Ascent of Cerro de La Cruz on 2009-02-10

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:1st visit to this summit
Date:Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cerro de La Cruz
    Elevation:787 ft / 239 m

Ascent Trip Report

Easy bushwack ...... not to be confused with the peak of the same name in downtown Manzanillo ..... NB. "this report talks about the conditions of this route on this particular day, however that was not the case when I returned a year later, see Addendum #1 below"

CERRO DE LA CRUZ (CROSS), elev 795', is located West of the community COLONIA EL COLOMO (on the North shore of Laguna de Cuyutlan, 7 km East of downtown Manzanillo ..... not to be confused with the Cerro de la Cruz in downtown Manzanillo). To its West is Cerro de Tapeixtles, with the 4 lane Autopista de Cuota (toll road) to Colima in-between, and to its North-West is the main road interchange (old rte #200 and Autopista de Cuota).

The mountain is topped with a steel Cross (La Cruz). A good herd path from the working quarry on the North side of the mountain leads (not without work, but not difficult) to the beautiful rewarding sparsely wooded summit. It has a number of rock lookouts on its West side with outstanding views of Colonia El Colomo and surroundings. It is a rewarding summit, you'll do a lot of sweating so bring a lot of water.

HIKING DIRECTIONS FROM THE NORTH TH (60-80 minutes round trip).
The North-side TH is in a working quarry, located on the South side of old rte #200 to Colima (200 meters East of the Autopista de Cuota) just before it crests at elev. 425' and descends East to El Colomo.
The TH can be reached from the Port of Manzanillo's main North Entrance (at interchange old rte #200 and #98) by following rte #200 East for 2 1/2 km over the Autopista to the TH on the right - or from El Colomo.
As you arrive at El Colomo from downtown Manzanillo, you come to the first stop light at Calle Ramon Moran (abt 100 Meters past the first bend to the right, known as "Mini Glorieta Galvan") Turn left (North) for 1/2 km to rte 200, and left again (West) for 1 1/2 km to the TH just past the crest of the road on the left. A number of highway direction signs are overhead.

Before you start out ensure that you are properly dressed - long sleeves, pants gloves and a good heavy bat-like stick.
The quarry is fenced with barbed-wire and a gate. Hop the fence and head straight South to the other end of the quarry to a large rock face (the end on the North ridge to the summit), a transmission tower can be seen high up on the ridge - this is your climbing route.
I walked (east) on route #200 from the ports north entrance to the TH. I walked south in the quarry and scrambled my way up the end of the quarry (steep with loose gravel with evidence of some use) to the left of the rock face where you will pick up a herd path. It climbs right very steeply to the North ridge above the rock face. The steepest part of the climb is now over - from here the herd path follows the moderate ridge, passing under the transmission tower on the way to the summit, not without some work and route finding however.
A barbed wire fence follows the ridge up to the tower, the good open herd path stays to its left (East) side. Most of the way is in tall grass/shrubs/vines, heavily overgrown in places requiring some batting/chopping work.

Animals come up here to graze as evidenced by a lot of cow dunk and at places a choice of different herd paths. I was concerned about ticks because of the animal presence - as was the case last year on my unsuccessful bushwack to Cerro El Toro-SW peak. This time I was lucky. When hiking in Mexico animals seen to be everywhere, so dress/take proper precautions, especially when off long pants properly closed/taped tight at the cuffs, long sleeves, insect repellent all over your clothes.

The summit is sparsely wooded with tall grass in the vicinity of the Cruz. An eight foot steel Cruz overlooks the residential community of El Colomo to the East. The vertical East face of the mountain has a number of super rock lookouts with outstanding view of El Colomo. There is a good path that comes up the eastside of the mountain at the rock lookout nearest La Cruz ....... I should check this out one day.

ADDENDUM #1, DATED 2010-01-27.
I came back today to climb this mountain via the above noted route and I found that the top part on the climb is no longer an easy bushwack as reported above..... the ridge, about 100M above the Transmission Tower, is a solid wall of bushes/vines/briars. I machetted/wacked/sweated my way for about 75M,1 hour, before giving up, tough going, I got cut up pretty good even though I had long pants. It appears that the cows are not coming up this high, there was a lot of fresh dunk on the way up.
THIS ROUTE IS NO LONGER RECOMMENDED .... tomorrow I will come back and check out the eastside route as noted above (see its TR).

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:754 ft / 229 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.3 mi / 7 km
    Route:El Colomo-rte #200 on n side/herd path up N ridge
    Trailhead:mazanillo ports N entrance/ rte #200, quarry w of   33 ft / 10 m
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack

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