under nice blue, cloudless skies. If you have the same weather as I did, you will be rewarded with fantastic 360 degree view at the summit. I made a much faster descent in 1 hour and 14 minutes, but I did a small amount of jogging on the less steep sections going down. One last comment: I did not realize there was such a huge elevation loss past the saddle. So much altitude is lost here that I began to think I missed the ascent route and I thought I was actually going down a different ascent route. Fortunately, I persisted and discovered the route eventually continued going up again, but it took about 15 minutes before that happened and this is where the route starts to have more exposure. You will not be disappointed if you climb this peak. It is a fun climb!
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble

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