Ascent of Volcán Concepción on 2017-01-09

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Alan Bernier -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Monday, January 9, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Bus
Peak:Volcán Concepción
    Elevation:5282 ft / 1609 m

Ascent Trip Report

A straightforward day hike from west side (Concepcion village) with well marked trailhead, and ranger station soon encountered requiring $3/person. No mention there of any requirement for a guide: several other parties on mountain all guided, but with good mountain experience we have no problem going DIY. 4h15 round trip moving pretty quickly; Lonely Planet suggests 10-12h which would be pretty slow. We start at Finca Monserrath which is halfway from Moyogalpa and adds an extra 3mi to the 9mi round trip. Windy on top and in cloud from halfway up.
NOTE: highpoint difficult to reach from east (Altagracia) side - see R Mclellan TR.

Sun 8: Travel from Chinandega after our Cristobal climb. I read that public transport is limited on a Sunday. However we have no problems, not waiting for more than 10 mins anywhere on our multi leg journey. Bus from Chinandega to Managua; western bus terminal (Boer); bus to El Crucero (asked around at terminal for El Crucero, a few routes go that way, ours was heading for Jinotepe); an hour on foot bagging the various Meseta de los Pueblos / Las Cumbres P600m summit candidates; minibus to Jinotepe; short taxi ride to main bus terminal; minibus to Rivas; short shared taxi ride to San Jorge arriving in plenty of time for 4pm ferry to Omotepe. Glaswegian lady on board who's retired to Omotepe, has a friend visiting for a fortnight. Quite windy - we later learn there's a limited service today and none tomorrow so we are lucky to get to the island.

Overnight at Finca Monserrath, 1mi from Moyogalpa, small basic room but good food and almost halfway to the Concepcion trailhead. $22 incl dinner and breakfast, cheapest of the trip, a friendly convenient place with some English spoken, although service isn't the fastest.

Mon 9: breakfast is later and smaller than expected: we start the 1.4mi road walk at 0720, large colourful noisy blue and white birds; reaching ranger station at 0745 and paying our $3 each. Route is a wide track with a few forks - we keep watch on the GPS track which is from the Richard Mclellan TR. Route becomes a hiking trail climbing steeply thru nice forest. Just before reaching hut/shelter below top of treeline we get a view of Moyogalpa then climb into cloud. Briefly exposed to strong wind as we start up the ridge trail but then sheltered. Ground steep and looser for a while then firm rock on steep well-defined ridge with a few small fumaroles emitting sulphur fumes to warm our fingers as we approach the cold windy summit. Brief stop only, then carefully down initial steep section and jog down to the trailhead: 2h30 up, 1h45 down - lowering the fastest time on Strava by 30 mins! Nice view of spider monkeys lower down.

Half hour amble back to Finca to collect our gear and settle our account. Mile walk to Moyogalpa then bus via Altagracia to Santa Cruz for Volcan Maderas tomorrow. Overnight Albergue El Porvenir.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5085 ft / 1549 m
    Round-Trip Distance:11.8 mi / 19 km
    Trailhead:197 ft / 60 m
    Grade/Class:YDS 1
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Windy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 45 Minutes

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