Ascent of Cerro Chirripó on 2019-08-08

Climber: Tom Milliard

Date:Thursday, August 8, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cerro Chirripó
    Location:Costa Rica
    Elevation:12530 ft / 3819 m

Ascent Trip Report

National Park Chirripo is a beautiful, but overcharged location to climb a mountain. After the red tape of arranging the entrance in advance ($16 a day), and accommodation in the only refuge ($36), you also need to be in the village of San Gerardo (trailhead village) the day before, prior to 4pm, to check into both offices.. Also both costs have to be paid and confirmed in advance.. Anyway, once you start the hike (I began from my hostel opposite the park office, 2.5km from the trail proper) the route is really clear, and marked every kilometre. From the entrance to the refuge is 14.5km, with quite a lot of altitude gain. A lovely area, the park varies in landscape, and after 10km you come out into scrubland terrain. I arrived at the hut before 1pm, and decided after a break to head for Chirripo, since the weather was still decent. Most people wait til the following morning to see the sunrise there. It is 5.1km from the refuge to summit, rising around 450m in altitude, with the final 100m being a simple scramble. I summited in about 1.5hr, and was back at the refuge by 4pm. For the $36 you get ice cold showers, and a cold dorm room. I don't expect luxury, but for prices higher than most Alpine huts, I expected more. Also, no boiling water is given out, so don't bother bringing a thermos.. I took all my own food, knowing the price of the hut meals (@$16-20), which also looked quite basic, and tied to specific times. Overall, a good hike, never tough, and the roof of Costa Rica achieved! To get to San Gerardo from San Jose by bus, you need to take an early bus using the MUSOC group, and take no later bus from San Isidro than the 1430 bus, which can drop you at the park office just in time for check in. It is possible to climb up and down in one long day, it would be a round trip of 39km. After 26km of ascent and back to refuge, I was feeling it!
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Start Trailhead:Park office  
    Time:7 Hours 
Descent Statistics

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