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Ascent of Cerro El Pital on 2017-01-03

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Alan Bernier
Date:Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Cerro El Pital
    Location:El Salvador/Honduras
    Elevation:8957 ft / 2730 m

Ascent Trip Report

We park at El Pilar, are offered a 4x4 ride for $30 which we refuse, and hike the 500m ascent in 50mins. En route we pay $3 each for park admission. The receipt is just for his camp site but no big deal. Route as per my previous ascent - except we hike up instead of 4x4

At the upper parking lot where the road splits, we fork L on a dirt road which descends slightly then heads up to the summit comms tower.

The small concrete summit pillar is newly painted white and has a plaque dated 2009. The fence we climbed 4 years ago now has a gap and it's even easier to stand in Honduras. The comms compound has a couple of fierce dogs inside; just before reaching it we see 3 soldiers with machine guns, border guards perhaps but they have no interest in a couple of gringos on this very popular summit.

We're offered a pickup ride down but at 40mins with a couple of shopping stops it's no quicker. But it saves our legs and costs nothing. Subsequently discovered the etiquette is to offer payment which is usually refused...

Our day had started with a bus ride back to San Salvador after our Volcan Santa Ana ascent the previous day. We were then collected from the bus terminal occidentale but Riccardo of Ri-Cars riar_005@hotmail.com . He turned out to be a real find. He rents us a car for a couple of days, then spends half an hour phoning around setting up ascents of San Vicente and possibly San Miguel - both awkward to arrange - amazing!

Alan fancies slipping in a quick ascent of El Pital so we drive across in about 2 hours and bag it. We spend the night at Suchitoto halfway to San Vicente where we're due the following morning.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1706 ft / 519 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.6 mi / 9 km
    Trailhead:7251 ft / 2210 m
    Grade/Class:YDS 1
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:50 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:45 Minutes



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