Ascent of Janitzio on 2022-08-16

Climber: Gustav Sexauer

Others in Party:Katrina
Date:Tuesday, August 16, 2022
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Boat
    Elevation:6923 ft / 2110 m

Ascent Trip Report

We took the ferry to Janitzio in the morning to spend the day on the island. It was an exciting ride, starting with the boat struggling to maneuver out of the water hyacinth infested harbor, then making a stop to drop off water for workers raking the plants to the shore. Then we stopped by some fishermen using butterfly nets. They didn't appear to be catching anything, except for handouts from tourists. Elsewhere on the lake other fishermen were using more modern methods. We came into the dock on Janitzio and laughed at the signs above the alleyways up on the hill. At least three different brightly colored signs said that that way was the best way to the Morelos Monument on the summit. Of course any would work, but which is the best? For us, we decided to take the leftmost offer and then after a few sets of stairs, we took a route that wound around the east and north side of the island. This turned out to be a great pick since it got us away from the souvenir stands and onto a quieter stretch of path/road, especially since it was the morning. We found a good lookout with a useable bench and took in the sights from the other islands to the far shores. It's an impressive lake, but also one that is quite shallow. We then passed under the zipline station which wasn't yet open for the day. If you want, you can pay to ride it to the island to the north, then take a ferry back to Janitzio with your harness to give it back to the people who run it. We were a bit sketched out by the lack of regulation on ziplines in the US which have caused plenty of accidents, so we were glad it was closed so we couldn't even consider going on this one. Higher up on the circuitous route we encountered a ticket booth and paid 10 pesos (I think) for tickets to go into the monument. We weren't allowed to continue walking up the street without it, the woman said. Interestingly, we continued up the road to the park at the top of the island and found that some people were (possibly) scalping tickets to the monument for a higher price. It seemed that you might arrive in the park from the from side of the island without passing by a ticket booth, and therefore need a ticket still to get into the monument? This was all confusing, but we were glad to already have tickets, so we went into the monument and handed them to the person checking. The monument has floor after floor of murals telling the story of Morales' life, including captions. It took us a long time to ascend as we read every panel (that wasn't scraped up), but we struggled to flesh out the details thanks to our rusty Spanish. Up high there was a little waiting room in the head, but when we got the chance we went up a very tight staircase to the top, aka the wrist below the raised fist. The views were grand, and it was fun to be in such a big statue. We were only supposed to spend 45 seconds in the viewing area before returning down, but there wasn't a huge crowd, so we got to stay longer. 5-6 people fit in the wrist, but it's very hard to pass anyone on the last staircase. After descending, I went over to the courtyard and found the highest grass. It was on a raised bed that was behind and to the right of the statue, based on which way he faces.

On the way down, we took the same mellow road around the west and north of the island and found the zipline to be running. We again passed it up. Once we got back by the shops on the front side of the island, we took a lot of random turns and saw a basketball court and a cemetery, all perched on the side of the steep island in between houses. We then got down close to the shore and accidentally walked past the sewage treatment plant. Our ida y vuelta ferry ticket allowed us to get on any ferry to go back, so we didn't have to worry about how long we were on the island. When we got to the dock, I bought a strawberry churro, then we boarded the ferry and headed back. A band played at the front of the boat, but being that we were next to the engine, we couldn't really hear them.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:239 ft / 72 m
    Total Elevation Loss:239 ft / 72 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.3 mi / 2 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:239 ft / 72 m
    Distance:0.6 mi / 1 km
    Start Trailhead:Janitzio Dock  6684 ft / 2037 m
    Time:2 Hours 24 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:239 ft / 72 m
    Distance:0.7 mi / 1.1 km
    End Trailhead:Janitzio Dock  6684 ft / 2037 m
    Time:36 Minutes

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