Ascent of Cerro Buenavista on 2017-02-04

Climber: Greg Slayden

Others in Party:Adam Walker -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Saturday, February 4, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Cerro Buenavista
    Location:Costa Rica
    Elevation:11453 ft / 3490 m

Ascent Trip Report

We were driving northwest on the Interamericana highway (Route 2), en route from Cerro Chirripó to San José, and we were able to easily tag this 600-meter prominence summit without trouble. A good gravel road to our left led south from the highway, winding among several little knobs full of communications towers. We stayed on the main road (drivable by any passenger car) to a fork, with a large comms facility straight ahead. We took the right fork and shortly parked at a gate. We scrambled uphill (very minor bushwhacking) and then crawled under a barbed-wire fence and then made the short final hike to the rocky summit, complete with benchmark. The views were partly blocked by trees and the massive nearby tower complex. We went downhill a slightly different route, but still had to squeeze through barbed wire.

We were away from the car for about 15 minutes and there was no sign of anyone around—seemed like a very low risk trespass.

(Remainder of the trip – not related to Cerro Buenavista):

We then drove across the “Cerro de los Muertos” section of Highway 2 to Cartago and then San José. The bridge construction on Highway 1 was still causing a huge backup, and we returned to our old haunt, the Villa Pacande hotel in Alajuela. We had no reservation but fortunately they did have a room for us. I showered and we both organized our gear for the flights home tomorrow. The restaurant of the hotel once again provided us with a good, hearty meal.

The main annoyance of the evening was that we saw that we had another flat tire on our jeep, noticing it as soon as we parked. I figured that it must have occurred while making the tricky uphill turn into the hotel, since it seemed fine during the drive. The issue was that we had no spare, having used it earlier in the day on the other rear tire. This time the tire with the screw it in was flat.

The hotel staff was very helpful as I borrowed their phone to call Alamo rent-a-car, having trouble getting the right people to talk to. I finally got a hold of someone at the main airport office, which was very nearby, luckily. They told me they would call me back, and we proceeded to eat. During dinner, a driver from Alamo showed up with a brand-new car for us, brought on a flatbed tow truck. I signed some papers, and we were all set—very good service, but the only use we had for our nice new car was a quick drive to the airport tomorrow. Still, it was good to have that taken care of.

The next day we had a lazy morning lounging at the pleasant hotel grounds—I enjoyed the resident cats and the exotic jungle foliage. We left at about 10, returned our new rental car, and uneventfully got our flights from San Jose to Houston. We had a tight connection there, and the airport was short-staffed due to the Super Bowl being played during our layover. We barely made our flight to Seattle, during which I watched the second half of the game on the seatback TV screen. At Sea-Tac it was snowing and I took a shuttle van home, a somewhat harrowing drive. It was quite a contrast to the tropical jungles we had just been in.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:49 ft / 14 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.1 mi / 0.2 km
    Trailhead:11404 ft / 3475 m
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Low Clouds
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Greg Slayden
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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