Ascent of Picacho del Diablo on 2015-11-09

Climber: James Barlow

Others in Party:Rob Woodall -- Trip Report or GPS Track
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, November 9, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Picacho del Diablo
    Elevation:10154 ft / 3094 m

Ascent Trip Report

Two day ascent from standard trailhead in Sierra San Pedro Martir. Saturday, we drove down to the approach road and dirtbag camped at a pull-out. Sunday, we finished the drive and arrived at the park. The rangers were helpful. A fee is required. I think it was around 500 pesos for 4 of us for 2 days. The standard trailhead is accessible by regular car, though we had my truck. The road continues past this point but deteriorates rapidly and is blocked by a locked gate after a few hundred meters. The end of the road is off route as well. The trailhead leads to a pretty good use trail to Blue Bottle Saddle. We got off track on our ascent by following incorrect cairns, but followed the trail quite easily on our return. The descent into Campo Noche was bigger than I expected and I thought of the return hike...

We were up before first light and hiked the first bit of use trail out of camp with head torches. As the sky lightened, we continued up, not really encountering too many difficulties, though we got off course on the left side of the canyon right out of camp and then again above we got off route to the right and had to rejoin the main canyon. We did some class 3-4 stuff, but we did it out of convenience and a desire to avoid brush rather than necessity. This route can certainly be ascended without any class 4! Our descent involved one class 3 downclimb in the canyon that again could possibly be avoided. The summit was a welcome sight. I had previously attempted this peak in 2012 from Canon del Diablo and had a member of my group fall and get injured, necessitating our early retreat. Finally, I was on top of Baja California!

Our descent to camp was uneventful and our re-ascent to Blue Bottle Saddle was on a pretty good use trail for the upper half, though it was slower than I would have liked (my fault). Once at Blue Bottle Saddle, we made good time to the truck as it is flat and downhill. Duane, Laura, and the Peakbag-mobile were a welcome sight. Onward to tacos!

While not technically challenging, I rate this peak a 9 for ascent quality as it is one of the finest day hikes that I have done anywhere! It is remote and a joy for people who have mountain sense and can navigate! To get a 10 for ascent quality, I need to break out a rope, skis, ice axe, or crampons....

We didn't see any other people anywhere on the mountain. Pics
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:7005 ft / 2135 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3150 ft / 960 m
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:7005 ft / 2135 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3855 ft / 1175 m; Extra: 3150 ft / 960m
    Loss on way in:3150 ft / 960 m
    Route:West Gullies
    Start Trailhead:6299 ft / 1919 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Diablo '15 (1 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Cerro Botella Azul2015-11-081510 ft / 460 m
2Picacho del Diablo2015-11-097005 ft / 2135 m
Total Trip Gain: 8515 ft / 2595 m    Total Trip Loss: 3150 ft / 960 m

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