Ascent of La Roca EL Yunque on 2010-12-06

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Solo
Date:Monday, December 6, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:La Roca EL Yunque
    Location:Puerto Rico
    Elevation:3379 ft / 1029 m

Ascent Trip Report

This is the jewel of the El Yunque trails and few do this peak as it is poorly marked and confusing. What makes it such an interesting trip is you get to enjoy all you did to do the more famous El Yunque and as you start down - dissappointed by the cell towers at the summit this little jolt down the ridge is far worth the effort.I noticed it as i was heading down El Yunque and then saw the impressive shear rock cliffs of La Roca to the north and thougth there it is. Most of the other hikers simply do El Yunque and go down but this is a fun side trip.

Head north to the lower ugly tower set up and you will find an old sign for the trail that is confusing and hard to read. Go back toward the tower and the fencing that says stay out basically and squeeze around the fence and you will find a tiny passage that looks like something out of a James Bond movie ..tiny concrete steps half concealed by grasses that look like there are part of the tower you should stay away from but then at the bottom.....suddenly a tiny 15 inch wide path put in by the forest folks (worn ashpalt is visible) appears and you follow it out and up the ridge. At the end of the ridge another pleasant surprise. I legit class 3 scramble (not very high - only perhaps 15-20 feet) but never the less you have to use hands and hand holds and it would be tricky in the rain for sure. Then the best views of the day. One more 10 foot climb through the boulders and you are on the top of the pinnacle with NO saftey crap or trails or all that man made clutter...just the sheer cliffs of rock down to the rain forest below and the summit of La Roca. This was a nice surprise better than the summit of El Yunque. gives this peak a rating of the #22 highest peak in PR but it also counts El Yunque twice as #14 and #15 at the same elevation.

Then back over to do the Los Picachos... (see next report)
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:34 ft / 10 m
    Total Elevation Loss:284 ft / 86 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.4 mi / 0.7 km
    Grade/Class:1 and 3
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
varied cloudy building for rain then clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:14 ft / 4 m
    Distance:0.1 mi / 0.2 km
    Route:Spur trail around tower along ridge
    Start Trailhead:saddle on ridge where El Yunque trail meets with t  3365 ft / 1025 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:284 ft / 86 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 264 ft / 80 m; Extra: 20 ft / 6m
    Gain on way out:20 ft / 6 m
    Distance:0.3 mi / 0.5 km
    Route:Spur trail around tower along ridge
    End Trailhead:saddle on ridge on way to Los Picachos  3115 ft / 949 m
Ascent Part of Trip: El Yunque

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Pico El Yunque2010-12-06 c1470 ft / 448 m
2La Roca EL Yunque2010-12-06 d34 ft / 10 m
3Torre de Los Picachos2010-12-06 e60 ft / 18 m
Total Trip Gain: 1564 ft / 476 m    Total Trip Loss: 1564 ft / 477 m

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